Is it time to revamp your marketing?

It's 2011, and most companies are trying to figure out how to gain market share and increase sales.

Manufacturing firms and distributors are no exception. Connecting with customers in today's information-rich environment requires more than a glossy brochure.

With the advent of social media, smart phones and websites that build virtual communities online, many companies are looking beyond print and into the world of cross-media marketing to bolster their success.

Cross-media marketing is a strategy to market your products and services using several different types of media to get the message out. This widens your exposure to potential customers. Instead of stopping at static mailing campaigns, for example, many successful companies integrate print and direct mail with the latest online technologies to get ahead of the competition.

Marketing PlanCross-media marketing opportunities

Direct marketing today requires a different approach. It's not about just printing and mailing anymore. Here are a few cross-media techniques to consider:

Personalized mail – We are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day. And nowhere is the competition for consumer attention as tight as in the mailbox.

Households in the United States receive over 150 billion pieces of mail each year. With all this clutter, it's no wonder that most people tend to open their mail over the wastebasket.

You can cut through the clutter with personalization – a technique that capitalizes on the information you already have about your customers to create mailings that rise above the din.

Start by customizing each of your pieces with your customer's name. Then, use individualized images and relevant content to reinforce your message and inspire your customer to learn more. Advanced personalization ties special offers to customer demographics, account history or purchase preferences to maximize the benefit of your marketing campaign.

Personalization helps your direct mail perform well beyond generic "junk" mail to command dramatically improved customer response.

Personalized URLs – According to the Direct Marketing Association, more than 42 percent of consumers prefer to respond to advertisements online.

Now you can integrate your direct mail pieces with personalized Web pages to establish a powerful one-to-one connection, generate more qualified leads and bridge the gap between printed and online marketing. Advocates of personalized URLs claim an increase in campaign response by up to 300 percent!

For example, when John visits his personalized Web page, he's visiting a website built specifically for his viewing and to support the direct mail piece he holds in his hand. The appearance and content of the landing page should match the direct mail piece, providing a consistent customer experience.

Personalized Web pages can dramatically increase the success of your marketing campaign because online customers are directed to relevant and tailored information, and it's easy to click-to-buy – a distinct advantage over print-only campaigns.

QR codes – Quick Response, or "QR" codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that are readable by mobile phones with a camera. Most people carry "smart phones" these days, and the power of QR codes is considered a revolutionary breakthrough in cross-media marketing.

While still emerging in the United States, QR codes are popular in Japan and Europe and provide a potentially big advantage in reaching new customers, especially as the general marketplace becomes more mobile.

These customized codes are placed on brochures, direct mail pieces, business cards and even posters or billboards. Interested customers simply point their phone, and customized information is immediately opened in the phone's browser.

You can include targeted discount coupons, personalized Web pages, product and service information, and much more. QR codes link printed pages to an online world in an instant and may be just the advantage you need reach new customers in a new way.

Moving forward

In today's economically challenging environment, all companies must do more with less. These cross-media marketing techniques help make the most of your marketing dollars.

Try revamping your campaign, and set your company apart from your competition with cross-media marketing.

 
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