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One digital native discovers the wonderful world of print

Entering the direct marketing world as a digital native, I was quite oblivious to the developments that have taken place in print technology over the last few years. Having met a few marketing folk since I joined the DMA I must say I am much more informed now. So if there are any young marketers out there who think offline and digital are different channels, think again. The lines are blurring, and surprisingly have been blurry for a quite while now!

I attended a few print events and having worked on some research projects around the channel, I came across various different add-ons that can make print exciting and illustrates that it is an evolving channel. Some of you probably know about these add-ons and how brands have used them in the past, but for all those digital natives who are still unsure about the value print media brings to the marketing mix here is a list of the best add-ons for your print campaigns.

1. Does this print ad need a visual story?

With the rise of visual-heavy social media websites like Instagram and Pinterest, it is no secret that stunning images arrest consumers’ attention like no other tactic. And then you also have options like holographs, 3D images, acetate magic windows and lenticular printing. Time magazine ran its largest print-run with a mylar-cover which was a great success. Visual storytelling can work wonders for any print campaign, its easy to personalise and its application should not be left to just the travel and fashion sectors. Why not use print to make a savings account look beautiful?

2. What about videos, will they work with this print campaign?

What Pinterest and Instagram do for pictures, YouTube, Vine and Vimeo do for videos. Embed videos in your print campaigns or use e-ink displays to bring those images to life.

3. Can music make print better?

If you don’t have a big budget backing you, you could use audio add-ons. Embed sound in your print campaign and when at the drawing board ask yourself if inserting a musical piece in your magazine ad would add another dimension to it.

4. Should this print campaign smell like a dream?

You see the trend here, it is all about marrying the senses with the technology out there to help make print work. Scent strips and fragrant pages have helped brands make a difference in their print campaigns and could do to yours too.

5. What can be done to make the most of print’s tangibility?

Bookmarks, tip-ons, tracing paper overlay, micro encapsulation (product testing), Post-it notes, textured paper, Z-books, pop ups and special paper mechanics are a great way to generate a sense of awe in those holding your ad. JK Rowling used paper mechanics in her launch video for the Harry Potter interactive website, Pottermore, which was a reversal of sorts. But imagine if this special paper mechanic pop-up card came into your post from a brand you love.

6. Anything else out there that can help?

If you can’t get all those senses to get into your piece of paper, there are a lot of options to take the consumer to audio and video experiences – PURLs, QR codes, augmented reality, embedded computer chips/webkeys. Why don’t you Blippar or Shazam your ad?

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