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Why Digital Loves Print - Myth Busting

Elsewhere in our ‘Why Digital Loves Print’ blog series, we’ve identified a plethora of ways that digital and print can work together for marketing campaign strategy gold!  

But just in case you needed any more convincing on why this powerful double-act is the real deal, we’re flipping the script on print by busting some common misconceptions of the industry.  

For these widespread myths are typically what’s led marketers to favour online over offline instead of fusing the best of both worlds for an innovative and effective omnichannel approach.  

All Mail Is Junk Mail

Thanks to advances in industry tech, print has become so much more sophisticated than generic mass mail drops.   

By analysing consumer data, online behaviours and buyer research profiles, modern print campaigns can target precisely the right people at the right time resulting in relevant communications and notable conversions.   

Take our HomingIn on Homemovers proposition, for example. Using clever data-driven campaigns, it allows big-name brands to specifically target valuable home movers at key points in their on-the-move journey. And better still, filter audiences via factors such as property characteristics, geographical location and buyer demographics.   

The outcome? Well, we’ve seen right-place, right-time campaigns like these achieve a mega 30% increase in direct response with boosted average order values to boot. Moreover, future relevant communications will continue to build and nurture consumer relationships and help create loyal brand fans.   

Print ROI Is Not Trackable   

Incorrect! Once again, newly available tech and digital data sources have made traceable tools accessible to print.  

Think QR and exclusive discount codes that can be included within print mailouts to direct consumer traffic to a website, specific landing page or download link.  

We know from JICMAIL’s five-year report that print is incredibly effective in driving a desired action, with a 60% rise in digital consumer journeys triggered by mail. So, it’s simply a case of using the right tools to hook up on and offline worlds and prompt an action that’s both favourable and trackable. 

 You Can’t Personalise Print   

Not only is personalisation possible in print, it’s expected!   

Studies reveal that 81% of consumers want brands to get to know them, more than 78% will only engage with offers that have been personalised to their previous engagement, and 77% have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalised service.  

Blurring the lines between on and offline, it's possible to use data to profile customers, discovering exactly what makes them tick and then targeting them accordingly via personalised print products. This might be a tailored brochure based on a customer’s previous purchases, an exclusive ‘life event’ discount or even an abandoned-cart/favourited-products-related promotion.   

Furthermore, we can invite consumers to take an interactive role in the communications they receive by filtering options online to create their very own brochure that’s then printed and sent directly to their door.  

This relevant and emotionally-triggering approach not only makes consumers feel like an individual rather than just a number but also builds brand loyalty, delivering some pretty impressive results. For example, Mometate’s 2019 Personalisation Development Study outlining the ROI of personalised marketing revealed a colossal 93% of companies with an “advanced personalisation strategy” saw their revenue grow. Meanwhile, only 45.4% of companies without a personalisation strategy saw equivalent growth, further highlighting the importance of individual experiences to potential customers.   

Print Is Outdated  

As we explored in our Moving Out The Middle Lane blog post, print has successfully withstood the test of time by embracing game-changing tech advances and data insights.  

It’s no longer a one-dimensional all-things-to-all-people medium but a slick, creative and reactive channel that can enrich and support digital campaigns for an effective media mix. Furthermore, endless innovation in print ordering and production means it earns kudos for its versatility, efficiencies, sustainability and scalability.  

A retro-resurgence for physical connection and a desire for digital respite has also bolstered print’s appeal in recent years, with consumers looking to tangible, trusted mediums that don't require screen time.  

This is reflected in the perceived value consumers have come to put on mail, which is retained for much longer than quickly disposed of digital content. In its latest report, JICMAIL reveals 94% of mail is engaged with over a 28-day period that it tends to be kept in the home, while 20% of mail is filed away to revisit at a later date.   

Print Is More Harmful To The Environment Than Digital  

Think again! The ICT industry is one of the biggest contributors to CO2, accounting for 5-9% of electricity use, which is more than 2% of global greenhouse emissions and the same amount as air traffic!   

In fact, electronic waste in 2019 was a gigantic 53.6 million metric tonnes across the world (equivalent to 350 cruise ships!), and that’s constantly increasing. Not surprising when the average person generates 136kg CO2e from email use alone! Then there’s all the digital device waste to think about when computers reach the end of their lives.  

By contrast, the pulp, print and paper industry accounts for just 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the lowest industrial emitters.   

Streamlined print-on-demand efficiencies that reduce waste and eliminate surplus stock are part of its new-age sustainable appeal. Plus, the industry is using fewer chemicals in its production and harnessing greener modes of transport for delivery. Many print products can now also be easily recycled, and the industry is planting more trees than it’s cutting down each year to replenish stocks and clean up its environmental footprint.  

Add to all this the fact that sustainability is of growing importance to both businesses and consumers, particularly younger generations, and it's clear why print plays a crucial part in modern-day marketing strategies.   

So, next time you think of a mailout causing a mass tree massacre, consider the impact of those cruise-ship-style emails being shipped out left, right and centre!  

Print Is Expensive  

Taking a more streamlined approach to communications by only printing what you need, when you need, is better for both the planet and your pocket.  

Slick automation and efficient workflows have made printing in real-time a refreshing reality, so no more hefty chunks of budget spent on equally hefty mailouts and brochures. The effortless scalability of print also helps to make it a more cost-friendly medium, with the ability to reach one or one million without the need for additional resources or creative.   

PPC marketing is now generally more expensive than print as businesses compete for crowded digital space, and since mail tends to reach multiple people in just one household, it can be seen to provide extra added value too.   

Look out for more posts from our Why Digital Loves Print blog series, which highlights the power of integrating print into your digital marketing strategy for a winning cross-channel approach.