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Don’t let shiny new technology limit your marketing options

It’s hard to believe that January marked the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone.

Looking back, it’s shocking to consider just what kind of revolution that one piece of technology unleashed. With a single product launch Apple basically killed the Blackberry, while creating an exploding market for smartphones that eventually grew to include offerings from Android and Windows.

But the smartphone is also a lesson in unintended consequences. Texting and driving is now a major killer on our roads and there is a real problem with people trying to disengage from the ever-present connection to the world of knowledge we each carry around in our pockets.

The onward march of technology has become an irresistible force in our lives.

If it’s new it has to be better. Why buy an iPhone 6 when you can have an iPhone 7?

Technology is not only the driver, it’s also the distraction

Marketing works the same way. After all, who wants to pay for print when you can send an email for nothing?

Digital is cheaper. But it’s also ephemeral. It flashes in front of your eyes and then it’s gone.  It may not even get in front of your eyes as spam filters and Adblockers proliferate.

At the core of every great marketing campaign is communication — words and images that come together to convey a message.

“The medium is the message” – Marshall McLuhan

And the medium matters. Print material is real. It’s tangible. Banner ads and email marketing are cheap because they don’t deliver much response. They cover some ground but leave swaths of the target audience untouched.

A printed piece of personalized mail is handled. It’s read. It’s in the house for days. So even if it contains a similar message to the digital, print has a permanence and gravity that an email will never have. It’s part of the power of analog experiences. You’ll hear more about this more in future posts.

Every marketing campaign is communication - words and images that convey a message. Click To Tweet

For the last decade advertisers have chased after strictly digital solutions, waving dollar bills, only to find limited results. But nobody seems to complain because we now have an entire generation of marketers who have never used print at all and have no idea how effective a piece of admail can be. I read that during the U.S. election over $280 million was spent on direct mail, in concert with digital, TV, radio and social campaigns. It’s part of a successful marketing mix.

I’m happy to say that the pendulum looks to be swinging back toward the centre. Advertisers are not only looking at print again, some, who have been fully digital to this point, are finally seeing how print can make online marketing efforts better.

That’s because print and data are now integrated to such a degree that marketing automation allows such things as micro-targeted mailings based on the browsing and purchase history of customers in real time.

So maybe it’s time for you to look at your marketing efforts and see how you can find more success by integrating print back into your marketing plan.

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