August 21, 2018

Seven Reasons Why Print Marketing is Still Relevant

Print marketing is not dead. In fact, it could be the next big opportunity for businesses. Here the seven reasons why…


ONE: Millennials respond to print marketing


Millennials are people born between the early 80s and the early 90s. They are said to be more digitally connected and media savvy than previous generations. They love the internet, smartphones; and they love consuming video content. However, they also love print. That’s according to research by Quad/Graphics which shows that Millennials respond more to printed communications than they do to email.


This is big news for print marketing. The biggest, most lucrative market loves print!


TWO: Its tactile nature gives it a real-world advantage


Printed material is tangible, something you can smell and touch. This tactile nature stimulates the brain, meaning your messages are more likely to be absorbed and the recipient is more likely to remember your brand.


Well, that’s according to a Millward Brown study (in conjunction with the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University) in which participants were exposed to print and digital material while having their brains scanned with fMRI technology.


Their conclusion:


‘The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, which should help to develop more positive brand associations. The real experience is also internalized, which means the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore should aid motivation.’


The digital material simply didn’t elicit the same response.


So not only does print marketing appeal to millennials, it also appeals to people in general.


THREE: Print marketing can help businesses stand out and get noticed


A lot of online content goes unnoticed. Think of all the marketing emails you never open, all the ads you never click on. Production of digital content is constant and we kind of become blind to it. This makes it hard for businesses to stand out and get attention.


Print marketing can circumvent digital blind spots. It can help your brand be seen in a more meaningful and intimate way. It can bypass all the online noise, reach into the quiet space of a person’s life and grab their attention. A quirky, entertaining and intriguing mailshot that lands on someone’s doormat will likely surprise and delight the recipient, which means they’ll be more open to your messaging. And it will be all the more effective if it’s highly relevant, which is to say if it’s well-targeted.


Though there is a caveat. In order for direct print marketing to work, it can’t scream ‘Junkmail!’ The well-designed campaign will cut through the expectations. One way marketers are achieving this is through multidimensional and multisensory mailshots.

Direct Mail



FOUR: Print marketing has a higher trust value than digital marketing


The rise of cybercrime is a massive concern for people nowadays. Internet users are wary of phishing and malware scams, as well as the more ambitious and sophisticated Nigerian scams. With all this digital skullduggery it’s no wonder that people are growing mistrustful of digital marketing.


Print marketing, on the other hand, enjoys a certain amount of baked-in trustability:


  • Because of its expense, scammers are less likely to use print tactics
  • Picking up a leaflet or brochure doesn’t pose an immediate risk as there are no potentially dodgy links to click or documents to download
  • High-quality print is a good indication that the brand is an authentic business
  • A recipient of a traditional direct mailshot has time to check out the company and make sure it’s legitimate


All-in-all, print marketing helps form a backbone of trust and authenticity.


FIVE: Better information retention


When surfing online, people tend to have lower attention spans. We skim through marketing copy or get distracted by the countless tabs open in our browser. This may have something to do with our brains. According to neuroscientific research, the part of the brain we use for reading online is different from the part we use to read printed text. When we read print literature, we use the ‘deep-reading’ part of our brain, which allows us to be more immersed and receptive to the material.


Another factor is concentration. Naomi Baron, a linguistics professor, surveyed people at universities around the world, 92% of whom said that print-reading allows them to concentrate and retain information.


So, print marketing has another distinct edge on its digital counterpart. Not only does print media come with fewer distractions, it also helps the reader better absorb the messaging.


You may have to spend more on print, but you may also find you get better quality results.


SIX: Digitisation has created an exploitable gap


Many businesses have abandoned print marketing altogether in favour of cheaper and more accessible digital marketing tactics. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it has created a gap that can potentially be exploited.


