Let’s face it, print has become the Rodney Dangerfield of marketing channels – it gets no respect. Sure, website analytics, Email best-practices, and emerging channels like mobile and social are glitzy and exciting, but are they really better than direct mail? After all, shouldn’t the most important measurement of the success of a marketing channel be based on recipient preference?
According to a recent study by Chief Marketing Magazine, consumers say they like print. While the focus of marketers has been on digital marketing channels, “old school, expensive” printed direct mail has been under the radar getting the job done. According to the study, 6/10 Americans (and 7/10 Canadians) enjoy getting direct mail to learn about new products. This preference toward direct mail spans all industry categories and age groups, including the tech-savvy generation of 18-35 year-olds.
Even in today’s world of supercharged marketing, 80% of the time consumers are finding products, not the other way around. That means there is a huge opportunity for those marketers who can effectively leverage a multi-channel strategy that includes print. As detailed in the Fall 2011 Edition of Casey Connect (click to read What Influences a Purchasing Decision?), when it comes to the “Stimulus” stage of a purchase decision, consumers will often first discover a product or service through some kind of print marketing, be it targeted direct mail or “mass-media” print such as a magazine article or advertisement. Once a potential customer’s interest has been “stimulated”, they will often turn to digital and social media sources to conduct further product research.
That fact of the matter is, we trust print. It’s established and dependable. Print is multi-sensory; not only can we see it, but we can also touch it, smell it… even taste it (if you’re into that sort of thing). A multi-sensory experience is more likely to “stick” in our memory. Thus, it behooves brands to utilize print to establish recognition, and then build upon that foundation by re-enforcing their message though a multitude of channels.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – there is no “best” marketing channel. By knowing your customers, and utilizing an effective multi-channel marketing approach, brands can continue to improve their return on marketing investment. As this study has shown, print is an important piece of the marketing mix that deserves respect, and will remain a force to be reckoned with.