You’ve probably heard the term cross media being tossed around in your marketing meetings, but what is it exactly and how do you even begin? A cross media campaign uses targeted communication and delivers it across various multi-media channels. This can include everything from print and email to SMS text messaging. Every business, big or small, can utilize cross media campaigns to boost their client communication. In fact, you are probably using aspects of cross media in your 1 to 1 marketing without even noticing. A printed postcard containing a QR Code that directs customers to your webpage is a simple form of cross media marketing.
There is no one algorithm used to execute a cross media campaign successfully, but there are some great fundamental tips to help you with your marketing goals. These 8 tips have helped us at DOME create great marketing campaigns for our clients, and can help you get your campaign heading in the right direction.
Tip #1: Prepare your strategy
Your strategy is not just the technology or data. It also includes who are you try to target, what media outlets you want to use, and what goals you are trying to achieve from your campaign.
Tip#2: Know your client base
Your company is unique and so are your clients. They may respond to certain forms of media differently depending on their demographic. Understanding whether your clients respond better to print, email, PURLs and/or SMS messaging, will provide a higher ROI.
Tip#3: Track all your channels
Watch the response rates of each of your channels to get an idea of the best ways to reach your clients. You may find that more clients responded to your campaign from their mobile phone. On your next campaign you’ll want to make sure you include a well-developed mobile aspect.
Cross media marketing is most effective if all of the channels are integrated together. They should always reinforce the other channels in the campaign. Use common branding and similar messaging to tie all the components together.
Of course a printing company would love to tell you this, but it is true! Variable printing creates a more personalized direct mail piece and will improve your results.
Tip#6: Watch all metrics
Look at all of the metrics not just the response rate. Yes, it is fantastic to have great response to your campaign, but understanding the best time to contact clients, or where they are located will provide more variable metrics to your data. And you can use this information to refine your next campaign.
Tip #7: Make it easy to share
If you have a fantastic message, allow your client to share your content. The more viral your message goes, the more your business will thrive.
Tip#8: Always ask for feedback
A very important tip that often gets overlooked. Clients can provide you with the best feedback and help you create a better marketing environment for your business. Allowing your clients to fill out a survey can help you focus your attention and create a dialogue with your clients.
In a world where clients are looking for a more 1 on 1 approach and want to feel like they are important, cross media can provide be a very effective marketing tool. It’s funny how a simple direct mail piece that is personalized with the clients name and some personal information can have a greater impact than just a simple run of the mill piece. Cross media is your greatest friend for marketing.
Big Data! It’s the new hot term in the corporate world. But what exactly does it mean?
At it’s core, Big Data is basically a term the industry uses to describe an instance where your data set is so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. This type of data is analyzed to show information like trends and consumer interaction patters.
Traditionally, the data companies and marketers collect standard information like name, phone, email and address. With big data, you are collecting lists that may contain social media interactions, search histories, buying trends, etc. Not the typical lists that many marketers and mailing companies are aware of.
So why collect this big data information? It’s data that matters. You can now successfully measure helpful data to leverage and optimize the best opportunities to market your brand. Also, with the increased influx of data, you can create customer profiles, test assets, and determine the success of your marketing campaigns. The idea is to use your data to create a better one-to-one marketing strategy, helping increase your ROI. It’s hard to do that with only a name and address.
So the big question to ask yourself or your company is….Where do you start with all of this Big Data? You want to start by educating your team on what data information you want to focus on. The report from 360i.com, asks a great conversation starter, “If I knew…”. For example, If I knew what blog topics our clients were interested, how could I use them to improve our conversion rate to for new clients? What questions will help your company gain traction with clients?
As a print solutions provider, DOME has help many clients with their marketing plans. From PURL and Cross Media Campaigns to VDP (Variable Data Printing), cross media is a great way to collect and analyze your data. Set up campaigns mixed with creative strategies like personalized 4 color print pieces and responsive email designs.
So, what is Big Data? It is your company’s greatest ally! Using data correctly can help you retain clients, identify new leads, create better marketing plans, and make your advertising budget last. Start thinking of better ways you can leverage your Big Data now.
It is that time of year for companies and corporations, Annual Report season. This is not a real season but it is an important time for many companies to share the success of the previous year. At DOME, we have had many opportunities to design annual reports for companies, non-profit organizations and associations. You can say that we love to design annual reports. Its a great opportunity to run with a suggested topic and design a great layout with the theme and company brand in mind.
The purpose of this blog to show some of our favorite design concepts, that kept the company brand in mind and really expressed the theme at hand, from around the internet. Doing a basic Google search will allow you to view all sorts of designs, some creative and unique and some very similar in style. The following design, to me, are fantastic use of color, concept and creativity to really sell the message.
U-HAUL’s 2010 Annual Report created by Jacob Gilbreath
This has to be one of my favorite annual report designs. This design just uses the company branding and theme really well. Using the design of a packing box and layering elements through out the piece, creates a sense of everything U-HAUL has to offer. Check out the link for more detailed look.
Rosneft’s 2011 Annual Report created by VolgaVolga
I love the use of color and the creativity of using hand illustrated elements to convey the message from the companies identity.
Google’s 2014 Annual Report
I love the sharp edges in the design, along with the use of Google’s color palette. Very modern and clean design.
Wates Group 2010 Annual Report Design
I love the use of whitespace, the splash of color with the grayscale images. Very nicely designed.
The development of smartphone and tablet devices has ushered in a new age of receiving information and content faster. Companies are using email marketing to send upcoming events, information and new product release to their followers and clients. As some of you may know that web content needs to be responsive, adapting to the size and dimension of the display screen, or you are forcing the customer to expand or compress the window with their fingertips. I know, “it is not that difficult to maneuver the screen and adjust to your liking” but from experience, most customers will respond to content that is already adjusted.