Let’s illustrate the point. Imagine you’re a butcher with a stand at a physical marketplace that has a footfall of around a thousand people, and there are four other butchers competing for custom. Now imagine that three of those competitors abandon their stalls for e-commerce, meaning that you and the other butcher have a thousand potential customers all to yourselves.


It’s the same with traditional direct marketing: people are receiving fewer pieces of print collateral these days. Marketers can potentially exploit this gap.


SEVEN: Not everyone uses or cares for the internet


This is perhaps the most left-field reason. The idea of not bothering with the internet may even seem wacky to some of you. But believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who haven’t got time for the internet or don’t value the internet, or they might even be philosophically opposed to digital culture.


Admittedly this market might be relatively small when compared to the number of internet users; however, it still represents a potentially profitable opportunity. Print marketing allows you to connect with these outliers and boost your overall results.

August 17, 2018

What does GDPR mean for Print Marketing?

The new GDPR legislation doesn’t only affect digital marketing, it also has an impact on traditional print channels. We have taken a little look at what GDPR means for print marketing communications. Let’s dive in.


You may need to update some of your print collateral

The first thing to remember is that GDPR applies to all forms of personal data collection and processing. So, businesses that use traditional print marketing still have to:



If, for example, you’re gathering phone numbers and email addresses via print material, you still need active consent. You won’t be able to assume they’ve opted in simply because they’ve filled in a form. To allow for gaining consent all your print material should be updated, and the copy will have to make it clear exactly what the data will be used for. Your direct mail should provide details on how people can opt out or access their personal data in the future.


So this may mean additional expense because old material has to be discontinued and new material printed up. However, it’ll be worth it because not only will you still benefit from the power of print marketing, but you’ll also be doing it in a lawful way.


Good news for postal marketing: ICO say you won’t need consent

According to the ICO, you won’t need consent for postal marketing if it’s aimed at existing or past customers, or people who have previously shown an interest. This is because you may have a lawful basis under ‘legitimate interest’.


As a lawful basis, legitimate interest has no strict definition and is therefore quite flexible. Essentially it boils down to whether there is any negative impact on a person’s privacy and/or wellbeing. If you can reasonably say that the recipient wouldn’t be surprised or annoyed by communications from you, and indeed they might find it beneficial and it won’t lead them into harmful situations, then you may have a case for legitimate interest. You just need to make sure the recipients can opt out, to respect their right to object.


In addition to this, you won’t need to gain consent if the print material is part of the service you provide i.e. what the recipient expects from you. For example, if you’re running a membership programme that sends out seasonal catalogues, you won’t need to regain consent because this is part of what the members signed up for.


In fact, if you send out consent requests to all your members or mailing lists, you could be causing a nuisance.


The ICO has plenty of helpful information on their website; it’s worth diving into their resource centre and familiarising yourself with best practices. 


Print marketing


GDPR could force print marketers into being more efficient

There have been a lot of concerns about GDPR limiting the marketing scope. However, GDPR could actually make the print marketing process more efficient and therefore boost ROIs.


Regularly auditing and cleaning your lists could mean lower print costs. In other words you won’t be wasting resources on sending material to people who are unlikely to be interested.


So, you could end up getting the same results with a lower outlay.


A trend towards door-drop media

Print marketers will be looking for ways to minimize GDPR liabilities. So we’ll probably see a rise in door drop media, a marketing channel that has GDPR compliance baked into it. You won’t even need to use ‘legitimate interest’.


So, what is door-drop media and how does it work?

It’s a direct marketing action that allows you to target households based on postcodes grouped according to their demographic profiles. Use special software to organise postcodes into categories and make well-targeted campaigns. GDPR legislation doesn’t apply because you won’t be processing any personal data.


The ICO has made it quite clear:

“If an organisation is sending mail or leaflets to every address in an area and does not know the identity of the people at those addresses, it is not processing personal data for direct marketing, and the GDPR rules will not apply.”


This makes door-drop media an attractive option for print marketers looking to reduce GDPR risk while maintaining a positive strategic advantage.