Print stages a comeback

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Print stages a comeback
Print stages a comeback
"QR codes seemed like a natural opportunity for fans to engage with the Gillette Young Guns beyond the magazine page," says Kristen Gugliotta, external relations manager at P&G Grooming, over e-mail. "The Gillette Young Guns print ad drives consumers to both the Gillette YouTube channel, as well as the Gillette Facebook page." The Gillette print component of the campaign will be extended to point-of-sale materials and promotional materials handed out at sporting events later this year.

When it comes to printing successful QR codes, Andy Bear, director of business development at commercial printing conglomerate Quad/Graphics, recommends keeping it simple. "The trick is to get the code as small as possible and as readable as possible, so that it is easy to scan," he says. "The more data in a QR code, the harder it is for cell phones to read, so the trick is to make the URL short and you can use a redirect if you want to lead to a more complicated website."

Tying a print campaign to digital allows marketers to make their print more dynamic, even after it is printed. For example, marketers can create various QR codes that connect to different landing pages. Incorporating digital elements to a print marketing campaign also 
allows the marketer to take advantage of the strengths of both channels — impact in print and speed online.

"If a marketer created a campaign with four QR codes, each with a unique landing code page, and then discovered that one or two were performing better than the others, they can redirect all of the QR codes to the most successful landing page," says Ron Myers, director of multichannel marketing at Quad/Graphics. "The same goes for a coupon. The life of the QR code can go on as long as the printed materials are floating around." 

Magazine industry pushes change

A US Postal Service update to its periodical content rules last July gave marketers a new route to send creative print materials at a discount. Click here to read.

"We have heard talk about the multichannel approach for a long time, but now we are really doing it," adds Lori Andresen, VP of production services at The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks. "The good thing about print is it is so tactile. As the digital world gets busier, print can offer an alternative that stands out."

Multichannel ties it all together

Cablevision Systems Corp. launched a multichannel campaign in January to promote its Optimum Triple Play service, where consumers can receive a bundled pricing rate by signing up for digital TV, online and phone services. Its print effort stood out as it printed 300,000 3-D glasses and then distributed them through direct mail and FSIs in newspapers. The 3-D glasses supported the company's 3-D direct response commercial, which aired at 25 New York-area Clearview Cinemas, as well as online. Another 2-D version of the ad ran on broadcast TV as well. 

The Cablevision microsite for the campaign included the ads and a 1-800 number to call to sign up for the cable service. In addition, visitors could enter a sweepstakes to win prizes such as 3-D TV sets, tablets and digital phones, by opting in to receive marketing communications through e-mail and mail. The site 
also included behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the 3D spot. 

"One of the most significant aspects of these kinds of multichannel campaigns is the ability to track a consumer from a print piece through the website, and then be able to continue the conversation in different media," comments Shelley Sweeney, VP and general manager for the Data Center Service Bureau Segment at Xerox Worldwide Graphic Communications Business. 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA, which manages about 100 churches in Pennsylvania, learned the importance of building an ongoing conversation across channels in a recent campaign. It worked with direct marketing agency Cathedral Corp. on a campaign that put print and PURLs at the core of the retention and fundraising goals. It sent a series of three 
direct mail postcards to 5,000 lapsed donating members of the diocese. These members had previously given money to the church but not in the last four years. 

The postcards asked members, "What does being Catholic mean to me?" with a different response on each side. The first read, "It means I belong." The second reminded them who their local priest was with the text, "It means I have a caring pastor." The third connected them to the larger picture with the answer, "It means I am a part of something bigger than myself."

Each postcard contained a PURL that drove recipients to personalized landing pages with individualized marketing messages based on the patron's demographics and local parish. For example, the landing page might include the recipient's name and a photo of their local priest, with information about church events in their community. About 7% of those who received the postcard went online to visit their personalized page.

"What helps people feel more connected with their faith is feeling like they belong to a community," says Joseph Hoag, director of stewardship and annual 
appeals at the Diocese of Erie. "By using PURLs to reach out to these lapsed members, we could connect to them in a personal way and remind them what it means to be a Catholic and connect them to the local priests and members of their faith community. Your faith community should tell you that you are important because of who you are, and make you want to connect with your local parish."

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