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    Over the last few years, I’ve watched in both eagerness and sadness as we have seemingly progressed past paper. Newspapers are all but obsolete while Twitter has become a major news source.

    As marketing professionals, we pore over these latest and upcoming trends – how to use SEO, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ to reach more of our target audience and ultimately increase company profits.

    The marketing pendulum has swung so far in digital’s favor many companies are now developing predominantly digital strategies. While we can all agree that digital marketing is here and here to stay, I think the focus on digital tactics has created an environment in which “antiquated” marketing tactics are again relevant.

    Glamour Magazine is a great case study of this, reported by ClickZ:

    QR Codes resulted in over 50,000 Facebook likes for advertisers.

    By establishing your website as the core of your marketing strategy, non-digital tactics can be very effective and efficient in driving users to your site and increasing overall conversions. Here are some of my favorite ways of blending the old with the new:

    Print ads/posters with QR Codes

    During the Valentine’s Day season I was browsing the window display of one of my favorite Portland stores, Oblation Paper and Press.  Several large print ads filled the window , each boasting large headings such as “How to Write a Love Letter.” A large, brightly-colored QR code resided on each ad. Now, here is the key to what made this so engaging and effective – when I scanned the love letter ad QR code, it did not send me to Oblation’s regular old website. It sent me to a landing page outlining how to write a love letter.

    Not only did my inner marketer rejoice at seeing a well-planned QR code, but I was able to make a few notes on how to write a love letter should I ever feel compelled – a definite win in my book.

    Berrge Tattoo QR Code

    Berrge Tattoo Studio in Ireland used a QR code to find new employees. Artists needed to fill in the code before scanning it to gain access to the application.


    Image and story courtesy of 2d code.

    Printed Leave-behinds

    You may be thinking, “Meg, this is nothing new. My company used these for years and they were always a waste.”

    That may be. But what I am suggesting here is a 2.0 approach. Invest in a well laid-out design, appropriate imagery, targeted messaging and an explicit call-to-action that guides your audience to the next step (ideally, your website). The effective use of paper-based marketing is not obsolete – the key is to do it well. The entire goal of mixing old with new is to entice people to keep pursuing your message, product, etc.

    Landing pages

    Targeted, campaign & audience-specific landing pages are fantastic ways to keep your user engaged after a print-based interaction. With the use of a QR code or short URL on an ad or leave-behind, you can create a special landing page that allows your audience to keep consuming your message. By getting them to a landing page, you can track that conversion and potentially lead them to your site.

    Naturally, this is only the tip of the marketing mix iceberg. When used with a bigger purpose in mind, blending old and new marketing tactics can go that extra mile in increasing web traffic and overall conversions. So, tell me – what are your favorite ways to blend marketing tactics?