The way we do marketing in 2021 will no doubt be different than in years past. The pandemic has accelerated the digitization of customer interactions – but there is still a place for the printed word.
The concept of the customer journey is on the top of everyone’s mind due to the growth of digital marketing. In basic terms, the customer journey is a story about understanding your customers, how they behave when they visit your website and what you can do to improve their experience so they keep coming back.
While digital marketing may not be something that impacts your day-to-day routine, understanding the basics of the customer journey is helpful when working with customers. This journey is not reserved solely for how customers interact digitally – print can be easily integrated. As customers share their marketing campaigns, you can make recommendations for paper and print solutions that can walk hand-in-hand with their plans.
Here is a quick tutorial about each stage and how paper can play a role:
Awareness –––––> Direct Mail
During this stage, the customer is discovering their want or need of a product. This is the stage in which you do things to make customers aware of you, pique their curiosity about your services and encourage them to learn more.
While the default is to utilize email or social media to generate awareness, direct mail has great potential in this stage. Consider utilizing a PURL (personalized URL) or AR content to drive customers to your website or social media channels. Direct mail is especially important now. Last March, the way we learn, shop and work was upended, plunging us into a life that is saturated with digital interaction. Digital fatigue is a real thing and nothing is more refreshing than receiving PRINTED mail.
Consideration –––––> Product Guides & Catalogs
During this stage, the customer is evaluating all of the different solutions available to them. Brands should be delivering critical information to help them make the best possible decision.
Consideration content can include things like comparison guides and product brochures. While these types of content can be shared via websites and downloads, there is nothing like looking at something printed. You can turn the pages, earmarking the things you want to look at later. You can circle things of interest and show them to other people. At the end of the day, marketing messages sent via paper inspire, inform and stick with your customer.
Decision –––––> Lifestyle Magazine
At this point, the customer has decided on their solution and they are ready to make a purchase. However, they need tools to reassure their decision and further commit to a brand. Brands should consider things like a features and benefits brochure or a lifestyle magazine. Both of these types of communications lend themselves to being printed. Since they are typically looked at multiple times, written on or shared with others, having a “hard copy” proves much more convenient than sending an email or having someone visit a webpage.
When coordinating printed collateral within any of these stages, paper selection is key. Both coated and uncoated paper lend themselves to professional results – but each conveys a different feeling. Uncoated paper (like Cougar® ) provides a feel that comes across as trusted and sincere. Not only does Cougar provide the perfect canvas for bright color that commands attention, but you can also depend on it for excellent runnability and printability. Cougar makes it easy to achieve a consistent look, time after time.
So no matter what stage of the customer journey – from awareness to consideration to decision – paper is a perfect partner.