By Curtis Tingle (CMO, Valassis)

Why a Holistic View to a Marketing Campaign Matters

As marketers, we’ve all heard about the need for an integrated approach when it comes to planning an advertising campaign – media is fragmented, consumers are distracted and multi-tasking – but have you truly considered what’s driving the “whys” behind the need for a more holistic view? What does this mean for connecting with the consumer?

Although a campaign can span a wide range of advertising channels, I am focusing specifically on print and digital “activation” media, their impact on consumer usage, preference, influence and response.

Multiple Touch Points Used and Preferred
When Nielsen analyzed 11 key print and digital marketing tactics, they found that half of U.S. consumers use between four and seven of these touch points to learn about store products and sales. Although shoppers leverage both print and digital channels to secure this information, print media ranks within the top three used.

Shopper Engagement
For Product and Sales Information

Consumer preference for brand and retailer communications mirrors these findings.

A recent AdWeek infographic shared that 54 percent of consumers prefer updates/promotions in the mail, 49 percent look to email and 38 percent go to a company’s website.

Consumers use and prefer both online and offline methods to understand product selection, offers and promotions. And as Nielsen found, shoppers who engage across multiple touch points are more loyal – a win for retailers and brands.

Use and Preference = Purchase Influence
Like the media landscape, purchase influence is fragmented. No one medium influences 100 percent of a purchase decision; rather, it can take over 20 different media types.

According to Prosper Insights & Analytics research, together print and digital media have a sizeable share of influence on an individual’s purchase decision.

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Prosper has also shown that these advertising channels influence store selection, especially during key holiday or back-to-school time periods. This held true during the most recent holiday period, where NRF and Prosper’s consumer survey found that ad circulars and retailer emails were the top two places Thanksgiving/Black Friday shoppers looked for sales, discounts and promotions.

Consumers are influenced differently by various media – and often it is the combination of media that generates the biggest response.

Different Physiological Responses
We touched on a consumer’s stated usage, preference and influence of online as well as offline media, but let’s go deeper and understand the unstated impact a media channel has on the buying process.

A study conducted by the USPS and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making5 found that although there was little difference between the study participants’ self-reported preferences or attitudes toward print or digital ads, the specific type of advertising format actually elicited a distinctive subconscious response.

Digital ads exceled when it came to quickly capturing a consumer’s focused attention, particularly on certain ad elements. Print ads garnered a greater emotional response and recall – even one week later.

This supports the complementary nature of online and offline media and the specific role each plays in activating a consumer and driving purchase. Leveraging both within an integrated campaign maximizes the effect of an advertising message.

Encouraging a positive response that leads to a purchase is what we hope to achieve in our advertising – and integrating print and digital media is proving to be the intelligent way to accomplish this goal. Whether it is highlighting new products or promotions, encouraging store selection or trying to capture quick impact or lasting results, an integrated media campaign checks all of the boxes.

When print and digital media channels are used together, their impact is greater than the sum of their parts.