It’s all about human behavior triggers. That’s one of the first things John Sisson will tell you when the topic of connecting with your consumers comes up. His firm, the Wilde Agency, works closely with its diverse client base to devise the perfect strategies for influencing consumer behavior.

Find out how the consumer likes to communicate, and you find an opening into their psyche. These days, the trend that marketers continue to ride is Omni-channel marketing, the strategy that makes your brand’s content or messaging available in ways that the consumer can decide where and how they want to interact with you. When done effectively, you can create unique value-driven experiences to reach your target audience.

Experienced and successful marketers like Sisson know that one of the biggest parts of brands differentiating themselves starts with how they structure their Omni-channel marketing campaigns.

Take a recent campaign the Wilde Agency did with a major insurance company. The company wanted to reengage financial advisors who recently had stopped selling its products. While a huge player in the insurance game, its role in the financial sector was much smaller. Knowing that advisors have a small list of “preferred providers,” Wilde needed to find a way to grab the attention of financial advisors, reboot the conversation, and emphasize that the insurance provider understood the challenges its customers faced.

To deliver the message, Sisson and company knew they had to go big. The crux of the high-impact, multi-channel campaign involved a special gift – a framed personalized dimensional mail piece with the advisor’s name in the caption. Sidestepping the typical “Dear Advisor” letter, the Wilde team felt that the personalized campaign captured the sentiment that could resonate with each advisor – a sentiment they could use as a conversation starter with their clients or other advisors.

In the end, the campaign helped generate $68 million in new revenue for the insurance provider.

In the world of Omni-channel marketing, every channel is at a brand’s disposal – email, social media, mobile apps, search engine optimization, as well as traditional forms such as print, direct mail, TV, etc. The Wilde Agency’s use of email and direct mail, combined with some unique personalization in the insurance company campaign, epitomizes the unique opportunities available today.

And that means print. While print is one of many options in the Omni-channel marketing strategy, it is the perfect vehicle when physical presence is needed for the audience to consume the message.

“Print has the advantage of delivery verification, personalization and the introduction of leveraging senses beyond sight to touch,” says Sisson, president of the Westwood, Mass., marketing agency. “With first class postage in particular, you can verify the recipient got your message. With good list validity and audience perception, you can personalize the print communication to be more effective.”

Such is the power of the printed piece. Through innovative use of substrates, a brand can take advantage of the “feel” of the piece to influence response and connect with its audience. “Touch isn’t something you can get digitally,” Sisson says. “In addition, if the piece is something that can be manipulated, it will be something that lasts. You can delete an email, but if the mail piece is something you can interact with, you’ll have a tendency to keep it longer.”

There are other engagement factors involved with print, too. For example, it enables the campaign to connect digitally through strategies such as augmented reality (AR), barcodes and QR codes. “There are reasons to connect print to the Omni-channel environment,” Sisson says. “Personalization in print is key. With a data driven environment, you can personalize print to drive relevancy with the audience.”

Refracting Choices

In a time when technology and how people use it is growing and changing every day, finding the “perfect” channel doesn’t exist anymore. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 30 percent of the world’s population surfs the web. Those numbers translate into 2.9 billion people.

In an internet minute, we send 200 million emails, perform 4.1 million Google searches, share 3.3 million Facebook items, send 433,000 tweets, download 195,000 apps and upload 100 hours of YouTube content.

The moral of the story: Deliver your message across all channels or run the risk of it falling upon deaf ears, so to speak.

Sheri Jammallo lives this life every day. As the Corporate Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager for Canon Solutions America, she works closely with customers to hone their marketing strategies. Her message: The objective of any effective Omni-channel marketing strategy is to deliver a seamless, integrated and consistent customer experience, across all channels.

“Today’s consumers have more choices than ever before, so it’s incumbent upon you to deliver the right messaging, at the right time, through all the right channels,” Jammallo says. “Wherever, or however, a customer interacts with a company – receiving a billing statement, direct mail piece, email, visiting a company’s website or Facebook page – having an integrated, personalized, meaningful communication approach across all channels is becoming the norm.”

The moral of the story: Deliver your message across all channels or run the risk of it falling upon deaf ears, so to speak.

And along with channels such as direct mail, Jammallo believes print, particularly inkjet printing, has emerged as an important part of the multi-channel mix today. In 2015, print accounted for nearly one-third of the overall communications spend. Compare that to mobile, which accounted for just 12 percent, and you see that it takes seven to 10 exposures for a target to “see” a message.

“That means you have to get your message in front of the customer at every turn in the hopes of racking up a sufficient number of exposures,” Jammallo says. “When it comes to printing that message, production inkjet has clearly become the mode of choice, and is growing dramatically. Production inkjet printing presents opportunities to engage in new and exciting ways. Incorporating data-driven content and technologies like mobile barcodes into documents – often in full-color – is driving interaction in other channels. Adding more color to customer statements, highlighting an area in color or just calling attention to a phone number can create a better user experience.”

“Production inkjet print presents opportunities to engage in new and exciting ways. Incorporating data-driven content and technologies like mobile barcodes into documents – often in full-color – is driving interaction in other channels.” – Sheri Jammallo, Corporate Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager, Canon Solutions America

Production inkjet has capabilities that make it ideal for producing customized marketing messages efficiently, cost-effectively and at very high speeds. With data-driven inkjet, marketers can vary the content, the images or graphics, and the use of color to support any particular offer and creative treatment desired. “Inkjet is well suited for smaller test runs to enable marketers to determine what combination of variables will get the recipient to take the desired action,” Jammallo says.

In the end, good marketing strategies are about the audience first. When you understand the audience and the product/service/offer, you can identify the appropriate messaging and segmentation. Add an understanding of the company’s competitive position and its differentiation, and you can devise a comprehensive plan.

When it comes to print, Sisson says you know when and how it will work. “When the decision of what channels are appropriate can be determined, vehicles like print have advantages, which for some audiences, products and campaigns makes sense. If those advantages help further the results for the client, we recommend print.”

The Inkjet Factor

4 ways print can help your Omni-channel marketing strategy

  1. Allows marketers and service providers to address omni-channel communication expectations –
    Personalization, customization, tracking & measurement
  2. Provide a seamless customer experience –
    Accurate data provides relevant and meaningful communication
  3. Empowers personal and targeted messaging –
    To drive response rate to a specific call to action
  4. Enables communications in color –
    White Paper in Inkjet Production Print technologies provides the ability for customized omni-channel communications

Source: Canon Solution America’s “Addressing the Market Shift in Digital Print: The Opportunity for Print in Omni-Channel Communications”