Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Print Marketing Relevance in the Age of Covid-19," brings to light print marketing successes and failures during the pandemic as the nation continues to grapple with covid-19, vaccine rollouts, and the economic recovery. Nevertheless, Print Service Providers (PSPs) continue to enjoy options for connecting with customers and prospects. A Keypoint Intelligence Survey from December 2020 highlights that just over one-third of all respondents increased their print product purchases for particular types of print products. In addition, the most typical investments were business responses to the pandemic, including on-site protocol signage and in-store notifications. As Covid-19 and its variants continue to impact businesses and health concerns for the foreseeable future, we note that print buyers' marketing strategies are morphing and shifting. Further, this post identifies takeaways from the Keypoint Intelligence Survey "based on the most common interests within the production printing market, including print buyers' vertical markets strategies, drivers, applications, media channels, and ordering processes."
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What is Provoking Buyers' Curiosity?
Keypoint Intelligence's recent survey alludes to results that state more than one-third of the survey participants indicate that they have or plan to increase print purchases for specific products. For many, it is a culmination in direct response to trying to remain open during the pandemic. Further, an additional 40% were planning to emulate those efforts. Although it is unclear whether these actions translate into increase print purchases, it does suggest that print collateral is here to stay. These actions do not necessarily translate into increased print purchases, but it does indicate that print remains a relevant media channel to engage, connect and communicate with customers and prospects.
Printing Purchasing Trends During Covid-19
When viewing the trends, it's crucial to understand how businesses view print value, particularly as the pandemic altered the marketing game. Marketers' use of print since the pandemic began has been multifarious but includes posting COVID-19 mitigation rules in places trying to remain open. Therefore, the question put forth in the Keypoint Intelligence Survey of 2020 produced the following data points:
Question: Has your company increased purchases of certain types of printed products as a result of its efforts to remain open during the pandemic?
04% - Don't know 22% - No 34% - Yes 40% - No (But we'll purchase more as we return to normal) The exciting number to keep a watchful eye on is 40%. That answer is similar to a variable line of code, meaning that if this happens, then we will be doing that in response. In effect, the variable is the "when we return to normal."
Most medical professionals in the epidemiology, virus, and vaccine sectors allude to the future being a bit uncertain about when we will return to some sense of normalcy. Others are forecasting that, for the most part, we are already in a new normal.
Whether this is a new normal or not, the driving force will be the vaccines' efficacy, how people adjust their behavior, and what types of variants emerge. Keep in mind that human behavior is the key, and if folks continue to gather in large groups, refuse to mask up, or dismiss much of the scientific recommendations, we may be heading to another shutdown, which in turn could drive print efficacy to a higher level.
What Prompted Print Purchases
In an effort for PSPs to get their communications offerings to market, combined with the shift to online marketing efforts, businesses found challenges balancing both digital and print mediums. To the extent that we are an event-driven society, the survey identified events that produce tremendous interest throughout the year for various industries, including fashion, sports, theater, cinema, politics, and more.
The survey also sought to identify the types of events or initiatives that would prompt a company to purchase printed collateral due to the pandemic. The following responses generated from the 2020 Keypoint Intelligence Survey explains that answer:
46% - Company response to Covid-19
44% - New in-store/on-site protocols
31% - Local/State/Federal compliance rules and materials
30% - Sales promotions
30% - Contactless pickup/delivery
28% - Direct marketing
28% - Traffic markers for customers
26% - Customer events
19% - Grand reopening
10% - None of the above
02% - Don't Know
The challenge for businesses to drive customers, awareness, and relevancy, which leads to improving sales numbers, relies on the marketing mix. Most companies have a more focused mindset on sales results than whether those sales occur in person or online. The current forecast from most marketers suggests that sales will rise to near-normal levels by the latter part of 2021. And as a result, most marketing mediums are expected to grow as well.
Transactional and Transpromo Printing
We are all aware of the sprint toward more digital marketing in the wake of the pandemic. There is the idea that online statements, while convenient and less expensive than transactional documents, have hidden costs. The myriad of scams, email phishing, hacking, and the lack of robust online security gives many reasons to hit the pause button when it comes to digital, thereby increasing the print opportunity. Besides, transactional documents represent more than just transactional details. These documents are sure to be read outside of the cluttered digital environment. Further, transactional statements provide document real estate, whereby advertising and communication messages can be included, along with any cross-promotional advertising sponsors. It's an excellent way for any advertiser to engage an existing target market, particularly for industries that sell end-user products and services such as financial, real estate, government, and non-profit. The chance to follow-up with customer satisfaction queries, along with other up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, abound.
Breaking Away From Screen Fatigue Besides Covid-19 fatigue, there is screen fatigue as most folks find that they are spending a tremendous amount of time online. Although many consumers will admit that they enjoy shopping online, many now feel compelled to be glued to a computer screen, personal digital device, or mobile phone. The multitude and degree of fatigue open the door for PSPs to deliver something tangible, physical, printed, which can cement the connection between a consumer and the business. Digital messaging is often less expensive, however, printed collateral continues to exert a communication bridge that makes all the difference and elevates digital engagement and response rates.
Commercial printing contains a high probability and potential to drive product and service sales while providing a greater differentiation level with collateral and messaging. Skilled PSPs can help craft your deliverables if you engage them early during the strategic development process, thereby improving the resulting messaging content and deliverable. Lastly, print buyers should proactively engage their clients to help optimize the client's offerings. Thanks for reading "Print Marketing Relevance in the Age of Covid-19," and we hope you enjoyed this post.
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