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How to Combine Digital and Print for More Effective Marketing Campaigns

In a world that relies heavily on the use of technology and all of its benefits, we often wonder if print is still around and if it even benefits us anymore? The answer is, absolutely yes! Marketing has made significant advances with the explosion of digital technology, but print can play a critical role in a successful marketing campaign. Combing print with digital can result in marketing effectiveness that exceeds what either print or digital could achieve on their own.  The blend of the two can boost your customer engagement immensely and significantly increase your brand’s visibility. Print can be utilized to raise awareness of your digital assets and it adds variety to your marketing mix, which can help you stand out from your competition. So, what is print marketing? We see print marketing today in many different forms including direct mail, brochures and fliers. Sales materials may incorporate fact sheets and catalogs, print ads, stationery, business cards, and especially signage of all shapes and sizes. Any of these print tactics can be combined with digital to increase the reach and effectiveness of an integrated campaign.

Combining Social Media and Print Marketing

Social media is becoming an increasingly important marketing tactic. It enables personal conversations with customers, gets out information fast, and helps shape a brand’s personality. One of the best ways to combine social media and print is to use print materials to lead your customers to your social channels. You should always include your social media handles on any printed pieces to show your customers how and where to find you online. Social media can also be used to support your print marketing efforts. For example, you could feature a giveaway or promotional item on social. If you post a compelling offer on social, it is a great way to capture customer addresses that can be used as a basis for future direct mail campaigns.

Combining Websites, Email, and Print Marketing

There are some relatively new ways to utilize print materials to encourage customers to visit your website and even order product.  QR codes and personalized URLs can be incorporated in print that will link your customers to a web page or special e-invitation by simply scanning with a smartphone. For example, create and mail a print piece about a new product that includes an embedded QR code.  If customers scan the code, they can be taken to a page on your website that provides more detail about the product and an opportunity to order.

Leveraging Digital and Print Technology

Variable data printing is another technology that allows materials to be customized for individual customers. The text, color, and graphics can be changed to ensure the recipient gets something entirely personalized to them. Print can also be utilized with the creation of augmented reality (AR). AR can make a phone call, send an email, or reveal hidden text, animations, videos, and sound effects. There is a lot of interactivity involved with AR which makes it a great option for a unique and engaging integrated marketing tactic.

Creating the Most Effective Blended Marketing Campaigns

Although technology offers a lot of “shiny new toys” to build a marketing campaign with, all campaigns, even digital ones, still need to follow marketing best practices. Remember a clear call to action so your customers know what you want them to do. Make sure the information is valuable and relevant to your audience. Emphasize benefits of your product over features. Always track the results of your campaign and understand your ROI. To state the obvious, it makes no sense to spend a lot of budget on expensive digital and print tactics if they don’t generate a return. QR codes, promotion specific URLs, special response phone numbers or simply unique offer codes can all be very helpful in figuring out how much traffic you drove to your sites, or how many people engaged with your materials. Finally, find fun and unique ways capture and hold a customer’s attention. Remember that, while using digital tactics to break through the clutter and capture the attention of your customers can be very effective, there is a virtual digital sea of competition. It is getting harder and harder to stand out in the digital world. There are many print embellishments that can help you stand out, including foil, embossing, glossy or matte coatings, vivid colors and textured papers. Ironically, using print, which may seem “old fashioned”, might be the best way to stand out when everyone else is more focused on digital. At AlphaGraphics Minneapolis, we provide a full range of printing services and signs, including postcards, direct mail, posters, banners, stickers, large prints, window decals and wall decals.  We have graphic design experts who can help you develop marketing materials.  We also have resources to help you with digital marketing. To learn more go on our website at or call us at 612-340-1111

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