Tips & Tricks to Leverage the Powerful Combination of Print and Digital



Author: Amy Guarino

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” said author Mark Twain.

As the world shifts to become more and more digital, print is often reported to be dead. But, what you may not know is that business printing is a $ 640 billion industry and according to Print Is Big; it’s growing at a rate of 6.8% annually worldwide. That’s billion with a “b”—and it’s huge.

Print is still a powerful channel of communication for companies who want to communicate with their prospects and customers, especially when combined with digital. According to Adam Dost, VP of Strategy and Marketing at Printek, “An integrated strategy will dramatically expand your capabilities to communicate. Integrating print and technology improves targeting, enhances personalization, and increases conversions.” Together, print and digital advertising allow you to reach your customers personally and with a relevant message across every channel. The possibilities are endless.

So how exactly do you take advantage of this powerful combination? I’ll walk you through five ways to leverage the power of print and digital together:

1. Use a postcard campaign as a tagging campaign

Marketers who rely solely on digital advertising can reach a dead-end when they discover they are missing email addresses for some of the contacts in their database. However, with the addition of print, the doors can start opening up again. A great way to build out that contact information can be a postcard campaign that includes a Personal URL (PURL), which directs the person to go and get information that is specifically personalized for them. In the example below, Dairy Queen uses Jodi’s contact information to send her a postcard greeting wishing her a happy birthday, pointing her to a PURL to download some birthday coupons to celebrate her big day. Through the URL, Dairy Queen might ask for her email address in a short form fill-out to close the information gap. 


Keep in mind that postcards or other print media arrive in hard copy and customers need to manually enter the URL to access your information, so make sure your URL is simple. Don’t make it too complex with strings of random words and numbers. A good example might be:

2. Use your business card to drive social engagement

Despite the rise of social media, business cards remain a standard practice and represent a critical way that people exchange information when they meet face to face. They serve as an essential leave-behind, so use them as an opportunity to promote social interaction. Make sure to include contact information like your Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile URL (which you can customize) to drive people to learn more about you and your business from your digital presence.

Business Card

3. Give away hard copies of content

As content marketing has grown, the opportunity to provide hard copy collateral at events reinforces your brand and provides a convenient way for some people to absorb the content. We’ve seen vendors give people the option at events–take home a hard copy or sign up there for soft copy delivery. The key is that you want to make it as convenient as possible for people to consume your content and engage with you and your brand, whether that is through a soft copy to read on their laptop or a hard copy to read on the plane.

4. Send out relevant collateral

There are still times when we want to touch and feel information about a product, whether it is information about the colors available when buying a new car or a glossy brochure about a college that is being considered by student. If you have collateral that is powerful but you want to be sure to direct it to the right people at the right time, Chuck Moorehead, VP of Marketing at Trojan Press, advises to leverage your knowledge of their digital behavior to make that happen.

This digital behavior may include data you’ve collected about the ads they click on, sites they visit, time of day they engage with you, or types of offer they’ve responded to—all of which can help you shape your message, offer, and collateral to be more personal, engaging and relevant. Harry & David turned this digital knowledge into action by personalizing their printed holiday catalogues with their customers’ gift lists, which was automatically compiled based on the gifts their customers previously sent and the people who received them. With this information at their customers’ fingertips, they provided their customers with a seamless experience for the holidays.

Harry and David 1

Harry and David 2

5. Personalize direct mail

There are times that you can incorporate a personalized direct mail piece as a part of your digital campaign. You may identify certain triggers or activity behavior that shows that a person is engaged, but may need that one extra piece of encouragement–a personalized hard copy letter with or without an offer may be just the thing. As Adam Dost of Printek pointed out, an integrated strategy of print and digital is key. His customers found that doing this made a huge impact on increasing their conversions.

Upon setting up a Bluehost web hosting account, this small business owner in Provo, Utah received a direct mail offer from Google for $ 100 in advertising to boost their small business’ search results in Google. With this personalized offer that speaks to the needs of a small business owner, it’s likely this person went on to cash in this voucher.

Google Ad

As our world becomes increasingly digital, face-to-face and print remain great ways to stand out and further develop relationships with your prospects and customers. To stay relevant with today’s every-changing technology, tie together your advertising strategy and integrate it across all channels—from digital to print.

