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Paper & print focus: How can print and digital be integrated in the marketing mix?


By Katie McQuater, Magazine Editor

August 8, 2013 | 5 min read

The Drum speaks to Arjowiggins, Antalis, Liaison Print Management, SEA Design, Canon and FESPA to discuss integrating print into the wider marketing mix.

Digitally printed papers by MyPrintFolio and Arjowiggins Creative Papers

As part of a series looking at trends in paper and print and what the medium offers marketers, including a look at the role of print in a digital world, The Drum caught up with a cross-section of those operating across the paper and print industries to get their views on how digital and print can be integrated as part of the marketing mix.

Jonathan Mitchell, managing director, Arjowiggins Creative Papers Research has shown that cross media campaigns deliver the highest response rates. Powerfully designed, high-quality print firmly establishes a brand’s positioning and the value it places on its customers and can create an emotional bond and brand loyalty. Digital is best used in combination for follow-up and immediate contact for news and brief information. It is at its most powerful when generating buzz through online and social media but nowadays probably seen as weak as a cold call email tool as click through rates tend to be declining as the digital space is getting very crowded.

Danny McNeil, associate director, SEA Design We are really interested in where the two overlap. Digital technology has been quietly revolutionising the print industry for years. Recent advances have seen new digital presses handle a huge variety of textures, colours, recycled papers and non-paper-based substrates.

Our piece for GF Smith showcased its portfolio of digital papers as well as the technological potential of the latest digital presses. Without the restrictions posed by plates on lithographic machines, one of the most exciting possibilities offered by digital print technology is ‘personalisation’ or ‘variable imaging’ – allowing for unique prints to be produced from an established document framework. Conventionally this technology allows for personalised text – name and address information for example. We extended its use to printing a series of 10,000 unique abstract digital illustrations, drawing inspiration from the micro details of paper fibres.

Marian Thomasson, marketing manager, Antalis UK Both printed and digital communications have many benefits and brand owners should look to identify how they can take the strengths of both mediums to maximise the impact of their marketing campaigns.

The integration of print and digital has been proven to increase response rates and an integrated campaign can help ensure that messages are received across multiple channels. The paper element can be used in many different ways. For example, it can push people online, via bridging technologies such as QR codes and augmented reality applications, or it can be used to reinforce messages from digital media. Introducing direct mail to an integrated campaign can raise the campaigns effectiveness by up to 62 per cent.

Tom Priestley, head of print, Liaison Print Management Consumers have an array of connection points with a brand, company, service or product and they don’t all live in a virtual space. Print and digital content should rarely be exactly the same. They shouldn’t be performing to the same goals but there should be cohesion between the two.

The most important question is, how is this piece of communication going to make the consumer change their behaviour and where will they go from here. Does that message start in print and lead to a digital format or the other way around? When that is understood it’s clearer to see the paths to forming an integrated solution.

Andrew Harris, European & UK graphic arts customer marketing, Professional Print Solutions, Canon Europe Print is versatile and multichannel campaigns are most effective when supported by print. Made interactive via cross media, print offers marketers exciting opportunities through innovations such as QR codes, linking an offline channel to online and making it possible to track the recipient’s experience of the customer journey, increasing print’s ‘measurability’.

Duncan MacOwan, head of new media and events, FESPA Nowadays, traditional printed material such as books, brochures and magazines frequently direct readers to other digital media to supplement their experience with sound or moving image or to take them to an internet retail platform. For instance last year The CW introduced the first ever live Twitter feed as a paper thin video screen in a magazine. This connected a traditional print magazine wirelessly to the internet, pulling Twitter into the physical pages of the magazine.

It’s innovative ideas like this that enhance the traditional print experience and combine both communication channels. There is ample evidence that marketing campaigns which integrate print and digital are more effective in driving response than digital only campaigns, even with ‘digital natives’.

This article is published as part of The Drum's Paper and Print supplement.

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