Technology can help marketers better integrate their offline and online marketing efforts, but they need to take care not to get overwhelmed by all the options available.
“You need to make the experience seamless for customers across platforms,” says Jeff Crouse, vice president and general manager, SMB, for Pitney Bowes. “For example, if you just toss up a mobile website but don’t integrate it with traditional marketing, you’re missing a huge opportunity.”
Crouse— a featured speaker at B2B LeadsCon, Aug 14-15 in New York—notes that often marketers are keen to move to the next hot new marketing medium, simply because it is new.
“You don’t want to be the last one to use [a new technology],” he says. “Marketers always want to be the first one to test something off the assembly line, but it’s a matter of discipline and patience, and knowing how to run the analytics.”
More than 60% of Pitney Bowe’s new customer interactions and marketing activities happen online, which means integrating those efforts with traditional media like direct mail is essential.
“Direct mail is far from going away,” says Crouse. “It remains a valuable element if you link it to the power of interactive marketing.”
Pitney Bowes’ clients have used QR codes to allow customers such as restaurants with daily specials update the content accessible through their direct mail flyers.
“It allows them to be fresh and dynamic,” notes Crouse, adding that Pitney Bowes itself uses QR codes to drive customers to case histories and other content on its website. “It’s a great way to bring individual products to life and identify truly engaged prospects—we find that those who went to the QR code landing pages are much better prospects.”
Pitney Bowes does a lot of experimenting and testing to measure the analytics around pricing and offers, and how they play differently in different media, including SEO, email and direct mail. “Cross-channel testing allows us to migrate learnings to different channels.
Matching the right message with the right media is important, he notes. “We utilize different messages for different touchpoints. We don’t believe in complete consistency across channels—different times and environments are open to certain messages. Certain coupons and discounts work better in email and online, where you have the ability to be more immediate and use interactive codes.”
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