In a world where “global pandemic”, new normal and digitisation are phases you cant get away from, one thing is for sure, marketers across the globe are facing not only their everyday challenges of doing more with less, less resource, less funding, less time and less content but they are also dealing with goal posts continually changing; when businesses can re-open, changes to consumer buying behaviour, and in many cases when in fact they can promote aspects of their service or product offering.
Imagine being a travel operator, everyday in the press you see different dates when countries will open their tourism industries, when airlines will take to the skies and when the hospitality industry will once again be hospitable.
Or how about working in retail. You’ve still got physical stores that need to pay for themselves, yet the whole world is talking about the irreversible switch to online shopping and even though the Government has given the green light to open up non essential stores, is it enough to prepare your store of social distancing and open the door.
The take education, Universities have been hit hard, overseas students are hesitant to return and if they do there seems to be no clear indication of if learning will take place onsite or online. Its clear that online learning wont see universities filling student accommodation and therefore receiving the same levels of income seen previously, so universities no doubt will see increasing competition as they all fight for their share of the student £.
The list could go on of sectors that are seeing change and will continue to see change as the months progress, yet we, as marketers have been told now is not a time to pull back on marketing activity, we must remain at the forefront of our customers and prospective customers minds, we must consider and utilise all methods available to us, be they offline or online channels and we must cement our brands position, and we must be there with interesting and relevant propositions when our customer is ready to engage again.
WOW.. I feel tired and overwhelmed just writing the list of “musts”. So how can we as marketers plan all that activity when there are so many moving parts? Here are 3 things that might just ease that burden;
Combine Offline & Online Channels
The average consumer is faced with many thousands if not tens of thousands of marketing messages every day and we’ve been convinced that digital communications are currently the only way to reach our target audience. We call this a perceived area of opportunity because in fact the human brain can only process so much information and the more messages that are pushed the few the recipient will engage with and recall.
That’s where print comes in to play. Research has proven that physical, tangible pieces resonate with the recipient to a far greater extent than “on-screen” messages, however not only that but recipients are more likely to respond to a digital message if it follows up a printed piece such as direct mail or door drops. So yes, print can and should be included in the marcomms plan (and if you don’t believe us look at Amazon, Wayfair, ebay and Bloom & Wilde, all successful online retailers who use print to capture users imagination and drive them on lien to purchase)
Research tells us that over xx% of a marketers day is spent on low value administrative tasks with creativity squeezed in when and if there is time (sound familiar) and whilst we cant just flick a switch and have a “great idea” when we do we are often overwhelmed with the time and resource it takes to make that concept a reality.
However, it's also surprising that many of the tasks which we get tied up in can actually be automated. How many of us have actually spent time auditing our processes and tasks and refining our workflows. It might surprise you how many if the production aspects of marketing campaigns can be effectively automated from document production, through to proofing and distribution. Wouldn’t it be great if your data could drive the automated creation of your marketing materials based on your audiences behaviours/ Well guess what, it can.(but more of that later)
Cant believe a printer would tell you to print less? Well we said it. We need to stop thinking of print as a medium which needs to be planned months in advance to be produced on mass and to sit on a shelf until someone uses it (by which time its slightly dusty and out of date) Todays workflow automation and print technology allows you to very simply create personalised relevant documents in ones and twos not hundreds and thousands, printed and distributed to the customer when needed.
Take the university example above. Its possible now that a student could go online to view the university and based on the campus, courses and “interests” which the prospective student has searched for, a personalised document which only has relevant information for them is sent out the very next day to them (gone are the bulky, costly prospectuses of yester-year, hello personalised easy to use, document which is exactly what the recipient in interested in) and you’ll only print what you need when you need it meaning you can update the content at anytime.
So it is possible to be flexible to accommodate change, we can produce documents which engage customers and sit alongside and enhance our digital marketing efforts without huge swathes of resource and extremely deep pockets we just need to embrace the technology that allows us to embark on new approaches.
At Precision Proco we have all the technology and expertise you need to take your marketing activity to the next level by managing workflows and printing on demand and we’d love to work with you to do that. Give us a call or drop us an email and we’d be happy to start the ball rolling, because after all now has never been a better time to do things differently.