Printing Puts 'Multi' into Multichannel Marketing

In an editorial by Vertis CEO, Quincy Allen, print is touted as the foundation of multi-channel marketing. "Consumers today communicate rapidly, via social networking, surfing the Web on the go, and texting from anywhere. Media innovations tied to these networks provide faster and easier ways to create messages relevant to target audiences. However, these methods must be implemented smartly, to generate maximum impact at multiple touch points, and to establish a direct consumer connection. These new media solutions are rewarding, but they can be challenging. And they remind us why it is important to keep a focus on tried-and-true methods—such as printed mail.

Because today's consumers are highly budget-conscious, they desire even more detailed product information and brand reassurance before making a decision to buy. Marketers must recognize this and respond—delivering clear, educational messages personalized convincingly to consumers' lifestyles and specific needs. Personalized messages delivered after an appropriate trigger point, such as a recent purchase or inquiry, go a long way in making a solid connection and in building loyal, life-long brand advocates.

At a time when measuring and proving strong return on investment is vital, the advent of digital marketing channels such as personalized Web pages (pURLs), dynamic e-mails, widgets and mobile messaging proves effective both strategically and financially to a company's bottom line.

Multichannel components play a much-needed role in increasing return on investment, not only because they relay a brand message across multiple consumer touch points, but because they provide greater measurement tools through marketing dashboards and the ability to understand real-time consumer interactions.

However, in the midst of all the forms of available communication, print remains a necessary link to consumers. Print media are relevant components of multichannel campaigns. Examples include designing print advertisements that drive consumers online for more information, personalizing direct mail pieces using variable data to drive consumers to a pURL, and using print-on-demand tactics to deliver tangible materials to those who make inquiries via the Internet."

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