How to combine print and digital marketing strategies effectively

Digital marketers have more digital marketing tools at their disposal today than ever before in history. Traditional forms of advertising such as print ads in newspapers and magazines are still very effective ways to promote a business in certain markets. The key is to learn how to combine print and digital marketing together.

Interestingly, Digital Marketing Institute reports that 72% of consumers want to contact companies through a variety of ways. Integrated campaigns blend online and offline advertising methods as a way to affordably reach the most people and convert prospects into customers.

While many companies spend the majority of their marketing budget on digital marketing, it makes sense for some businesses to spend marketing dollars on both digital and traditional marketing methods.

Determine your print and digital marketing strategy based on customer buying habits

Business executives recognize the logic behind a marketing plan that incorporates both digital and print promotional efforts. While there is no doubt that digital marketing budgets are growing for most businesses, it is important to acknowledge that print advertising still delivers results.

As long as people still read flyers, subscribe to magazines and newspapers, and open their snail mail, traditional print advertising offers a viable marketing vehicle.

The big decision facing business leadership revolves around deciding how to allocate marketing dollars to both digital and print campaigns. Evaluating marketing analytics is key for determining the return on investment (ROI) associated with each marketing tool used in the past. The demographics of your typical customer base offer critical insights into the best way to meet sales goals. For example, if a company’s average customer is 58 years old, then magazine and newspaper advertising may be an excellent option.

Conversely, if a business sells primarily to a target market of young adults on the go, then it makes much more sense to spend ad dollars online where this demographic spends most of its time.

Present a consistent message

In arguably, one of the most important objectives that marketing executives must consider is how to promote a consistent brand message that builds recognition and inspires trust.

As logical as this idea sounds, it is not always easy. ClearVoice claims that’s why it is critical that brand standards be agreed upon and written down.

No detail is too small as it relates to promoting a consistent image. A well-written guide provides direction about the brand’s voice related to editorial blogs and messaging. It also explains the correct usage of logos, taglines, and fonts for both print and online marketing campaigns.

Many companies require all marketing content be carefully evaluated for approval as a quality control measure to guarantee that it is consistent with brand guidelines. With so many freelancers and independent contractors contributing content for many companies, this type of operating procedure is a practical way to monitor brand messaging.

Effectively, a company’s brand image should be easily recognizable over all channels and platforms by any person who views the content. Even subtle marketing cues such as tone should be consistent from one marketing promotion to the next.

Utilize targeted and cheap digital marketing dollars

While traditional marketing still plays a significant role in many business models, digital marketing offers distinct advantages over traditional marketing in some important ways.

For one, it tends to be cheaper than traditional marketing efforts in terms of ROI figures. Additionally, digital promotions have leveled the playing field, making it easier for small businesses with lower budgets to compete for market share. Industries that were once prohibitive to enter without a huge cash investment are now open to smaller investors. For example, in the past, it would not be uncommon for a retailer to spend $300,000 to $500,000 minimally to lease and stock a retail store.

Comparatively, an entrepreneur can open an online store inexpensively by partnering with Amazon. Another advantage digital marketers enjoy is the ability to obtain customer information via analytics very quickly. Not only do analytics provide figures related to conversion rates and the number of website views, they also measure time spent on certain pages and other market research information that makes it easy for a company to adjust to what the customer wants.

Digital marketing is also highly targeted and allows marketers the ability to spread the financial risk across several channels instead of putting large sums of money into a single magazine spread or expensive newspaper advertising.

Social media has proven to be especially fruitful for many businesses. Forbes reports that over 60% of people check their Facebook page daily. Short message service (SMS) and email marketing are also highly effective ways to target market to a specific group of prospects for an affordable price. Getting the type of immediate feedback offered by real-time results from SMS and email marketing can provide important insights necessary to customize a company’s future messaging for better results.

Incorporate complementary marketing strategies for different purposes

Online and offline marketing tools offer different benefits. Strategic use of different marketing tools based on campaign objectives promises to be a prudent way to stretch marketing budgets. For example, marketing strategists can conduct an email or SMS marketing campaign to get some immediate feedback on messaging to test the waters before investing larger amounts of money on traditional marketing methods of interest.

There are always niche industries that demand offline advertising. For example, billboards are a good way to attract attention from bored commuters and travelers who are likely to look for a distraction roadside.

Hungry travelers on a road trip are much more likely to respond to a billboard advertising the best seafood in the city than to search online for a seafood restaurant in the area. Logistics matter.

Summary about how to combine print and digital marketing together

While the writing’s on the wall for companies who are seeking a youthful online consumer, traditional print advertising should not be cast aside completely. There is no substitute for timely and attractive print marketing that arrives in your mailbox at home precisely when you need it. Prudent marketers will continue to use online and offline marketing tools. They will master the art and science of how to best combine print and digital marketing together.

Abby Drexler is a contributor writer and media specialist for Coastal Business Supplies. She regularly produces content for a variety of business and marketing blogs.