Have you experienced a campaign or can think of a brand that is creating a seamless, holistic experience across print and digital? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.


Tips & Tricks to Leverage the Powerful Combination of Print and Digital was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

The post Tips & Tricks to Leverage the Powerful Combination of Print and Digital appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog


16 ways to keep your internal print magazine relevant and fresh


It’s tempting to think print publications are old news, defeated by digital.

Is there still a place for print?

There was a time when internal print magazines were a communications cornerstone, a vital channel for sharing news. As times have changed, many organizations have replaced print magazines with digital alternatives or have done away with print altogether.

Scuttling print magazines could be a big mistake. Organizations continue to embrace print magazines for many reasons, including:

  • Employee preference; print is still a crowd pleaser.
  • Field staffers aren’t always able to access the intranet.
  • Some employees aren’t active on social media.
  • Employees can take a print newsletter home, read it while commuting or keep it for leisurely reading.
  • The act of turning real pages is a refreshing change from the daily bombardment of digital content.
  • It’s harder to throw away a print publication than delete an email.

Rather than viewing email newsletters or social intranets as the best communication options, many organizations believe print magazines remain a valuable part of the communications mix.

Download this free white paper, “Auditing your Internal Communications,” for a step-by-step guide to assess which communications channels work best for your organization.

Keeping content fresh and interesting

It’s important to regularly ensure your print publication’s content is relevant and entertaining to readers. A print magazine may not be the most suitable channel for time-sensitive news, but there are plenty of topics that are perfect for magazines. Here are some suggestions:

1. Promote the why. Use your magazine to demonstrate employees’ role in helping the organization achieve its vision. By highlighting the big picture, you’ll promote a sense of purpose and belonging.

2. Sharpen soft skills. Share articles on employees’ personal qualities, attitudes and behaviors. Communication, making decisions, working as a team, solving problems and creativity are valuable, transferrable skills that appeal to everyone.

3. Highlight your heritage. Talking about the organization’s history, featuring visual timelines with milestones and sharing significant moments can support your organization’s story.

4. Mention notable facts and figures. How many customers do you serve each day? How many products did you sell this month? How many lives have you touched? Provide context, and make it meaningful.

5. Share employee wellness initiatives. According to Unum, 30 percent of workers would consider leaving their jobs because of a poor workplace atmosphere. If your company has an employee wellness program, make it known. Share articles about available services.

6. Community news. Employees achieve great things every day. Feature these emotional stories alongside the usual business content.

7. Close the gap. Bridge the distance between employees and leaders by sharing features about senior managers, showing their human side so employees can connect with them.

8. Shine a spotlight on individuals. Featuring stories about employees’ achievements-personal or professional-is a great way to recognize and celebrate your people.

9. Give employees a voice. Show employees what their colleagues are up to by featuring short, fun interviews. This can help demystify roles, break down silos and bring people together. Here are some ideas.

10. Illustrate corporate values. Show colleagues demonstrating the organization’s values.

11. A day in the life. Provide a glimpse into all areas of your organization to make employees feel like part of a team. Help employees understand different jobs at the organization and how they work together.

12. Circulate performance updates. Keep employees informed on the organization’s progress by publishing noteworthy performance updates. Share plans for the future, and get creative with visuals and infographics to demonstrate progress.

13. Update employees on the latest survey results. What improvements has the organization made since the last employee survey? What action plans are in place? What has changed? Show employees you’re listening to them and taking action.

14. Shout about the benefits. Remind people why it’s great to work at your organization. Research from Cass Business School says 64 percent of employers don’t tell their employees about available benefits. A magazine feature is a good way to remind employees about upcoming deadlines such as the end of open enrollment, deadlines for pension plans, etc.

15. Celebrate service anniversaries. Recognize service achievements with a public announcement. Recognition goes a long way.

16. Share kind words from customers. Reading compliments from clients and customers can make a big difference to morale and motivation.

Despite the cries that print is dead, there are many people who hold employee magazines in high esteem. The key is to recognize communication opportunities and continually adapt. Digital media hasn’t done away with print magazines—it has given print a new identity and a chance to shine in new and exciting ways.

Caroline Roodhouse is marketing and content strategist at Alive With Ideas. A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.