Corporate marketing is full of never-ending tasks: some exciting, while others tedious and flat-out exhausting. Marketing managers are expected to more. They need to support sales, franchise and distribution partners, and even product teams, too. And everything is always labeled “ASAP.”
Yes, we know.
For those in digital marketing, tasks include email marketing, social media advertising, and Google AdWords campaigns with print barely making it into the mix. Not unless print and mail becomes an automated part of what you do everyday.
That’s what this blog article is about.
It's a trap most marketers continue to fall into. They treat print as a standalone component when print must be truly integrated into the digital marketing mix.
Not everyone has drank the kool-aid though. There are really good marketing teams out there that have mapped out the sales process and are already integrating digital workflows to push out messages at the right time. The same can be done with print.
The key is knowing when to print and mail timely, personalized communications. Where in the customer journey is this merited?
One of the reasons why marketers haven't taken advantage of print is because they’ve become too digital. But even in the digital era, direct mail makes sense. Often times, print only comes into the picture when it's an obvious "have to." In other words, printing for events and printing to support sale. But what about proactive printing that is mapped into your customer journey?
Please allow me to explain.
The other day, I saw the light when I stepped into the customer journey for a plush Sleep Number mattress. Wow, what an experience! There's plenty to learn from this Sleep Number. They clearly know how to tie print and mail automation into their sales process.
The moment I visited a retail location, I was prompted to sign in for a sales presentation. That’s when I was queued for a series of email blasts and direct mail campaigns using their fabulous CRM. All of the communications would be completely personalized to me and my Sleep number. This is the way marketers need to start thinking. How can we create personalized experiences off and online? One of the reasons why I believe some marketers are not already doing this is because they aren't aware of the tools to integrate both.
Using triggers for efficient automated print and mail campaigns.
Another reason why marketers haven't fully leveraged print workflows is because they think it is extremely expensive, not measurable, and a waste. This is absolutely not true, just read this article about how to track the ROI of posters and flyers. Things have changed and printing for the masses in large scale is not the best way to go. Not unless you are supporting a large sales force with marketing tools, brochures, booklets, etc.
Direct mail, on the other hand, should be trigger-based. This means that as soon as leads are generated, marketing pieces are flagged for printing with an automated print and mail software in place.
The print and mail automation software should be able to tell you how many pieces are being printed, where, and to who, feeding this data back into your marketing automation system. Though this sounds sophisticated, it is fairly easy to do and we're willing to show you the way. To see examples of how we've been able to do this, take a look at our case studies.
We mapped out this process for Oceania Cruises as well as Nickelodeon with all of the quality control features in place to avoid waste, bad mailing addresses, and unnecessary printed products. The nice thing about all of this is that we're able to minimize cost for each client along the way, giving marketers more control over how printing adds value to their customer acquisition programs.
Knowing how to automate print and direct mail campaigns, is knowing how print can drive sales. We can report this information back into your CRM or the marketing automation program, showing you which customers or leads participated in a particular campaign. That’s power and true marketing automation at its best.