Print: you can count on me like 1, 2, 3

While the marketing world got caught up in the digital frenzy, did we lose sight of our most reliable friend – print?

With the surge of digital, every headline pushed marketers into a FOMO frenzy with ‘print is dead’, ‘print versus digital’, ‘digital advertising spend is on the rise’ despite understanding the basic premise: digital remains a small ad spend when compared to overall investment in established medias.

As marketers we also forget our powerful print friend who has delivered strong brand identifiers, trust and tactile engagement let alone ROI and ad recall.

According to Marketing Sherpa, 82 percent of internet users trust print ads when making a purchasing decision, that’s more than any other channel. Despite the advancements of new medias, print still holds its place in the marketing mix with three key pillars forming the foundation for its success.

1. The science behind its strength

There’s nothing like holding a piece of paper in your hand to tantalise the senses, from vibrant colours saturating the page, to the smell of popcorn for a cinema ad, or the addition of embellishments. All have a positive impact on consumer’s recall of a brand. Human touch is a powerful form of non-verbal communication and triggers memory neuroscience stimulants.

Catalogues are a carefully crafted jewel in every Retailer’s crown. The pages that are designed and printed with thought and creative flair reflect the quality of a high-end product in the mind of the customer.

According to a recent Toluna survey into New Zealander consumers’ preference, attitudes and trust towards print and paper in a digital world, 57 percent of Kiwis prefer to read product catalogues in print. Time and time again, we see that the tactile and memorable pieces of print make an impression on the reader in a way that other marketing channels struggle to replicate.

2. Targeting

There are some rather defining benefits by going direct with mail, and using this method is seeing a resurgence. Mail can be targeted that it can be designed in a way to impact a specific audience.

A study conducted by Canada Post Corporation found direct mail to be more action orientated than digital media. Its motivation response was 20 percent higher, even more so if it appeals to more senses beyond touch. In fact, the Toluna survey results show that Kiwis prefer retailers to talk to them through the letterbox. 54 percent of Kiwis read leaflets, flyers and other unaddressed mail delivered to their home. From a direct approach, brands can record exactly how many respond, what they buy, when they buy it and other relevant statistics. 

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) realised the profitable relationship when they collaborated with Reserve Bank and bundled up $1,000 of shredded old bank notes and delivered them to homeowners across the country.

With the intention to educate homeowners on how much money they could be wasting on unnecessary home loan interest, the direct mail piece contained a letter detailing how BNZ’s bank loans could save them $156,000 on a typical $300,000 home loan. The mail out literally allowed customers to weigh up the cost of switching home loan providers.

BNZ’s strong messaging using the physicality of the media targeted specific audiences and led to an increase in mortgage lending by $600,000. A strong ROI result.

3. Engagement

Print has the ability to inspire instant engagement as it is a silent disrupter. Newspapers outperform nine of ten media platforms for gaining cut through and lifting recall, with an average of one-in-three (39 percent) saying they recall seeing a print ad at the outset of their buying cycle. Brands are rethinking their marketing strategies and integrating a strong print channel to reap the benefits.

Utilising the power of print proved to be a success for Maritime New Zealand’s ‘Nobody’s Faster Than Disaster’ campaign. In collaboration with Rebel Sport, the campaign ran advertisements in Daily and Sunday newspapers offering a strong call to action of a 20 percent discount on lifejackets. The campaign exceeded all expectations and successfully delivered Maritime New Zealand’s objectives over a comparable two-week period. With Rebel Sport seeing a 40 percent increase in lifejacket sales, it’s fair to say that print was a lifesaver for Maritime New Zealand.

Print our reliable friend, the hard-working channel delivers consistently. Print offers a moment of stillness that is sought after by many in our fast-paced world. A touch point, an anchor. In an evolving world, innovation is where we retain what works and explore what doesn’t. Print sits in the former ‘it works’ category.

All forms of print, whether it be letterbox marketing or newspapers, direct mail or magazines, have the power to connect and engage with the consumer launching valued brand dialogue. Don’t forget the friends you can rely on.

This story is part of a content partnership with TSA Limited.

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