I was at a meeting recently with Print Power, the organisation that champions and provides proof of the effectiveness of print in the multichannel marketing mix. Evidence of print’s role in the customer engagement cycle is so ubiquitous that it’s actually easy to overlook. On the half hour return train journey from London, I sat faced by a printed information panel placed by transport media-owner KBH On-Train Media, explaining how commuters should use the NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, and SMS services on their printed ‘train card’ advertisements.
KBH’s advertisers have three ways of making their train cards work harder still by encouraging people to come forward for more information and deeper engagement, all via their omnipresent mobile phones. The printed train card does an effective job of taking advantage of the commuter’s downtime and drawing their attention to the brand. If the message touches a nerve, these three simple devices can send them on a subsequent mobile or online journey.
KBH’s web site offers the case study of an October 2012 campaign for cancer charity Breakthrough for Breast Cancer. 4000 train cards on the London and SE train network resulted in 11,345 SMS responses, with 699 respondents converting to direct debits with an average value of £75, and a combined direct debit value of over £50000. 42% of respondents requested a monthly text from Breakthrough, beginning an all-important long-term cycle of engagement.
How much of that valuable – and measurable – contact would the brand owner forgo, if not for print’s special ability to attract, engage and motivate the consumer to act on their interest? The old AIDA marketing mantra – Attention, Interest, Demand, Action – hasn’t changed too much in the multichannel environment. Brand owners may have all the digital content and collateral in the world, but without the well-placed visual impact of print to provide the ‘A’ and the ‘I’, and to stimulate the ‘D’, the all-important ‘A’ might never follow.