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By Kevin Groome on May 20, 2016

It’s Time to Put Print in its Place


Millennials still respond to print collateral The majority of millennials say they want print to remain a big part of their lives.

In a world of ever-increasing options for reaching customers, it’s easy to see why brand managers are asking whether print collateral should be a significant part of their strategies. After all, digital’s share of the average marketing budget has risen from less than 10% to more than 35% in just under 10 years. With numbers like that, one might be excused for believing print should be the first part of the budget to sacrifice when times get tough.

But there are good reasons not to succumb to this easy logic, and at Pica9, our work with customers shows that print is not only holding its own in the marketing mix, but is actually being singled out for its unique effectiveness in four key places:

Considered purchase evaluation: The teaching power of print is one reason why almost all considered purchase brands include the use of print collateral in the decision-making process. And with inbound/content marketing on the rise, there’s more reason than ever to deliver long-form content in print forms that customers can engage with easily when and where they have the time.

Offer redemption: According to the experts at Inmar, in 2014, American consumers redeemed more than 2.7 billion coupons in print, compared to 150 million digital coupon redemptions. While it is true that digital coupons are undergoing rapid growth, the massive base for print argues for its primacy in the marketing mix for years to come.

Direct mail prospecting: Print has been shown to cut through information clutter and achieve recall rates more than double that of email. For instance, in a 2014 Virginia Tech survey, 82% of recipients of a print publication recalled receiving it, whereas less than 40% could say the same of the email version. This higher recall rate is one reason why response rates to direct mail campaigns outpace e-mail counterparts by an order of magnitude, generating close to $1 trillion in increased sales in the US in 2014.

Targeting millennials. Yes, that’s right. According to research conducted by J Walter Thompson, over 50% of millennials say they want print to remain a significant factor in their lives, even in the face of increasing digital reach.

Given that print will form a meaningful portion of the marketing mix, it’s time to ask how we make the impact of print more powerful at the local level. And since we built CampaignDrive to help multi-location enterprises make maximum brand impact locally, we’ve got plenty of examples to choose from — thousands, in fact. Here are a few lessons learned from our customers today.

  1. Branding Begins In The Back Office. Many CampaignDrive customers load their systems first with branded templates intended for internal use. From employment applications to training materials, to regulatory notices, these very practical executions are offered up as polished designs in which localized information can be inserted quickly and easily (often automatically) by users in the field. As a result, the entire staff learns the lesson of brand consistency because they see it all around them in the workplace every day.
  2. Get Your Local Marketers in the Zone. Newspapers and promotional publishers like Val-Pak, are building out more and more precisely targeted delivery zones. We see many customers using CampaignDrive to inform and orient local marketers to these tightly targeted media opportunities. By coordinating local activity with national promotions enhance brand integrity and boost engagement and redemption rates.
  3. Make Direct Mail a Mainstay. Recent surveys show that direct mail is still a top-3 business-building technique for most local marketers. Build on that instinct by offering local users direct mail templates that ensure lowest-cost execution with the US Postal. Also, provide users with a list-management tool that you can populate with geographically targeted contact records. For extra impact, append addresses and email addresses to help your local marketers achieve a true “surround sound” effect by marketing to local leads across multiple channels.
  4. Don’t Forget the Promise of One-to-One. We see more and more users on CampaignDrive creating one-to-one marketing at a scale we wouldn’t have thought possible even five years ago. Keep in mind that long-form collateral in PDF format can be tremendously compelling when it’s been tailored to the needs of an individual reader.

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Published by Kevin Groome May 20, 2016
Kevin Groome