How to Use Print to Optimize Consumer Experience in 2015


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If you’ve ever had a superb customer experience, you certainly want your customers to feel the same way when they interact with your business. For consumers to have the best possible experience with you, you must start from your first moment of contact— your marketing — and make it engaging and memorable. Many factors play into this. How applicable your message is to prospective customers’ lives; how cleverly it’s presented; how trustworthy it appears — all these and more will affect the conversion rate of a casual observer into a lifelong brand advocate.

Print marketing will be one of your best allies in crafting an ad campaign that consumers can get excited about. When you discover why print is great for connecting with the public, you’ll be able to succeed in your business approaches.

Make Them Remember You

Your promotional efforts won’t bring in much traffic or revenue if the people who saw them can’t remember you afterward. No matter how clever your digital ads may be, they can tend to get lost in the endless online shuffle and noise. However, if you anchor the awareness of your brand into viewers’ minds with a few strategically thought out print pieces, Chief Marketer shows that their action rates can rise as high as 79%.

Don’t listen to the naysayers trumpeting the death of print. At least 67% of Americans still prefer to hold a direct mail notice or other promotions in their hands, also according to Chief Marketer. When you engage consumers’ tactile memory, you gain a supplemental route into their top-of-mind brand awareness (along with visual memory). The success of sensory marketing, which also incorporates music and scent, proves that expanding into print (and other avenues) is a worthwhile strategy.

Advertising professionals from all over the country are still very confident in how the unique nature of print makes it a necessity for clear, trustworthy communication — even in our rapidly digitizing world. This is especially true in the case of marginalized groups, such as the blind and epileptic, who may not respond well to the fast-paced visual nature of electronic marketing.

Give Them a Gift

Who doesn’t love getting presents? They are to be expected with birthdays and other holidays, but when someone gives you a gift for no reason, it can make you ecstatic. That’s the kind of impression you want to leave with your customers. If you get some high-quality branded items printed and use them to surprise new or loyal patrons, you can achieve a 66% brand recall rate and 79% customer retention, among other benefits!

Are promotional products still viable? Given how they tend to stick around, and make recipients more likely to remember you, we say yes. If you go this route with your marketing, be sure you select a printer whose items are known to function well and demonstrate good quality. Handing out cheap trinkets will not reflect well on your name — nor will you build a good reputation if you gift items that look cool, but have little to do with your company. People will remember you more favorably if your branded items fit your overall business environment, so keep that in mind.

Enrich Their Online Engagement

Marketing campaigns on social media are crucial to your visibility, but every marketing effort has their pros and cons. For example, if people aren’t online at just the right time, they may completely miss your posts due to the sheer amount of people trying to speak to them through a digital medium.

Using print to point people online (mentioning your social handle, including a hashtag where they can connect with you, etc.) will work wonders for your digital engagement. Print reinforces your online efforts and gives them a measurable reach. Once you’ve identified the brand story that you want to tell, you can use online and offline media to weave it together in an ongoing way that keeps consumers wanting more.

Print also gives you more opportunities for personalization. It’s one thing to reply to a tweet with a simple, “Glad you liked it!” Though you’ve acknowledged the customer directly, what you’re saying doesn’t feel that unique or special. But with many people — even among the younger generations — preferring to be communicated with offline, you can really make their day by sending them a short note through the mail to thank them for their engagement with your business.

Make sure it’s clear why you’re sending your appreciation through the mail. The customer interaction that you’re celebrating can be a recent purchase, a long history of loyal brand advocacy, or both! Not only do people feel like you care about them as individuals when you perform gestures like this, but print strategies can also greatly increase your brand trustworthiness.

Build Their Trust

Marketing Sherpa has found that people still trust print sources over almost any digital content. Our subconscious mind tells us that if someone has the resources to put information into so final a format as print (it’s a lot harder to edit last month’s magazine issue than yesterday’s Facebook post), they must have taken great pains to be sure about what they’re saying. A well-stated message only increases the trust factor of a printed marketing piece.

Additionally, readers trust good content far more than the obvious product plug or press release. This means that if you can get good material printed in your own publication, or even in someone else’s, your reliability rating among consumers is going to take off. It’s also why so many companies issue retractions, apologies, and important announcements in print. The handheld component enhances the feeling of sincerity while conveying to the recipient, “This was meant specifically for you.”

With print, you’re looking to create a better consumer experience for your company. Before every new product release, engineers spend hundreds of hours refining and beta-testing their concepts so that when the item finally hits the market, the user experience is the best that it could be. They know that this is how they cultivate happy customers. A marketer’s goal should be the same. Reaching people in the way that they want to be reached is how you create positive memories that turn first-time browsers into returning buyers. Print is an essential part of this.

What part has print advertising played in your promotional strategy? Share your experiences, advice, or questions in the comments below!

Katherine Halek
Katherine Halek is the lead advertising and print strategy advisor at Signazon, leading online printers that provide marketing collateral for thousands of small businesses around the United States. Katherine enjoys writing about social media, content marketing, and the ins and outs of advertising. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.


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