Ed #16 Digital Possibilities

To electronic media—and back.

Ed #14 told you, and it’s just as true today, that print’s ability to bridge the gap between media makes it a valuable part of the mix. Study after study have shown that direct mail is more effective than email at reaching consumers. Studies also provide a wealth of data indicating that print materials can drive increased online traffic and higher per-transaction spending (again, see Ed #14).

It’s more clear than ever that print can drive potential buyers to the virtual world; in the virtual world, your expressed interests and other information can drive highly personalized print that brings effective communication back to the physical world. It’s no longer two distinct worlds. They’re integrated in multiple ways, flowing naturally from one to the other and back.

As print drives traffic to the virtual world, it becomes easier to track, especially when it’s around personalized experiences. Online activity tied to a print piece offers yet another way to measure return on investment, or ROI, the holy grail of marketing communications. Print, made more effective by better data and personalization, leads to clicks that can lead, in turn, to sales.

Workflow technology is making it easier than ever to create a multimedia strategy. Automation makes Web-to-print efficiencies possible, simplifies versioning, optimizes files for different media and formats, and more, speeding the process while eliminating or greatly reducing human error. A print piece—seen so often as static communications—becomes an interactive pdf, optimized for tablet or smartphone viewing, with video or links to other resources embedded.

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