Prepare for the Impact of Print Promotion

Let your ISP know about impending traffic spikes.

Most successful advertising campaigns don't use just print, just web, just TV, or, er, just radio. These days, a good campaign has to be working cross-media to provide a complete marketing experience for consumers.

Of course, most businesses already know that cross-media promotions need to support each other. For example, if your print ad is driving traffic to a website, make sure that the website references the ad in some way (even just in terms of color) so that visitors know they're in the right place.

Seems obvious, but I've seen an ad or two that didn't even include the same business, product, or event title found on the landing page! Poor coordination of this type can kill your ROI. On the flip side, so can failure to coordinate with your IT people.

This weekend, I was having dinner with a group of web design and developer types, and we were discussing how effective a print ad is in driving traffic to a URL. It was a lively debate, until our ISP friend piped him. He said that he always knows (too late!) when one of his clients is running a print campaign, because traffic spikes are so high that he has to scramble to keep the servers from crashing.

He went on to say that he wished businesses would let him know in advance when they were running print ads, so that he could prepare for the increased traffic. Before that conversation, coordinating with technology providers never occurred to me. But there you have it. Don't stop at making sure your campaign's cross-media launching and design work together, make sure your IT people are prepared to handle the results!

As bad as it is to use print to drive traffic to a confusing URL, it's much, much worse to generate traffic you can't handle because your site is down! Always plan expecting success! Happy Monday!

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Printing 15.06.2009

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