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To Market or Not to Market…The Don’ts of Cross-Media Marketing

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The ever increasingly successful online and content marketing field has many traditional marketing pros and Print Industry leaders scratching their heads as many try to determine what the future holds for their respective fields.

However, research proves that an integrated cross-media marketing approach with both print and digital components with both online and traditional Marketing efforts has greater reach, improves brand visibility and recognition, and overall is just more effective than a campaign that only involves print or only involves digital.

As an Association or Nonprofit leader, you may also be scratching your head as you try to determine the ins and outs of a successful, yet well-rounded, marketing campaign and how best to integrate your efforts across multiple media channels, including that printed mailer and the viral video your co-workers talked you into.

Well, here are a few quick ‘don’ts’ to help get you started:

Don’t Forget to Direct- Integration Fail:

One of the biggest mistakes some companies and organizations make when taking on a cross marketing effort is failure to integrate fully. For example, your printed materials should almost always contain some sort of Call to Action, directing customers or members to your digital materials.


However, many forget to add campaign relevant social media links, twitter hashtags and QR codes.

Remember, your efforts must be integrated and cohesive. It doesn’t pay to send out mailers introducing your recent campaign, if there is no information included in the CTA that actually enables consumers the ability to act and engage.

For tips on your next mailer campaign click here.


Don’t be Intrusive, but get attention:

It is easy, when looking into what goes viral and gets people’s attention, to forget that most folks don’t want to be sold to. And, many times some of our integrated efforts can be viewed as intrusive…think about that viral video you tried to watch on your lunch break that started as soon as you opened the site.  You had the attention of the whole office…did you really want the entire cube farm to know you were watching “Gangnam Style”…again?

An excellent example of this type of intrusive marketing is a 2012 Volkswagen newspaper ad. In select India newspapers, VW added small, light sensitive vibrators to newspapers, where on the first page, the ad asked, “Feel the shiver of excitement?” then as the page was turned the little vibrator started to hum.

Consumers were not thrilled with the car company’s efforts and instead made sexual innuendo on social media and mocked the campaign.

Another example of an intrusive ad integrated into print was the adding of LCD inserts to magazine ads by The CW Network. Back in September of 2012, The CW included a live Twitter feed, promoting their fall lineup in Entertainment Weekly. This is a unique and engaging strategy, but the time it took the feed to load was inordinately long and it too received negative feedback from consumers.

The technology to add these inserts has been around since 2009, but it does not seem to be taking off and has only caused frustration and mocking attitudes from consumers. This poor reception by consumers and overall cost could be why we haven’t seen more of these little gems.


Don’t treat print like digital and vice-verse:


Most importantly, you need to understand the differences between print and digital media. Additionally, while you want your efforts to feel seamless to the consumer, you can’t treat print like digital and you can’t treat digital like print. Each one serves its own unique purpose and each one has its own design nuisances.

Know the differences between the two and act accordingly.


Don’t forget to be sharable and cohesive:

Content marketing has to be ‘sharable.’ But, this can be tricky. How or why something becomes viral and creates a sensation is hard to determine. It has to happen naturally. But, when it does, it can appear as marketing genius.

For example, Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” and “Back to the Start” YouTube videos. While these big budget videos did really well on YouTube and did in fact go viral, it was the all-encompassing aspect that made these things really take-off.  The campaign did not only contain videos but also a video game app, contests and various other media on the Chipotle website and within restaurants.


What continues to make Chipotle’s “Food with Integrity” Campaign so successful is its relatability to consumers, appeal to a cause, and cohesion across their printed materials as well as online efforts in the form of video and website engagement.


While the onset of online Marketing has forced traditional Marketers and Print Industry leaders to reassess their place in the digital age, it is important to know that print is still relevant

Because sometimes we just like to get something pretty and well-designed to hang on the fridge. So, don’t hesitate, launch that new mailer campaign and link it your social media efforts and blog. You won’t dispute the relevance of the increase in reach!

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