If I were an Army strategist, I’d figure that the surest way to capture my target is to approach them from all angles.

So that, well, there’s less chance of their escape, and my looking foolish. Although our country is probably lucky that I’m not in charge of defending its shores, I keep hearing that this very approach is offering all kinds of new marketing possibilities these days.

I think it helps if we let go o the convenient but limiting distinction between paper and pixels. I mean, the new medium of radio was a huge perceived threat to newspapers in the 1920s, but in the end they coexisted. And now they’re categorized together under ‘traditional’ media.

Think of using ads, mailers and brochures as first lines of attack.

Sorry about the war analogy. But don’t the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines manage to achieve the same military goal by working together? In any case, print, broadcast and outdoor media are still a way to get attention from folks who aren’t searching online for our helpful new product feature because, well, they didn’t know about it. In print, tease them, lure them, excite them with colorful pictures and new possibilities. Then, use URLs and QR codes that point to the specific web pages we want them to see for further details, benefits, and next steps.

Speaking of QR Codes…

They’re becoming handy little buggers, aren’t they? Problem is, I’m probably not going to stop what I’m doing, wherever I am, to go online with a tiny screen for in-depth info about your product or service. So on your mobile landing page, continue to briefly intrigue them, then get them to drop your regular URL in their web-based bookmarking site, or otherwise forward it to their PC. That way, they can check it out when they have more time, and a greater viewing area, to absorb what you have to say.

It works the other way too.

I find I’m more likely to take extra time with a paper catalog or scrumptiously-designed brochure; when I’m online it seems like I’m always on a hurried mission. So instead of blindly sending prospects a direct mail piece that tries to sell everything to everyone, let them click and choose which products they’re interested in, their business category, and even more specific details. So what they end up getting in the mail is exactly what they’re interested in. Plus with Variable Data Printing, you can do further customization, such as including their name and company name in the brochure’s headlines. I mean, is that the future, or what?

New tablets are already blurring the line between print and web.

Websites and apps optimized for tablet computers offer fresh, unlimited online content with more of a traditional reading experience. An attractive home page that’s properly organized as your website’s table of contents gives readers the best of both worlds. Tablets may not be as common as laptops yet, but watch the former take a bite out of the latter in the next few years.

Technology is just a tool. It’s creativity that gets noticed.

How about a fun but dramatic TV spot that leaves the viewer hanging at the end? Send them to your You Tube channel for the next video in the series. Or use email to tell a prospect that they’re invited to a very cool event, but only if they’re wearing the cartoon bow-tie that’s coming in the mail. Or maybe ask people to print out a web page that has secret info that can’t be seen on screen. Or plan a QR Code Scavenger Hunt, that gets people to search out clues–and your messages–in various media. Who knows; the next national trend could start out as your company’s innovative mixed-media idea.

The objective, in the end, is to surprise the enemy–I mean your prospect–by doing an end-run around their expectations. The strategy lies in how how savvy you are in the choice and deployment of your weapons. I mean media.

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