While it’s certainly true that integrated marketing as a concept is nothing new, businesses across nearly every industry imaginable are taking the practice to bold new levels in recent years. This is especially true of those businesses that you wouldn’t necessarily think could benefit from such an approach, including managed service providers, like yourself.
On the one hand, the “digital over traditional” approach seems to make a lot of sense. After all, the service you’re offering exists almost exclusively in the virtual world. What role, then, does direct mail marketing have to play in getting the word out about your brand?
The answer, as it turns out, is “a big one.”
In truth, if you’re not already integrating both traditional and digital media into your CSP marketing campaigns, now is absolutely the time to start for a wide range of reasons that are more than worth exploring.
It’s Not About “Either/Or.” It’s About Empowerment
To be frank, this was never a discussion about “traditional vs. digital marketing” because the two concepts are not at odds with one another to begin with. They’re two sides of the same coin that, when used together, can add up to something much more powerful and meaningful than either one could ever hope to be on its own.
Think, for a moment, about how powerful traditional marketing channels still are in the modern era. A full 92% of young shoppers, for example, say that they actually prefer something like direct mail when it comes to making purchasing decisions. When you also realize that Millennials now make up the single largest percentage of all B2B buyers in the United States, it’s easy to see why this is one phenomenon you should be paying careful attention to. Based on this, it should also come as no surprise that direct mail still yields a 13 to 1 average return on investment ratio.
But at the same time, 44% of customers still say that they eagerly visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing. So just because a conversation begins in a traditional way doesn’t mean that it has to stay there. When properly integrated, both digital and print can empower one another and make your overall CSP marketing campaign much stronger than it has been in the past.
Consider all of this within the context of one of the most essential forms of “traditional” marketing that there is — the trade show. According to one recent study, roughly 83% of attendees at a trade show have some type of buying power and 79% of attendees say that these types of shows help immeasurably in terms of deciding what types of products to buy. These are the types of results that are hard to generate through other means… but again, this is not an “either/or” situation.
Now, think about what would happen if your conversation began at a trade show and then continued into the digital world. Once you’ve collected contact information at a trade show, you can continue that relationship via email — something that 86% of business professionals say they prefer to use when communicating for the purposes of business. Or you could direct those people to your social channels — something that has become the most common B2B marketing tactic over the last few years.
So from that perspective, it really is about putting these components together to achieve the results you need in the most malleable way possible. It’s about reaching people through different channels at different times, yes — but it’s also about giving them the chance to convert where they actually want to.
If you make the purchasing process as easy as possible for someone, rest assured that they will take that step. This level of integrated marketing for your CSP is just by far the best way to do that in the modern age.
This level of stasis is also far, far easier to achieve than you might think. You can send out direct mail materials with QR codes or personalized URLs to track media crossover. These “integrated” techniques can also be convenient ways to build a bridge between the conversation that begins in the print space and continues in the digital realm. Even something like social media can be a perfect opportunity to launch a new printed marketing campaign, allowing your traffic to go from digital to print and then back again depending on what you’re trying to accomplish at the moment.
At the end of the day, it’s important to understand that more than 75% of ALL small businesses in the United States use both print and digital marketing efforts in tandem. It’s not just about guaranteeing yourself the best possible return on investment, although this is clearly the way to do it. It’s also not just about generating the best response rates, although integrated efforts have that area covered as well.
It’s about always making the best use of the best techniques to reach your marketing and sales goals, regardless of what those techniques happen to be. It’s about giving yourself more opportunities to create brand and message consistency across all channels, creating a richer and more unified experience. It’s also about doing whatever it takes to convert people where it’s most convenient for them — which for a CSP like yourself, is and will always be one of the biggest priorities that you concern yourself with on a daily basis.