Know Your Audience
Industries across the board have built quite a collection of buzzwords over the last few years. When a phrase becomes obsolete, it's immediately replaced with something better—or in market speak, "the next big thing." It's a reality that will continue as long as companies frantically seek to reinvent themselves to keep pace with change.
The print industry is no exception. This gem may sound familiar: "Our company follows a 'customer-centric' business model. No matter the request, we provide 'value-added solutions' by 'thinking outside of the box,' which makes it a 'win-win' situation for everyone."
By now everyone should be acquainted with the phrase: "cross-media campaign." In laymen's terms, a cross-media campaign delivers relevant content and a call to action through multiple channels (e.g., direct mail, PURLs, GURLs, QR Codes, the Web, social media, etc.) simultaneously as an integrated campaign. If properly planned and executed, the campaign can provide a company with an increased return on investment (ROI), more opportunities to interact with audiences, high response rates and the ability to view customer responses and create a database in real time.
Some pundits may view cross media as the latest fad, but others think it is the next generation in direct marketing. One side eventually will claim victory, but until then printers should seriously consider making this technique an integral part of their marketing efforts.
Campaigns vary in approach, but their ultimate success hinges on one important issue: strategy. Without a clear plan, companies will struggle to yield a positive ROI. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, so it is important to ask certain questions before taking action.
Ed Glaser, chief marketing officer of Greenville, North Carolina-based AccuLink, offered a few examples:
- What are the objectives of the campaign?
- Who is the target audience you want to reach and what do you know about them?
- What channels best match the data you have?
- How much relevant personalization can you create from this data?
- How will you track the responders and non-responders?
- What is your follow-up plan?
- What data do you want to capture from the responders and how will you capture it?
- What makes you think this campaign will achieve your objectives and how will you measure success?
According to Glaser, if the data supports it and the target audience is expected to respond favorably to it, direct mail is generally an appropriate part of a cross-media campaign. In fact, direct mail is often the starting point in the conversation you're trying to build with your target audience.