Stuart reflects on a few things recently, working on some projects have made me realise that everyone expects the result, however, the route we achieve to gain the result has shifted somewhat.
First observation, the net product of the inputs gives the result. In the rush to get to whatever you’re trying to achieve, it’s so apparent that cutting corners doesn’t cut it. Being brought up in a proper print repro environment, with good design and carefully crafted materials to work with provided exceptional results. With clients expecting the results with smartphone photographs and “canva” generated artwork doesn’t hit the gold star result, yet the expectation rises to think this will work. It’s like building houses without foundations. What’s created at the beginning of the process matters. We’re the first to champion vector artwork and studio-grade photography, all with processes in place for managing colour, ensuring reproduction supreme.
Second observation, think, and devise the process in which you need your campaign to work within. It is truly scary when clients openly admit to not having their ducks in a row. The culture of digital communications almost makes them spray and pray and disposable. Print is a different beast. Its power lies within the capability to accelerate conversion through timely nudge. Digital creates a lot of noise, and how much is remembered? Can anyone truly define or answer this I’ll be impressed if they can? Print builds trust, creates longevity, and acts as a valuable point of reference when other touchpoints have long been forgotten. However, I will admit print is not a cheap tool in the marketing tool chest, with rising costs the physical element of marketing has also been hit along with everything else. So wise deployment is now even more essential. We’ve talked clients through cost reduction methods for brochures at exhibitions, which surprised them with the leverage they could harness in the process – just as one example.
Third observation, “baby out with the bath water”. The future is truly omnichannel. Not multi-channel, but smartly using CRM data to steer customer journey progression. Multi-channel is like Arnold Schwarzenegger firing his oozy nine-millimetre rapidly in the hope of conversion. Omni channel is a well-constructed domino track with each ready to knock on the next. With so few marketers using the “mix” of physical and digital, connected and using specific landing pages from print media with the right offering.
Importantly, the above takes planning. Firing rapid bullets as previously illustrated, purely costs in wasted effort. Which indirectly is wasted money. We’ve been rightly scuppered when one project curve balled us totally off schedule. The juggling to manage expectations certainly provided one heck of a challenge.
Do we learn? Do we apply what we’ve learnt? Has the “plan, act, review” cycle now become something of history like the other traditional skills? Or needs speed overtaken, quality, fit for purpose and good design now is something of the past.
Here at HAD-Print, it’s not just about the product, the journey is essential too. We’ve said before looking at the pedigree of your print service provider can tell you a lot. It is a craft trade, fewer people are now brought up proper with education and time served experience. You can have cheap and fast, however, the remaining element in the unattainable triangle will elude you, quality and getting it to the expectation and performance you expect. Being able to combine good print knowledge with marketing understanding is now part of the essential means of integrating physical calls to action into your customer journey.