Keeping Up with the Knowns
Marketing is a moving target. We work in an industry that lies at the intersection of technology and human behavior, both of which are constantly evolving and influencing each other. The best thing I can do as a marketing professional is to stay on top of the industry news and to constantly be open to new ideas, tools and influences.
Everything Old is New Again
That being said, we don’t practice “throwaway culture” when it comes to ideas. Just because something new comes along every five minutes doesn’t mean that the old is discarded. We practice reinvention, recycling and renovation rather than outright rejection. The world continues to produce more and more and more tools for connecting with one another, and we have to figure out how to make all of those tools work together.
The Power of Print
Remember when people used to say that books would die out in the age of digital media? It turns out, humans are more attached to the tangible than we initially thought.
In one of our weekly Live Rag sessions, our marketing guru Jen Hanson spoke with a local professional about print media, especially direct-mail campaigns. Printing out a huge amount of advertising materials and stuffing them in every mailbox around used to be de rigueur. It was a “big net” approach to fishing, but it still managed a pretty good catch.
But then email and internet came along, and you could do the same approach without using any ink at all. At that point, lots of people ditched their flyers and postcards, stopped worrying about PO boxes and started collecting lists of email addresses instead. But it turns out, this is one of the many marketing areas where the new technology can actually work hand-in-hand with the Old School methods.
Digital Makes Print Even Better
What Jen’s discussion revealed were a bunch of ways clever marketers are using digital technology to reinvigorate print marketing: digital notifications for physical mail, tracking visitors who come to your website specifically because they saw your postcard, and even follow-up mailers for unique website visitors.
Old Dog, New Tricks
I’ve been working in websites a long time, and while I like to think that that makes me pretty on top of it when it comes to adapting to new ideas, I was fascinated by how much of a difference print marketing can make in this day and age. I spend so much time on the digital end of things that I hadn’t given it much thought before now. But holding a real, physical item in your hands triggers a different response in your brain than seeing an ad or email online. Put those two responses together, and you’re going to make an even bigger impact.