We all like value… to be valued as a person and/or to benefit from value for money. But, in a post pandemic digital landscape, where is the value in printed media?

“Cutting through digital noise” is the current buzz phrase in relation to the power of print and it’s ability to be heard above the clatter of digital messaging. However, let’s look at the facts, statistics speak for themselves.

“Mail is 33% more engaging than email and 35% more engaging than Social Media”

Include a piece of print, direct mail, or a door drop in the marketing mix, whether it be a brochure, postcard or one piece mailer, and engagement increases. Music Magpie recently launched a door drop campaign and in the targeted geographical areas they saw an increase of 69% in online activity. It may be increased footfall, calls or online traffic, either way it shows that print helps drive the marketing message home. In fact, that is exactly what it does, delivers that message directly to a doormat, and when the laptop closes and the screen turns black, safely tucked away somewhere is that printed piece in which there was merit to keep.

Given the exciting fact that print is having somewhat of a renaissance and helping to energise marketing campaigns, I read two articles recently which spoke of the value of print. The first was a piece which appeared in Vogue Business and discussed the use of print and direct mail within the luxury brand and fashion markets.

The article, written by Kati Chitrakorn, discussed how luxury brands such as Mansur Gavriel, Chanel, Dior, Prada and Alighieri have all embraced “analogue marketing” tools in the post pandemic world, as they know the value in it and understand the need to break through digital traffic. Alighieri founder, Rosh Mahtani, is quoted as saying “There is nothing digital that could possibly compare to physical.”

A comment from Mansur Gavriel’s Chief Executive, Isabelle Fevrier, was that “Digital is so fast that we are missing the ability to talk about our brand, what we care about and what we stand for. (Direct Mail) is a way for us to tell our story long-form, which appeals to us, because Mansur Gavriel has always been focused on art and photography and (not just clothes).”

In these instances, luxury brands are embracing the printed medium to deliver high impact marketing and engagement pieces that stand out from the crowd. The concept of value and trust is implied in receiving a quality driven piece of printed material, consumers (especially those who are younger) may see print as a luxury. The printed piece becomes more of an experience as opposed to the somewhat functional nature of an online campaign.

On a side note, you can find out how we delivered cost efficiencies for a luxury brand client.

As a print management company, Callimedia have produced numerous magalogues and consumer engagement pieces over the years, as part of wider marketing campaigns. Notably, for Toyota and Christopher Ward these have never been direct selling tools but pieces which drive brand loyalty and help deliver the story of the brand. These pieces are often allowed more creative freedom as engaging content is key, they are fun to create and equally enjoyable to produce.

In June 2020 a French label, Frances Valentine, launched its first direct mail campaign, due mainly to the closure of stores and cancelled shows during lockdown. The brand relied on digital marketing prior to this but they found a direct mail campaign allowed them to connect intimately with customers and they actually beat estimates of catalogue sales by 215 percent. The marketing collateral created that personal intimate interaction, which we all so desire, and was an incredible substitute for what would normally have been achieved through store and show contact.

It is interesting to see luxury brands developing campaigns with such a high value placed on print and direct mail. Admittedly, their marketing departments may well have the budgets to deliver luxurious printed items, as DM and print has a higher price point than a digital campaign. That said, however, it is becoming ever more expensive and complex to deliver successful and measurable online campaigns and may become harder still with the upcoming privacy changes that will restrict marketers ability to track consumer data and deliver content with personalisation.

I mentioned that there was a second article that piqued my interest, well it was a Royal Mail Market Reach piece titled “Why Customer Value is a Marketer’s Priority”. The writer, Sonia Danner, wrote, “Putting the customer at the heart of the business makes perfect sense. But the pandemic derailed these efforts for many.” She’s right, during the pandemic, many companies went into survival mode, placing operations above marketing in terms of budget share. Many businesses needed to increase their online capabilities to service and retain their customer base, which perhaps resulted in innovations in marketing to be put on hold and focus on adapting their business to the challenging climate.

Post pandemic, companies are now focusing on rebuilding revenue streams and along with this they are placing the importance of value they deliver to their customers as a priority. The relationship works both ways and understanding what your customer values means a stronger chance of delivering on their expectations.

This brings us back to the Mansur Gavriel example. Through embracing direct mail they have been able to demonstrate what they care about as a business and what they stand for. The interaction between business and consumer is given more value. The consumer feels valued through receiving a considered and intimate piece of direct mail. We know that during lockdown “96% of mail was engaged with and it elicits positivity and trust, plus 44% said they looked forward to receiving mail during lockdown and 40% said lockdown reaffirmed the importance of mail for them”.

A business gains value through brand loyalty from the consumer and the consumer in turn feels valued. This made me think of the relationship between client and print management, as this too works on value. We seek to add value at every step of the process engaging with our clients to deliver concepts and campaigns that fulfil their requirements in terms of message, creativity and cost. We value our clients, and it is important to us that we understand their values. It is also important that they feel valued as a client and that they are getting value for their money. It is a partnership built on trust in much the same way as a brand builds trust with a consumer, with both parties gaining value from a tangible human interactive process.

See how we reduced costs massively for a long valued client in the travel industry.

As I sit here writing this, a colleague of mine has just mentioned something he has seen on LinkedIn. A marketer has stated on their profile that one of their roles is to purchase print from “various companies” to ensure they secure the “lowest cost possible”. Interesting since I am writing about value in print, but also due to the fact that they wrote “various companies”, which made me wonder if this is the case due to issues with the suppliers?

This particular business would use printed material as one of their main sales tools so interesting that their main driver is cost and not a value driven proposition to engage with their potential customer base and show that they are valued, as well as engaging in a value driven relationship with their print providers.

We’d love for you to join our valued client base and we’d also love to see how we can manage your marketing campaigns and deliver value for money. Every new relationship starts with a conversation… Take advantage of our knowledge and expertise and get in touch today!

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