In my last blog I discussed how print fits in to a cross media marketing campaign and how the effective use of a print management partner can really enhance the power of your cross media marketing.
Print is still a critical component of the marketing media mix because consumers demand choice. They dictate how they receive their marketing content from sales and marketing messages or specific information.
This has resulted in the rise of cross media marketing and the multi-channel distribution of communications in both digital and print format.
But how do companies manage the process of ensuring their brand and messages are constantly heard when most marketing budgets have limited resources and less money to spend?
Print and digital outsourcing is becoming a viable and cost efficient alternative. Companies are seeking ways not to only manage their printed content but insisting on it being integrated into their social media marketing efforts and email marketing.
This has created a new type of print management company – one that can provide support and consultation across print and the various multi-media channels.
Print outsourcing can play an important role in improving customer communications driving costs down and improving business efficiency.
What has changed is the content and how print is used in the marketing mix.
Print is not always the final end product delivered to the customer.
It is now a mix of electronic and paper based communications which has evolved out of companies using digital and social platforms along with paper to deliver their message in the form of a payslip, invoice or direct mail piece.
Therefore print outsourcing is more than just simply removing business stationery to a printer down the road, it is the integration of a variety of disciplines such as consulting services for a marketing campaign, co-ordinating print and communications with social media channels and providing unique and customised solutions.
Print outsourcing encompasses all of the above and more and businesses are recognising the value of outsourcing and working with a print management partner who can offer more than just cheap printed business stationery but business efficiencies in the form of outsourcing, advanced print capabilities and print management expertise.
Why co-ordinate your print and marketing campaigns in-house when you can work with a print management partner that can manage the process. You know the benefits of outsourcing and its not the usual cliches – ‘its not a core business function’ it should be more about what you get out of the relationship.
Working in partnership with a print management company affords you the security of working with people who have expertise and can provide print and cross media solutions because they have access to an extensive network of pre-vetted and pre-qualified local printers and solution specialists with different capabilities.
This means not carrying the risk of managing equipment in-house along with the necessary staff, if one vendor should become less competitive, another vendor will take its place such is the network of a print management partner who can provide diversity through their supplier base.
Outsourcing print is not just about removing print from your bottom line it’s more than that, it is access to a wider network of print providers because print management companies take the time to build and nurture relationships with their network ensuring that they can deliver the right solutions that customers want.
Centralising your marketing and print campaign efforts reduce costs because you aren’t having to co-ordinate your time, resources and money spread over a number of different suppliers.
The main objection to a company outsourcing their print use to be there is little to gain by doing so. But as the digital landscape has changed businesses are realising they need to exploit the expertise, knowledge, solutions and services which print management partners can provide.
Consumers demand personalisation and print is one of the media channels through which organisations target their message. Print has to be integrated into the mix and this means that customer databases must be updated and relevant to ensure that communications are co-ordinated across all the channels.
Knowledge of print-flows and data files is essential to ensure that all the components of a marketing campaign are personalised and targeted to the right audience.
Customer satisfaction, loyalty, compliance and privacy means that customers receive only the messages that are relevant and useful to them and that their personal information is kept secure.
Working with a print management partner who has knowledge of data, postal automation, sortation, print, production, content and can co-ordinate print and mail with social media offers increased benefits to a business, not just through print.
In part 2 Choosing a print management services company? How do I find the right supplier to help me co-ordinate my cross media marketing and print campaigns?