Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "The Durability and Relevance of Print Marketing," reaffirms how print marketing continues to be relevant across various sectors, despite Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic fatigue and the war in Ukraine. Print Service Providers (PSPs) are still consistently able to connect with customers and prospects with various options. A Keypoint Intelligence Survey from December 2020 stated that just over one-third of all respondents increased their print purchases for multiple types of products. Further, of all the print investments, the leading investments reflect business responses to the pandemic, including on-site protocol signage and in-store notifications. We note that print buyers' marketing strategies morph and shift to keep pace with behavior trends. In addition, this post includes 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."
Quote of the Day: "I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." —Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is Provoking Buyers' Curiosity? Keypoint Intelligence's recent survey brings to light that one-third of the respondents state that they plan to increase print purchases for specific print products. During this period, many state that it is an overwhelming direct response focusing on the commitment to remain open while the pandemic continues to alter behavior. While it's unclear whether these actions will increase print purchases, this mindset projects that print collateral will be in demand for the foreseeable future. As the nation returns to a degree of normalcy, print will remain a relevant media channel to connect, engage, and communicate with customers and prospects.
Printing Purchasing Trends During Covid-19 Understanding how businesses view print value is crucial, particularly as the pandemic altered the marketing landscape. Since the pandemic began, marketers' print use has been multifarious but includes posting COVID-19 mitigation rules in places determined to remain open. 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?
4% - Don't know
22% - No
34% - Yes
40% - No (But we'll purchase more as we return to normal)
The compelling 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 do something in response. In effect, the variable is "when we return to normal."
Most medical professionals in the epidemiology, virus and vaccine sectors allude to an uncertain future as to 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.
While these purchasing tendencies date back to 2020, trends take time to emerge and dissipate. Since Covid-19 has not gone away, we remain cautious. In addition, print paper purchasing could trend downward due to supply chain issues.
What Prompted Print Purchases In an effort for print service providers (PSPs) to get their communications offerings to market, combined with the shift to online marketing efforts, businesses found challenges balancing 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 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
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 most businesses experience, such as increasing customer awareness or product relevancy, relies on the marketing mix to improve sales numbers. 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 2022. And as a result, most marketing mediums are expected to grow.
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 messaging. These documents are an excellent way for advertisers 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.
While we remain cautiously optimistic regarding the transactional document market, supply chain issues for paper could impact print output. Furthermore, the possibility of a cyberattack could impact online e-document capability. Therefore, both print and online transactional communications remain on watch.
Breaking Away From Screen Fatigue Besides Covid-19 fatigue, there is screen fatigue as most people spend a tremendous amount of time online. Although many consumers will admit that they enjoy engaging 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, and printed, cementing the connection between consumers and businesses. Digital messaging is often less expensive; however, printed collateral exerts a unique communication bridge while elevating digital engagement and response rates.
The Net-Net In 2022, the commercial printing industry delivers a high probability and potential to drive product and service sales while simultaneously 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 message content and deliverables. Lastly, print buyers should proactively engage their clients to help optimize the client's offerings. Thanks for reading "The Durability and Relevance of Print Marketing," we hope you enjoyed this post.
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