According to Xerox, savvy printers see an opportunity goldmine through cross-media marketing services. In an InfoTrends survey, about 75 percent of respondents indicated they believe that print providers need to become marketing services providers.

The reason for this is because in a time when print volumes and margins are under pressure, cross-media marketing provides an opportunity to turn the tide. It also enables you to offer services that help your customers meet communication goals more effectively, making them come back for more. If you haven’t already, here are a few cross-media marketing trends you should get a jump on soon:

1. Design for mobile first

It’s time to face facts: we live in the age of the smartphone. These little devices have become so ingrained in our lives that one study found over 50% of smartphone users actually reach for their smartphone immediately upon waking up (1). Our smartphones almost never leave our hands, and it shows. In 2016, mobile web traffic actually surpassed desktop traffic (2). Additionally, one can’t afford to treat mobile as an afterthought anymore. It needs to be front and centre — an integral part of your campaigns.

2. Leverage interactive print

Any marketer looking to engage and build long-term relationships with their customers should consider interactive print to increase response rates and return on marketing investment (ROMI). A simple place to start is by adding PURLs or QR codes to personalised print pieces, allowing you to drive recipients to more valuable information. Augmented reality apps provide another opportunity to make the customer experience even more unique and memorable. And don’t forget about personalised, targeted sales offers, which help to enhance the customer experience and brand perception.

3. Embrace marketing automation

Marketing automation has gone from hot buzzword to critical business tool. Not only does it enable massively individualised, relevant dialogues across different media channels —improving the customer experience with better targeting — it can also include on-demand printing. And it gives you the gift of time, taking the burden of overly repetitive tasks out of your hands and allowing you to focus on more complex and meaningful work. It’s no wonder that 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing across channels (3).

4. Use personalised video

Video has a unique place in the marketing mix, as it is easily digestible and ideal for communicating complex details in a simple manner. In fact, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI (4). Combine the power of video with the benefits of personalisation and virtually all types of customer data can be displayed creatively to produce the most relevant viewer experience. This can include cinematic-quality visual effects through variable text, personalised still images, special effects and animated video. Consider investing in or partnering with a video production house, then applying your personalisation expertise to video.

5. Offer cross-media marketing campaigns that can be ordered via a web portal

Web-to-print provides a host of benefits for print providers:

• Business generation during off hours.
• Stronger customer relationships.
• Better brand control.
• Expanded market reach.
• Centralised administration.
• Maximum efficiency.

Through these benefits, PSPs are able to offer their customers more — guaranteeing production of what they need and when they need it.

6. Push the limits of Variable Data Printing (VDP)

You’re probably familiar with VDP by now. A lot of print providers offer some type of VDP service and have for quite a while. But customers today expect more from their personalisation. More fields. And deeper understanding. A VDP solution from a leading software provider such as XMPie will allow you to work with familiar design tools and file formats, and utilise simple data files, while pushing personalisation to the extreme. The result? Clever, relevant pieces that get noticed.

Opéra De Montréal is already taking advantage of these trends using XMPie software, which allows marketers to leverage customer data to create relevant, personalised one-to-one marketing campaigns with variable text, styles and images across print, web, email and mobile platforms.

Blindly chasing trends is never a great idea. But if you pay attention to the way cross-media marketing is developing, you’ll quickly see why this is an important area to invest in if you want to stay ahead of the competition.