Mixing it Up: Integrating Print and Digital for Successful Campaigns

THE CAMPAIGN IS ONE THAT MIKE FLANAGAN SAYS best represents the way marketers can successfully marry the worlds of print and digital. When a leading walk-in tub company was looking for a way to market its product, executives sat down with Flanagan and his ETW Digital team to brainstorm ideas. Selling the installation of the walk-in tubs to senior citizen homes—a major selling point for assisted living centers—the company needed to engage with both seniors and their children.

Based on the different demographics, the campaign had to match the target audiences for lead form submission. A walk-in tub installation is a multi-touch sale process where the children ultimately decide on behalf of their parents. ETW started by sending direct mail to the seniors with a call to action (CTA) of a phone call to the call center. A successful lead sent a printed brochure to the senior.

Simultaneously, a paid search and display campaign targeted their children by driving them to a landing page with a lead form CTA. A successful lead then sent an electronic brochure identical to the printed one, except the images were videos that better explained the product’s benefits.

“The integration of print and digital is likely to impact the future of marketing significantly,” says Flanagan, founder and President of ETW Digital. “As technology continues to evolve and consumers become increasingly connected, the integration of print and digital is becoming an increasingly important part of modern marketing.”

With more than 30 years of experience in multiple executive roles, ETW helps position clients like the walk-in tub company to grow, optimize and transform

their businesses into areas they may have yet to consider. By integrating print and digital campaigns, Flanagan says brands can reach a wider audience and engage with them more effectively. For example, by using complementary media and cross-promotion in the aforementioned campaign, it was able to reach multiple target audiences through multiple channels, increasing its chances of engagement.

“Audiences are consuming more media channels every day,” Flanagan says. “Brands gain trust and credibility with consistency across all media platforms. In the current climate where misinformation, phishing and hacking are rampant, a brand needs to establish consistency and maintain it.”

Take Subway, which came out with a logo for many digital platforms, but was used inconsistently in print and video. Consumers saw the logo on map apps but did not equate it to Subway. In this case, Flanagan says the first tenet of engagement—creating a cohesive message that can go across print and digital channels—was missed.

The salvo is three-fold:

Develop a consistent brand image Ensure your messages and images used in both print and digital are consistent and reinforce each other. This includes elements such as tone of voice, visual style and messaging.

Use complementary media Consider using complementary media, such as print ads in magazines or newspapers and digital ads on related websites. This will help reinforce a brand’s message and reach its target audience in multiple ways.

Cross-promote your campaigns Promote digital campaigns through print ads and vice-versa. This will increase the visibility and awareness of your brand and help create a cohesive message.

Find your target audience, identify your marketing goals, and secure your budget and resources. “A mentor once told me, ‘What can be measured can be optimized,’” Flanagan says. “[Things like a] website needs tracking pixels from paid and social media sites and Google Analytics tags to capture digital traffic. QR codes can be sent to different landing pages to track print ads separately along with unique phone numbers per ad. Understanding your target audience is critical in determining the most effective channels for reaching them.”

To drive the point home, the walk-in tub campaign is that example. If your target audience is older (seniors), print advertising may be more effective, while if it is younger (their children), digital advertising may be a better option.

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