Improving Your Marketing Communications
Key strategies for success
When marketing to today’s consumers, there’s really only one certainty: it’s not getting any easier. As human beings, consumers have their own unique preferences about how they like to shop, how they spend their money, and how they want to be marketed to. A campaign that proves quite successful among one group of consumers might fall completely flat with another. Further complicating matters is the fact that consumer preferences are anything but static; they are constantly evolving as people respond to the phenomenon that surround them (global pandemic and economic recession, anyone?). As consumer preferences evolve, marketing communications must also evolve. Here are some key strategies for effectively reaching the consumers of today and tomorrow.
Establish an Omni-Channel Presence
Most consumers want brands to communicate with them via physical as well as digital channels. Staying top-of-mind requires consistent and repeated touchpoints through a variety of channels, including direct mail, e-mail, text messaging, video, and social media. Modern consumers expect to be marketed to via several methods, but the experience must be consistent and seamless across all channels.
Even in today’s digital age, printed marketing communications can still have a big impact. When you use printed pieces in your own promotional efforts, you are demonstrating more than a technique—you are modeling print’s continued effectiveness and relevance. It’s also important to demonstrate the role that print plays in connecting users back to the digital world via personalized URLs (pURLs), quick response (QR) codes, bar codes, personalized videos, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and near-field communication (NFC) tags. Using tools like these in your printed communications shows consumers that print can be an effective gateway to the e-world, and that it remains an important component of a cross-media campaign.
In addition to your digital efforts, sending out a printed piece every two months or so is a good pace for keeping you top-of-mind with customers and prospects. One caveat: It’s more important than ever to reach your customers where they are. Since the onset of COVID, more people are working from home than ever before, and the workforce of the future will probably represent a more hybrid model with a combination of remote and office working. As such, list management must be a top priority.
More Is Better!
According to Red Crow Marketing, most people are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements every day. This is a staggering number and in this era of information overload, some marketers might be tempted to deliver fewer touchpoints. As it turns out, though, recent research from Keypoint Intelligence reveals that most consumers want to be contacted by brands—especially if they have a relationship with them. In fact, over half of consumers want to receive daily or weekly communications from the brands they already do business with. Even with brands where there is no pre-existing relationship, over three-quarters of respondents still wanted these brands to reach out at least occasionally.
|Ideally, how often would you like to receive marketing communications from
the following businesses?
Perhaps even more strikingly, consumers under the age of 35 wanted to communicate with brands even more frequently than their older counterparts. This was true regardless of whether a relationship with the brand existed.
Focus on Automation
Data-driven applications should be a key area of focus for all marketing departments. Implementing automated processes can make your communications more efficient, while also enabling you to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Some businesses continue to struggle with modernizing their processes and workflow. Workflow automation has been a key requirement to make this transition and will remain important as the industry makes the next transition from custom manufacturing to smart print manufacturing (SPM). Intelligent use of data will ultimately enable varying levels of autonomous print production, but this is still years away. Today’s marketers must focus on increasing their levels of automation because it is a foundational prerequisite to SPM.
Not surprisingly, Keypoint Intelligence’s software investment research confirms that automation levels are increasing. In relation to last year, more respondents reported that they had some levels of automation, or that their workflows were mostly automated. Meanwhile, the share of respondents who reported mostly or completely manual processes was down.
|Levels of Automation|
Moving forward, automation tools will be more important than ever for improved marketing communications. In addition to identifying changes that need to be made, these tools can help ensure that your messaging is timely and relevant.
Brands that are able to strike a chord with their marketing messages can uncover a wealth of opportunity. A solid marketing campaign must consider the likes, dislikes, and unique preferences of a targeted audience rather than attempting to lump everyone into a generic, all-encompassing category. Today’s consumers expect brands to reach out to them via multiple touchpoints, which calls for new and innovative ways to stay connected. By combining the physical with the digital, businesses can better connect with their audiences, add more value to the customer journey, create more leads, and ultimately drive more sales.
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