‘Digital’ Imprint-Inked by ‘Print’

Authored by Bhavya Khatri, Programmatic Senior Manager, Amnet India.

A quick parody on a commercial that features a chocolate ball & a portion size of milk which combines their deliciousness to form the ultimate confectionery experience, Kinder Joy. Print and digital media, in a similar fashion can flourish without each other, however, they perform best in tandem. The key is to strike the right balance and how to creatively engage readers using both platforms simultaneously.

With the evolution of digital, the lifetime of Print was likened to be the Mayan apocalypse, another doomsday that would curse the offline media to eternity, however, the truth is far beyond. According to a FICCI-EY report, it is estimated to grow at 3.4 percent (CAGR) to reach ₹338 billion by 2021 in India.

While most business investment today has moved towards an Omni-Channel approach, the amalgamation of Print & Digital in the lines of adaptation still looks blurry in India. With that in mind, there’s humongous space for this Cross-Channel advertising to reach consumers on multiple platforms.

Recalling the ‘Ford Explorer Interactive Print Ad’ where QR code-enabled interactive print ads were released to demonstrate different features of Ford Explorer SUV. To view the demo, the readers needed to scan the QR code by placing their phones on the highlighted area. A virtual Explorer SUV would appear on the mobile screen & demonstrate the features using elements from the Print ad. 

Print & Digital- Stitching Together The Next Revolution

Imagine the seamless experience that can be driven by having the powerful combination of Print & Digital together in synergy. Imagine the future, where the controlled & exposed groups are not just limited within the digital environment but are also embracing the offline user groups via Print Media. After all, one just cannot ignore the fact that an ad campaign never reaches all users within the target audience because whether a user sees a particular ad depends on their behavior, competitive bidding among advertisers, and numerous other targeting parameters.

So, in order to conduct an ideal placebo testing, why can’t the region-specific learnings from a digital campaign be ingested & leveraged to deliver in personalized print communication within a specific district? Why can’t the lift calculations in digital environment be carried out for user groups within two districts- exposing with a print ad in one and withholding ad to the other? Of course, all of this gets complicated when it comes to measure the overall impact but bridging offline & online media isn’t impossible to achieve. Some kind of orchestration required to measure the direct impact of a print activity to a digital campaign, when ran parallelly. Users scanning QR-code via a print communication can be captured & seen as one way to measure the effectiveness of a digital campaign, to reach out to users who were initially being missed out because of numerous targeting parameters.

The breakthrough of Cross-Screen marketing was an exciting development in the future of addressable television. If not with the advent of programmatic, who would have even thought of collecting data from a user’s set-top box & sending that out to an ad exchange to help buyers make an informed decision, in real time, syncing TV and mobile for immediate engagement & higher brand lift. The time now is to foresee how programmatic would reap the real benefits of Print & Digital Media to attain the ultimate Nirvana.

The author is a strategic digital marketer skilled in analytical decision making, campaign management, client servicing and publisher prospects. She works at the programmatic arm of Dentsu Aegist Network where the primary focus is to leverage technology to drive creativity and transparency in digital marketing at scale.


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