Feeding 'The Connection' That Starts with Canon Solutions America
Behind the scenes, there is a lot of planning and creative thinking involved to execute a seamless omni-channel marketing experience. In the eyes of the consumer, a successful campaign will be a campaign that makes use of all available platforms in a logical and consistent way without being overbearing. Be it an ad designed for the mobile experience, a related video or a direct mail piece that lands directly in the hands of the intended audience, a marketing campaign that moves fluidly through every media channel may be challenging, but it is undeniably effective.
Establishing a partnership across multiple channels is integral to an effective campaign. The target needs to be exposed to a company's "message" at every available touch point. The old Rule of Seven still rings true, it takes an audience seven to 10 exposures to "see" a message — and to be seen is to be effective.
But running an effective omni-channel marketing campaign means reaching the consumer no matter where they spend the predominant amount of time. As promotional channels are added more frequently, it becomes increasingly more challenging to reach consumers as they move fluidly between each channel. Entrepreneur Media makes a salient point, "The modern customer journey is increasingly taking place both online and offline simultaneously."¹ Not only that, a consumer may have the intent to make a purchase or engage with a brand on one device and then move to another device in the process. Companies need to be prepared to create a personalized experience that makes the consumer feel as though they are being catered to on their preferred channels.
To encourage cross-platform marketing strategies, some outside agencies are offering promotions and incentives.
Take the United States Postal Service (USPS) for example; a few years ago it began launching ever-evolving promotions as an incentive for companies to integrate direct mail into their marketing campaigns. Each promotion offers a 2% discount on each mailed piece, and when multiple promotions are combined, companies can save up to 10% off the postage price for each mailed piece.² The 2016 promotions were designed to encourage companies to utilize unique and innovative printing techniques and mobile technology to reach consumers with direct mail. It could be a unique foiling or embossing technique, or the addition of augmented reality (AR) or near field communications (NFC) to make a mailed piece eligible for the postal discounts.
Even with promotions and incentives, many smaller companies are struggling with where to begin an omni-channel marketing campaign.¹ Launching a continuous experience with a brand is no easy task, but one company has proven that when done well, an omni-channel marketing campaign can hit every consumer touch point at the highest possible level. In a print and digital foray like never before, Canon Solutions America has launched an all-encompassing campaign called "The Connection."
The Connection is a unique approach to drive awareness to the brand, with a high-quality video series at the forefront of the campaign. Over a six month period, a series of 11 videos will tell the story of three Canon Solutions America clients, following them from start to finish as they make a purchasing decision, acquire a new Canon machine and develop a unique application. The companies featured will explore the successes of print and what it means to be a partner of Canon Solutions America. The videos encapsulate the meaning behind “The Connection.” The stories are relatable, illustrating the close relationship between Canon Solutions America and its clients from an intimate perspective, moving beyond old hat client-testimonial videos. The videos focus on the interactions between company and client in a unique and engaging way. To make it easier for the audience to follow each company's journey at their own pace, the stories will live on a specially designed landing page.
However, Canon Solutions America knows that it isn't enough to create a landing page and expect to reach all of the intended audience in a relevant and timely manner. To drive the campaign, Canon Solutions America has partnered with Printing Impressions to drive the intricate video series through its daily newsletter, PI World. The newsletter has an impressive recipient list, exceeding 53,000 printing industry executives. And although the newsletter is going to a large portion of the printing industry, Canon Solutions America knew that it needed to be in every place that printing industry executives frequent — which includes all major printing related websites and printed publications. It is launching online banner advertisements on industry websites and printed ads in the publications to hit the ideal audience.
In addition to PI World, Canon Solutions America has developed its own series of email blasts that will feature the video series and which will be sent to the entire Canon Solutions America database. To reach consumers directly at home, Canon Solutions America has developed a highly interactive direct mail piece. At the onset of the campaign, the direct mail piece — which leverages an AR enhancement that when scanned, immediately allows the recipient to view the latest video in the series — will be sent to the database. At the closing of the campaign, Canon Solutions America will send the printed applications featured in the video series to the same mailing list, to bring the campaign full circle.
It's integral in a seamless omni-channel marketing campaign to develop a thoroughly integrated social media plan. The fluidity will continue for The Connection with promotions on both Canon Solutions America and Printing Impressions social channels. The campaign will also be highlighted on The Digital Nirvana, a highly circulated blog addressing marketing and printing technologies and how the relationship between the two can stimulate business growth.
The Connection started with a simple idea, yet developed a complex and fundamentally effective full circle marketing campaign. The message is consistent and thorough across all forms of media, to ensure that it will reach every corner of the printing industry. The video series propels the campaign based on real-life interactions between customers and Canon Solutions America which draws the audience in, while the push from print, direct mail, email, social media, advertisements, blogs, mobile interactions, and eNewsletters drives the message home in the most effective way possible.
The Connection is ink and paper; customer and client; agency and results. The Connection starts with Canon Solutions America.