To be heard in this digital age, brands must deliver consistent and relevant experiences to consumers across many different channels, including traditional ones like direct mail. Print is a tangible touchpoint in the customer journey and makes an impact when incorporated into a larger omnichannel marketing strategy. It’s also increasingly customizable, thanks to advancing digital printing technology.
“One of the inherent benefits of digital printing is the ability to execute a more personalized marketing strategy using variable data capabilities,” says Lily Harder, VP of research at Mintel Comperemedia. “Marketers who can harness the power that data provides will be more competitive across all marketing channels, both digital and traditional.”
In her Keynote at BRAND United University’s upcoming “Digital Printing for Professionals” course, Harder will address how brands can marry digital and traditional communication tactics to create more engaging customer experiences.
Below, Harder shares her perspective on print marketing and the value of a continuing education course such as “Digital Printing for Professionals.”
How can digital print enhance the customer experience?
Print offers a tactile communication experience that provides a longer lasting connection, both emotionally and physically. Print offers customers the ability to better visualize the brand engagement than any digital channel can. And print’s ability to connect customers online through QR codes or clickable paper can make the shopping experience even more convenient than being in a store.
What common traits do you see among successful omnichannel campaigns?
The most successful omnichannel campaigns are able to weave a consistent brand identity across all channels without duplicating the same campaign. The other key to omnichannel success is being able to connect channels to one another, bringing customers and prospects from awareness to conversion with the minimum number of touchpoints possible.
What are the benefits to attending a program like Digital Printing for Professionals?
Events such as this are essential for gaining the breadth and depth of knowledge that industry professionals need to stay competitive. Sharing knowledge on what’s working and what’s not working so well can be an incredibly valuable learning experience for marketing professionals across all industries.
How can brands and agencies get more value from their print budgets?
Even if you can’t match the breadth or scale of the leading players in your industry, you can still get a lot of bang for your marketing buck. The key is in a more tailored approach to reaching the right target audience with more impactful campaigns that will really move the needle as opposed to just adding to the clutter. The other key to maximizing your marketing budget is to take advantage of digital marketing and social media. These channels should not be used in a silo, but as part of an omnichannel approach; the sum can be greater than the parts.
What innovative uses of print have caught your attention lately?
I love to see print marketing that uses the channel for both awareness and an experience. I have seen some innovative digital-first brands that don’t have a brick and mortar presence using QR codes or augmented reality in direct mail to not only raise awareness of the brand, but also create a unique experience that lets the recipient engage with the brand from the comfort of their own home.