Last week, wearing my mobile marketing expert hat, I spoke to a group at the DMA mobilising print event. Some of you may know that I’m also MD at YooZap, a mobile technology partner of Fireworx. The subject of the DMA event was the use of mobile and traditional print in the path to purchase. Via presentations and a panel discussion we explored the growth of offline to online interactions in recent years, discussing current trends and best practice.
The smartphone has unlocked the capability to move online and the UK population have embraced it wholeheartedly. Not however, as the DMA’s research reminded us, at the exclusion of every other channel. 70% of commercial activity still happens in the real world. Now the DMA are no luddites, if that was the case I wouldn’t have agreed to speak. It does however serve to remind us that mobile is but a single channel. A new and exciting one, with great potential but just a channel all the same.
There were many take-aways from the morning; here are the key ones for me.
Print is dead, long live print
Panellists and delegates alike agree that print is having a renaissance. Neglected by many during the austerity drive and the rise of digital, direct mail, door drop and print are again featuring in budgets and campaign plans. Firstly, creative print stands out because the doormat has become such a barren land in recent years. Some younger groups even see it as novel.
Secondly, well-targeted, relevant print can engage, inform and deliver response. Its tactical nature means it is distinct from a tablet, phone or laptop and thus fulfils a different function for consumers. It co-exists with digital and as marketers are learning it’s a multichannel world. The consumer picks and chooses to suit their needs, lifestyle, location or even mood on a particular day. That leads neatly on to my second take-away from the DMA.
Ease is everything in mobile response
Mobile is still a new channel. Devices and technology are changing and customer behaviours are inconsistent. As such it is naive to try and second-guess the consumer and exclusively push consumer to a single digital response method.
Firstly, make it easy by giving lots of response options, short URL, QR codes etc. Secondly, tell the responder what to do “Scan here”. Finally make sure the digital media they connect to is responsive. Consumers switch between devices at will so whatever you offer should provide a sympathetic experience on every device.
Apps are a good debate point when we consider ease of interaction. The requirement to download an App puts an additional step in a customer’s path to purchase. This reduces response. The emergence of html5 based solutions bypass the download, speeding the interaction.
Apps still have great importance in the digital landscape. Where the target audience already uses an App, such as for airline customers, encouraging customers to respond via their App is entirely logical. Whatever makes it easy to transact is good for customers.
Transaction is key
The transaction is everything in this area of the communication landscape. Four years of test and learn shows the transaction is the key motivator to interact from print to digital. DMA research shows consumers are increasing their interaction from traditional media to digital. They are stimulated to buy, donate or subscribe.
The world has moved on from the days of scan a print ad to receive “enhanced” content. Consumers are looking for more. The reward for an interaction has to be transactional. With willing consumers and smartphones to facilitate there is no barrier to selling off a page or poster.
Analysis and attribution
Measurement and attrition is important. In fact it’s been a driving force between the success of many digital channels. As a result, marketers are numerate and accountable like never before. A lengthy discussion on channel attribution among DMA delegates is testament to that. However, measurement of real world advertising interactions has never been as clear-cut as it is online.
This new era of offline/ online interaction offers some opportunity for greater understanding and attribution. The combination of people’s identity, location and address combined with transaction behaviour alludes to a wealth of data for profiling and insight. This will remain a mere concept for the moment until consistent behaviours emerge and proxies for personal identity data can be established. I have little doubt the teams at Experian, Callcredit and the like are working on solutions.
I hadn’t expected to deliver earth shattering revelations at the DMA’s print to mobile – path to purchase event. Just reveal some personal insights, campaign experience and the odd battle scar. Apart from the positivity of delegates towards interactivity, I was most pleased with the consensus shown by the expert panel (good meeting you all BTW). A consensus that targeted, creative printed communication combined with a simple and quick digital transaction is the key to encouraging interactivity and improving response.
By DMA guest blogger Alan Beesley, Co-founder, YooZap
This is an edited version of a blog that first appeared on Fireworx Creative