As Michael Caccavele notes in MediaPost, “marketing is a race.” If you can position your brand to be top of mind when your audience needs what you offer, you win.
And in this first-to-be-there mindset, it’s easy to see digital marketing at the fast way to success.
“It’s scalable, fast, more easily optimized to its target and, in some instances, able to follow the consumer through the digital surf.”
Yet, as he notes, people don’t always want to be advertised to, followed around and constantly viewed as a fast-moving target. And this is where the lasting marketing value of print comes into play. Caccavele relates a recent true story that demonstrates this idea perfectly.
“I was thinking about this contrast while en route to a friend’s house the other day. When my wife and I arrived, she was sitting on her porch thumbing through a stack of catalogs she had saved up over the last month. Over small talk about the kids, we found ourselves all with a catalog in hand, joking about the models, remarking on the newest styles and generally using them as means for relaxing.
“The irony was not lost on me, Caccavele continues. “I had spent the morning running from ads — deleting emails from companies I didn’t subscribe to, ignoring banner ads, wishing my map search wasn’t dependent on who advertised on Google — and yet, there I was, consuming an ad booklet and enjoying it. In the rush of digital information transfer, what still manages to sneak over my privacy walls? Good old-fashioned direct mail – and actual catalogs, that invention from the late 1800s.”
As a marketer, Caccavele is not saying that brands should ignore digital. Rather, brands need to remember that relevance is still the more important part of the marketing mix.
“Which is why,” he explains, “despite the droves of marketers investing (rightly) in digital, they shouldn’t be so quick to write off tried-and-true methods for creating relevant (and dare I say enjoyable?) brand experiences the ‘old fashioned’ way. In other words, don’t kill the tortoise just yet!”
Consumers have more control than ever over how, when and where brands interact with them, and it’s up to us as marketers to understand this. Winning the race means being there when they want you, not necessarily in their digital face all the time.