Recently, I asked a client what they liked best about the Marketer’s Primer Series (educational and training reports on digital, 1:1, personalized URLs, and Web-to-print). He said that it was the fact that all of the information was pulled together in cohesive fashion. Much of the information exists scattered here and there in different locations, he said, but having it all in a single place had a lot of value.
Ah, the holistic approach. I ran across is on the Personalized URLs for Direct Marketers LinkedIn discussion board today, too. Someone asked members to describe a personalized URL campaign that really worked and why. I responded that the campaigns that work best are those that don’t rely on the personalized URLs, themselves, so sell the campaign. The most powerful campaigns are those that have great creative, a powerful message, a good list, and an appropriate incentive. Oh, yes, and for which personalized URLs are the right response mechanism in the first place.
We’re seeing this more and more. In order to be successful with any of today’s hot applications like 1:1 printing, personalized URLs, and Web-to-print, you have to be willing to step back from them. You have to be willing to look at them within their larger marketing environment, including as part of a larger multi-channel marketing initiative.
Speaking of holistic approaches, that includes within your own company, too. These applications should not be sequestered within your salesforce. Your marketing efforts will work best when the company itself is thinks through the lens of digital, 1:1, personalized URLs, and Web-to-print from the ownership to the CSRs. Sure, your CSRs don’t need to be able to analyze a spreadsheet, but they should have at least a basic understanding of the benefits and mechanics of these applications because, in many cases, they are your primary contact with your customers.
Digital, 1:1, personalized URLs, and Web-to-print are terrific tools, but in themselves, they are simply small pieces within a larger marketing and production puzzle. If you look at them too narrowly, as siloed applications without considering the larger context, your success (and profits) will be limited. So step back and view the larger picture. Because the holistic approach isn’t just for medicine and natural food stores anymore.
For those interested in the holistic approach to digital printing, I just updated “Digital Printing: Transforming Business & Marketing Models” to reflect the latest market conditions, including news from Print 09. This October 2009 cover date is the first update since May 2009.