Are you trying to win your customers’ and prospects over by proving to them the value of print and the effectiveness of personalized communications? Here’s a lesson I’ve learned over the years: we as humans are very simple in nature and often find it difficult to think outside our own experiences.
Translation: If your customers aren’t doing something today, they likely aren’t putting much thought into it for tomorrow. They have limited time and resources, often reverting to their comfort zone and pre-existing mindset.
To open them to change, you need to show them. But don’t show them with pie-in-the-sky ideas. They won’t be able to relate. Instead, show them how you can significantly improve something they are already doing today. For marketers, a great conversation-starter is how you can make their customer communications event more targeted and relevant.
Take print, for example. Let’s say your customers’ are already experimenting with printed mail. Maybe they’re even using some basic, superficial personalization. But does a direct mail with ‘Hi <First Name>’ plastered on the front really grab anyone’s attention anymore and motivate a purchase decision?
But if that same piece had information on what they had just purchased, included a companion product offer and maybe even a discount coupon, then I would say you may have the start of something. And, if you could make it easy to purchase that product through a Personalized URL (PURL) or QR Code, providing additional value and convenience, then I would say you are really onto something.
Without knowing me or my buying habits, an artificially-personalized direct mail piece has about as much a chance of getting noticed as those annoying sales calls masqueraded as surveys we all get at home (and usually during dinner). However, sprinkle in some relevancy and your printed piece suddenly got a lot more interesting.
Today we spend a lot of time talking about the power of digital print. But at the same time, for many years, we thought of this only in the context of short run (static or variable) and on demand.
Now I know what you’re going to say. “Hey, Inkjet is only for super long runs and it’s expensive!?” Well, maybe. I would say it’s intended for longer runs, but it also provides high-speed and this means faster turn times (I like the term ‘burst capacity’) with the ability to print at the very last minute and, yes, every page can be different (variable).
Expensive? Perhaps the upfront costs to refresh and retool your conventional solution for shell printing and aging mono laser variable solutions could be. But consider what it costs you today to produce a variable printed piece in touches and headcount just to get that job out the door. Not to mention, those conventional processes are limiting you from being able to offer more creative personalized and colorful, eye grabbing solutions.
Digital provides flexibility and enables the ability to dream and create. Inkjet not only provides high speed but also provides manufacturing efficiencies and has the ability to further drive down your cost to manufacture.
So the next time you’re going to try and win more print business from a marketing professional, try thinking like them. Understand how they are marketing today and show them examples through print of how they can be marketing tomorrow.