Planes, Trains and Print?

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    Normally, I base my travel modes on speed and convenience. I want to get from point A to point B the fastest way possible with the least hassle, right? So, I always travel by plane. Well not necessarily. Of course a plane is faster than a car, but it isn't always the best way to reach a destination. Also, there are various reasons for travel. Perhaps I want to take in scenery, or shed a few summer indulgences. Then I may pedal or even walk my way to my next destination.

    Now apply the same mode of thinking to your communication choices. Before you set off to reach your destination (audience), the first question that must be answered is, where are you going (where are they located)? Are you meeting someone (are they searching for similar goods and services to yours)? What's your reason for going there (what are your strategic goals)?

    Sometimes when I hand someone a business card, I see that look on their face that suggests, “Perfect Printing? People still sell print? I guess this poor guy hasn't heard about the internet.” I'm not about to jump to the defense of print. It is a powerful communication tool and doesn't need my defense, even though it is no longer the first thing most people think about when it comes to communication. It does, however have its place in any direct marketer's communication strategy. Or at least it should.

    Did you know there are still some parts of the world where horseback is the best mode of travel to reach your destination (audience)? Of course, before I saddle up, I'm going to explore other options and will probably have already walked, driven, flown, taxied or trained to reach the final leg of the trip.

    In the same way, if I need to reach an audience, I'll certainly have a website. Now, how will I get them there and then what? Email? Phone? Print? What about in-store and social? After all, my audience still occupies real space and their decision making process is often unique. If you want to have the broadest reach with the most impact, then you'll need a plan that moves you and your audience to the same location. To do that, you will need to reach them where they live, eat and where their emotional impulses cause them to decide for or against a product or service.

    Food for thought before you take your next stroll.

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