Digital strategies have become the primary focus of many marketers in recent years. The bulk of business communications have moved online, with e-newsletters, social media posts, and other efforts focused on driving traffic to websites. This makes ROI easier to demonstrate because clicks can be tracked; however, there are some benefits to offline tactics that we might be sacrificing in the process.
Marketing is all about touch points, and there are three critical things to consider when attempting to maximize the value of these touch points:
1. Messaging. Is what you’re saying interesting to your audience?
2. Reach. Will this method of communicating reach your desired audience?
3. Frequency. How do you balance the need to reach the audience often enough to stay top-of-mind without annoying them and driving them away?
The number of touch points needed to make an impact can vary by industry and individual business, but it’s usually no fewer than eight. If your only means of communicating with your audience is quarterly newsletters, you’re probably not getting in front of them often enough. If you don’t have the content or the time to create more newsletters, you should look at another communication tool to help supplement your outreach plan.
This is where stepping “off-line” can be a great option. Print media pieces have not gone away, and they have their advantages. For example, an eye-catching postcard can be a great reminder for your customers or prospects after you have shared product information in an email or on your social channels. How many times have you seen something online that catches your attention, but when you are ready to buy, you can’t locate the details? A postcard or other mailer is something a prospect can keep handy if they know they are interested and are going to want to reach out to you at some point. Well-designed print pieces are a great complement to you marketing campaign.
Another thing to consider: many of your potential customers are not in front of a computer as part of their regular jobs. Computers may seem ubiquitous—but think about people like manufacturers or hospital personnel. Their jobs keep them moving, so is email always the best way to communicate with them? Probably not. A quality print piece will help you get important information to them. And if YOUR employees are usually on the move, consider creating a traditional printed employee newsletter. It’s a great way to share important updates and highlight employees who are deserving of kudos. Employee recognition is a valuable retention tool, as well.
At the end of the day, a solid communication plan (both internal and external) is as good as its execution. A variety of tools, including both online and printed, are available to help you meet your goals.