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Print is not dead – Part II

Print isnt dead - Direct approach Design Peterborough

Further to our recent blog about why we believe print is not dead, we bring you the latest industry facts and figures to persuade you that print is enjoying a renaissance and should be regarded as essential media within your marketing tool kit.

What is the power of print?

Not only can a printed brochure or catalogue bring products in front of your customer, it can help upsell across your product range when only a single item was initially required. That is the power of print, but it is only truly effective when accompanied by inspiring copy and striking imagery, and it is correctly targeted.

In addition, a printed brochure, catalogue or direct mail piece can also sell the values of your company which may be missed on line. Your values are your differentiator and enforcer i.e. they reinforce why your customers should buy from you – and seeing them in print makes them more poignant, memorable and persuasive.

Thereafter, once that spark of interest has been ignited, the customer can then be directed to your website to learn more (by watching a video, for example) or view further images, and then order online – if directed to do so, suggesting that on and off line can, and continue to complement each other perfectly.

Moreover, Marketing Week reported that The Sunday Times saw its September fashion issue of Style magazine, (part of the paper’s weekend supplements), achieve over £1.12m in ad revenue – its biggest issue to date, suggesting that there is definitely still life in print.

In a recent survey conducted by Quadrangle, consumers were asked what it was that that they most appreciated about receiving direct mail and what they found useful and/or interesting.

Nearly all the respondents cited mail that spoke to them – not at them – and about things they care about or have knowledge about. It could be information about a new product or new service, an upcoming holiday or simply reminding someone to attend an appointment. In short, it focused on the recipient – not solely on the sender. It was also personal and pertinent – knowledge driven by data and a well-maintained CRM system.

Print can improve perceptions about your brand

As suggested above, printed communications also made the recipient consider – or reconsider – their current perceptions about a brand. Consumers often changed their perception of a company that sent them information – keeping them at the top of mind (60%) or inspiring them to think more positively about them (57%).

The survey also identified that targeted and relevant printed information evoked four particular feelings: ‘special’, ‘excited’, ‘rewarded’ and ‘brought back a happy memory’ which were especially important in driving actions.

In the fragmented media world we all live in today, ‘valued mail’ (personalised and relevant) can maintain and builds brands – both for the recipient and others as well as through word of mouth – generating commercial value that is often greater than its desired or measurable response.

The insights from this survey conclude that the influence of mail as a medium is far deeper and more powerful than previously believed, and that printed media has a unique place in today’s multi-media world. But who can you trust to deliver your highly targeted and relevant printed literature in order to evoke a commercial value?

Choose a design agency with proven print experience

Brochures, catalogues or even the production of company reports is a unique discipline and it is a brave company who uses a supplier without prior experience of the format and processes. As we can attest, the production of a catalogue is one laden with many challenges and various rounds of revisions and only an experienced provider will be aware of, and know how to manage, the process.

Adequate resources and processes

The design agency you choose should have the right team with the appropriate experience, to complete the job within deadline. This means, a dedicated team of designers, marketers, copywriters, and account managers.

Regardless of the size of the catalogue, brochure or report you are producing, you will most likely need to communicate copy changes and feedback on design on a regular basis. Having a dedicated account manager or account management team means your amends are actioned correctly and double-checked before being sent back to you. It is important to weigh this up when comparing supplier costs and your delivery date.

And while you would not necessarily consider this important, your agency should also be able to set up files properly for print, as this will ensure a perfect print job.

Look out for hidden and unaccounted costs in any quotes you receive. Be wary of suppliers that are charging a low cost because they are using a pre-existing template or have only allowed for 1 set of revisions.  The same can be said for automated software – identikit designs won’t get you the standout you need over your competitors or truly reflect your brand. We strongly recommend you use a supplier who can bring the ideas and flexibility to create a dynamic and engaging product from cover to cover.

To learn more about generating a response from creative design and print, contact the printed media specialists at Direct Approach at: hello@dadm.co.uk

Source: Royal Mail MarketReach, The Private Life of Mail, 2014.(C) Direct Approach 2015