Middle School Marketing: The Convergence of Print and Digital Marketing
This month, we reached out to the msm crowd with a simple question. What is the future of print in a digital world? Who better to help guide the conversation than a fairly old-school direct marketer (me) and his father, a 30 year veteran of the printing industry. And based on the discussion, I think we were right.
We started with a passionate defense of the printing and print advertising industry. Direct mail still works, people still read print magazines and request brochures, billboards still appear alongside major roads. And new media can learn strategically from what old media does - focusing a message in limited space, engaging audiences with a strong call to action, thinking marketing first and media second. The printing industry faces its challenges, but has already moved into areas like data management and online fulfillment services.
Where the conversation turned was when we started talking about convergence of print and online. How a billboard gets better with a text call to action. Or how on-demand printing gives consumers the opportunity to recieve customized brochures at home. How augmented reality makes static boxes come to life with a webcam and a pc. This is where the future lies - taking a tactile experience and not eliminating things but making them better. (Even this blog post was partially written on paper, finished on an iPhone - there's real-life convergence for you.)
Finally, what's the role of the Agency in all this? It's our job to lead our clients to the best solution possible to reach their marketing objectives. Usually, that involves multiple media formats and a strategy that links them all together. It's part of the role we have always played, and expect to see continue. That's part of what MSM is all about - bringing new and old school marketers together.