Responsive Email design is relatively new to the email design, but it is not new to web design. Responsive email design is gaining in popularity with over 47% of emails opened are on a mobile device. Over 80% of people will delete an email if it doesn’t look good on a mobile device. The foundation that responsive design is built on is CSS3 and the use of fluid design.
of people delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile phone
At DOME, we are always experimenting and trying to implement responsive email designs in our email marketing campaigns. Whether it is weekly email messages or Cross Media Campaigns, we are trying to provide the best, fluid designs as possible. I want to outline our process in designing an email message, and provide our commentary.
STEP 1: Planning email campaign
When DOME receives a request to produce an responsive email design for a clients campaign, we start by outlining the design, determining the hierarchy of the design. It is always key to develop an email with your customer usage in mind. We have had different format of design, from splicing a photoshopped layout and adding links to each section, to providing live content with images next to or on top of the content.
Some of the issues we have come across here are trying to determine what will be live text and what will have to be image based text. Most email clients will not allow the use of background images and will throw them out of your design from the start.
When determining the responsive layout, you will have to determine the way the images and content will stack when the media query is in effect. The content will always stack in order from left to right, top to bottom. We made it a clarification from the start that if they want the image on top, the image needs to be on the left. This allowed us to keep our media query short and not have the email based solely on the query stipulations.
STEP 2: Design and Coding
When you finish with your planned email layout, comes the fun part, design and coding. Now a lot of articles online will tell you that certain email clients do not read responsive email CSS3 and will toss them out from the design. Mobile applications like: Gmail, Yahoo , and some Windows Phone OS do not accept responsive email designs.
Responsive Email Non-Supported Devices
|iPhone Gmail app||iPhone Yahoo! Mail app|
|iPhone Mailbox app||Android Yahoo! Mail app|
|Android Gmail app||BlackBerry OS5|
|Windows Mobile 6.1||Windows Phone 7|
|Windows Phone 8|
Now when I design the table, I found that it is always best to set the width of both the table and each column. Use a fluid design method and try not to use pixel widths. This could force weird scaling to the document. Use percent widths will always make the image fill the table section.
The next issue I have experienced is determining the exact size of the image. This is where you can use both pixel size or percent size. But make sure you use the align attribute for each column and table to place the image exactly where you want it.
STEP 3: Testing
Make sure you always use some form of email testing client, Like Litmus, to get an accurate email test for each email client available. The clients I always check, no matter how many times I refine my document, are Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, Gmail browser client, and Yahoo browser client.
Outlook will always be an issue. Outlook adds a 25 pixel buffer for each table. If you have tables next to each other, you will see an added space that is not in the code. It can create a lot of issues with your design and can cause your tables to stack. Some web clients will ignore you CSS and I always recommend using inline CSS together with a CSS in your head section.
If you are planning a design for a responsive email, remember to test, test, test and test until you are completely satisfied. Not every email client will accept your design how you want it, but it will help you refine to have something acceptable in all clients.
If you are interested in building responsive email designs for your campaigns, Litmus provides a great way to test your design and has a great amount of resources and inspiration for your design.
Comment below, anything I have missed or if you have your own stories about email design.
In one of our previous posts, we spoke about Augmented Reality and the ability to combine the digital and print world. Posted below are some sample videos portraying the use of AR and print together.
Augmented Reality Lego® Set
I believe Lego® utilized Augmented Reality effectively. Showing a 3D image of the product already constructed, allowing kids the ability to view Legos® in a 3D space.
NET-A-PORTER Allows There Customers to Window Shop
Fantastic example of interactive print and technology working hand in hand. Imagine using this technology on end caps on aisles and pop-up displays.
ABSOLUT Vodka Takes you on a Trip
Real cool example of size and scale the AR piece can be while providing information.
Tic-Tac Mints Offers up Trivia
Tic-Tac Mints provides some added content that you can thumb through on this creative bus stop add.
VW Takes you on a Test Trive with an Ad Space
VW has a lot of different examples of Augmented Reality ads. This one, for example, allow the viewer to watch advertisements come to life
So, what do you think is a creative way to utilize Augmented Reality in print? Feel free to post some more examples below!
Hearing that “print is dying” or “direct mail is not effective” because of the emergence of digital advertising spaces and the speed of social media is an uncreative thought. With preparation and planning, print can very well benefit from the digital world. Take Augmented Reality paired with digital printing. A digital world and a physical print world, working together to create a unique, personalized message for the consumer.
Augmented Reality, or AR, is a technology that will allow the user to view an enhanced “real world” view, connecting creative content with the user. AR is not a new technology. It has been used in TV, video games and film. AR can have a huge impact on print adverts and marketing campaigns, sometimes referred as “interactive print”. With Augmented Reality, people can scan an image with their smartphone or tablet to add an extra layer of information – whether it’s videos, audio clips, images or even links – directly on top of the printed piece.
Publications, like Elle and Maxim magazine, are using AR technology to provide interactive content for their readers. A recent article published by WSJ.com, talks about how Augmented Reality is gaining traction among recognized brands like Pepsi and Heinz.
At DOME, we can help our clients produce AR campaigns. Whether it is a cross media campaign, a printed large format item (like backlit posters and point-of-purchase items), or a direct mail piece, the ability to expand your message with interactive technology is endless.
What are your feelings about Augmented Reality? Do you feel like it is a gimmick or is it the next great form of cross media advertising? Comment below with your thoughts and check out our personal favorites when it comes to Augmented Reality and Print.