Preparing for the Cross-Media World: The Future is NOW!

By | July 5, 2011

For operations executives and marketers alike, the number one challenge in today’s market is reaching the customer. Customers are clearly in control of the media that they consume. Mobile devices, iPods, DVRs, and the Internet have changed marketing forever. Marketing executives of the future will need to leverage every customer touch point with a mix of interconnected channels. One thing is certain — the effective use of cross-media communications will bring better business results. Delivering multiple impressions and giving prospects a variety of ways to respond can have a dramatic impact.

Media Dynamics are Changing

Over the past several years, we have heard about the importance of transforming into a “marketing service provider” with a focus on one-to-one communications and variable data. Today’s media dynamics are changing. As we look to the future, there will be three critical components for success in the much larger cross-media opportunity:

  • Data-driven personal messaging
  • Delivering messages across all channels
  • Campaigns that engage the end customer

We’ll take a look at the first component now…

Data-Driven Personal Messaging

Marketers continue to see the value in developing intimate and direct communication with consumers. Not so long ago, families gathered around the television set. Now, individuals surf the Web and watch videos on personal, handheld devices. Consumers have grown comfortable with — and have even come to expect — a one-on-one dialogue with marketers. Personalized marketing messages are essential to attracting customers’ attention and delivering communications that increase sales. Today’s consumers don’t have the time or the patience to deal with irrelevant information. Data-driven personalized messaging has never been more important.

Organizations that sell products or services (business-to-business or business-to-consumer) must gather and use information about their customers’ purchases, including how much they spend per sale and when or how often they buy. Knowledge about past behaviors is a valuable tool for predicting future purchases. In addition to guiding business decisions, this information is critical for creating personalized marketing messages that increase sales.

Marketers must work with customers to personalize offers based on past purchases and preferences. The marketing must follow the customer (not the other way around), and the offer must be truly customized to the recipient’s specific needs.

In late 2010, InfoTrends published an extensive survey entitled Capturing the Cross-Media Direct Marketing Opportunity. The marketing respondents that participated in this study reported that over 60% of their campaigns leveraged personalized (one-to-one) or segmented (one-to-few) marketing.

From the perspective of the print service provider, personalization is the future of marketing communications. Service providers must clearly understand how to work with clients on data-driven campaigns. The problem is that personalization is not enough to remain competitive in today’s complex cross-media world.

If you want to learn about the remaining two components, visit and download the June 2011 Newsletter. You’ll find even more interesting articles there!

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