Integrated Marketing, Digital Publishing, and the Small Shop Budget

Jul 27, 2016

Integrated marketing is no longer reserved for the large corporation. In fact, this tactic has become common practice for nonprofits looking to optimize limited marketing budgets. Instead of trying to capture as many fish as possible in the largest pond one can find, nonprofit communicators are turning to smaller ponds where the right fish live. All idioms aside, the new objective when looking to communicate with large and small subsets of your constituency, picking the proper channel for each audience group is the key to keeping things lean.  As technology advances, the number of ways in which audiences prefer to consume content grows and changes. Marketers and fundraisers must be strategic in their execution; not just in crafting more relevant messaging, but in choosing where to serve content to people where they’re most likely to want to receive it. Multi-channel marketing has become the rule for this reason expressly. Print and mail to groups that provide the highest ROI, and use email to cultivate new or younger audiences that are still getting to know you.

But the buck doesn’t stop with mail or email alone. Digital publishing, while often thought of as a standalone commodity for one-off publications, is a great option when looking to integrate your marketing overall. Today we’ll explore a few ways digital publishing can be used to increase the efficacy of your messaging as a whole, whatever your business objectives are.

More than just publications

To make the most of a digital publishing platform, it’s important that you first think differently about what’s possible. Based on the name, it’s easy to first conjure ideas about magazines, newsletters, and other more traditional publications, but so much more can be done. When you change your perception of digital publishing from a commodity to a channel, the game changes too.

Aside from periodicals, you can use digital publishing for annual reports, press kits and promotions, invitations, advertiser packages, sponsorship materials, important documents or guides and more. This is why a platform like ActionEditions is so exciting. Rich media integration turns static print into something alive with sound and movement, and the ability to gate specific content makes it a perfect option for sending out sensitive or exclusive materials. Plus, sharing is easy without the worry of heavy PDFs getting caught up somewhere in email limbo. This is all proof that with the right features, the communication possibilities are virtually endless.

Now, don’t underestimate the value of print. Digital publishing is a way to augment the materials you print, and shouldn’t be thought of as a replacement. You can learn more about this here.

Communications for the budget conscious

Wouldn’t it be great if you could reach all of your readers without having to print and mail to all of them? Think about how much money you could save! Well, it’s actually possible and it only takes a little bit of effort. Simple surveys to your audience can help you determine their communication preference. Take the time to ask so that you’re only spending as much as you have to and your readers are getting content the way they want it. Some basic list segmentation by demographic can also do the trick.

For nonprofits or educational institutions, printed materials do double duty telling stories and soliciting for donations. This calls for putting constituency data to good use. As a premium, you can offer publications like annual reports or magazines to your top donors. Lapsed or low-range donors can receive a digital edition of the same publication. Once the edition has circulated for a while, shoot an email to all of your donors or recipients with a link to the digital edition just to remind them that there’s something to take advantage of. The lesson here is investing in print for those who are most likely to respond with a donation, but still reaching those least likely to donate to continue growing the relationship.

The Wrap Up

As we’ve said before, there is no one channel that accomplishes everything necessary for our companies or organizations. If you look at communications for huge businesses and small shops, there are eggs in every basket. This is because communications integrated across multiple channels work together toward a common goal. It’s important to know what results you want from a particular message so that the right channels are used from the get-go. Many marketers have a tendency to get caught in the weeds, so we encourage you to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Look at what tools can be utilized to increase ROI, create meaningful engagement with your target audience, and make the most of your marketing spend. In the case of digital publishing, rather than choosing a service arbitrarily in order to “just have” a mobile or digital version look at your business goals. When you consider it a channel and not just a “thing”, it can be utilized more effectively.

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