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Print is Winning Millennials’ Trust: Here’s How You Can Maximize Engagement With Print

Millennials are set to become the single largest demographic of American consumers by the end of the decade. It means that within just a few short years, they will also be the largest audience that marketers will need to engage to maintain their market share, keep profits high, and establish lasting brand loyalty.

And despite the image many marketers have of millennials as a digitally-obsessed, online-only audience, print marketing is a surprisingly, especially effective means of engagement for a number of reasons. That’s according to Heather Fletcher of Target Marketing, who explains the hows and whys of engaging millennials with print marketing materials.

colorful printed books - print strikes back

Print Marketing Builds Trust with Millennials

Millennials are a transactional demographic. They believe that their relationship with a brand should be far more quid pro quo than blindly accepting the only available option. Put simply: millennials expect more value from brands than other demographics, and print marketing is an effective way to deliver value to them. “When markets provide useful content – and millennials value branded print ads more than other generations – consumers will remember it and turn to the print marketing when they’re ready to buy,” Fletcher explains. Unlike digital touchpoints like banner ads and emails, print marketing materials are far more memorable.

Fletcher suggests the following strategies for print marketing to millennials:

      1. Educational Content. Whether these are product how-tos or informative infographics, your print marketing materials should provide real educational value to your millennial audience that goes beyond just telling them where to buy your products.
      2. Use and Idea Suggestion Guides. Like the fashion “look books” that have become so popular with millennials, think of these as a type of recipe book for your product or solution. Show millennials exactly how your product can be used in their lives. Help them envision it with your print materials.
      3. Value-Adding Promotions. Things like personalized coupons or discount flyers add a real, tangible dollar value to your print materials that resonate with millennials.
female frustrated - digital fatigue

Print Marketing Overcomes Millennial Digital Fatigue

Millennials may be the most digitally-connected demographic, but that doesn’t mean that digital is the only way to engage them. As Daniel Dejan explains, “With all of these devices (most people own at least three), we reach the point of monitor fatigue. It is an actual physiological symptom where between looking at a computer, constantly checking your phone, possibly having your tablet on at the same time, going home and turning on the TV, playing games, etc… The brain reaches a point of saturation.

And when it does, it can no longer take in any more.” And that, Dejan says, is why even younger demographics seek out printed materials. In fact, a recent study found that 92% of college students surveyed prefer reading in print over any form of digital media. As a marketer, if you’re concerned about a heavily saturated market and finding a way to stand out above the noise, print materials are a clever, cost-effective, and popular channel to engage millennials.

Print Marketing to Millennials Boosts the Effectiveness and Attribution of Other Channels

Most millennials live on their devices. It’s where they’re comfortable. So many savvy brands are using print marketing to improve their digital attribution by leveraging direct mail with custom product URLs and discount codes printed on the mailers. When a shopper visits that tracked URL, or enters that specific discount code, the marketing teams knows for a fact that it was the print marketing material that drove them there. 

“So in an industry that’s become addicted to attributing sales to the ‘last click’ – even if that’s an in-store transaction – marketing professionals may gain insight into touchpoints via consumer engagement from print marketing,” Fletcher explains. What’s more, many CMOs are using print marketing to engage the portions of their millennial audience that digital channels are failing to reach.

“Direct mail has expanded many brands’ reach and relieved the pressure on email campaigns,” Fletcher says, citing a specific client case study. “Only 40 percent of customers subscribe [to their email newsletter] during the checkout process. Today, they are using print inserts and mailers to reach the remaining 60 percent, and it has made a big difference.” Whether they’re reviewing catalogs before purchasing online, applying discount codes from direct mailers to their online shopping carts, or recalling your brand from your unique print marketing materials, print marketing improves both the attribution and the effectiveness of all your customer channels.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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2019 Top Marketing Trends: The Holy Matrimony of Digital and Print Marketing

print-holy matrimony

As forward-looking brands begin to build their marketing plans for 2019 and beyond, a few key trends have already started to emerge and will be important areas of focus for CMOs and marketing teams in the coming year. That’s according to John Hall of Forbes, who explains that more than ever, effective management of marketing operations resources – and its benefits – will be the way savvy brands set themselves apart in 2019.

Digital Advertisements Are Losing Effectiveness

Call it digital fatigue or an inevitable result of technology, but online advertisements – which used to be the hottest new things in marketing – are beginning to reach their saturation point. In fact, according to Business Insider, 30 percent of all internet users are expected to be using some form of online ad blocker by the end of 2019. Explains Hall, “[This] means that traditional digital ads now won’t even reach 30 percent of possible target audience members.” To get around this and reach that untapped audience, CMOs will need to get more creative with their marketing materials.

Creative Marketing Materials Can Set Your Brand Apart

As we mentioned above, no one is saying digital is dead. But to maintain (and grow) its effectiveness, ROI, and conversion rates, CMOs must find creative new ways to keep it fresh. And one of the best ways to do that is by linking it to your print and physical marketing activities. “People have been saying for a long time that print is dead,” Hall explains, “but I recently came across a company that used software to obtain physical addresses for clients and started sending them print newsletters. I also found that this campaign was extremely successful.”

Another compelling new trend using print marketing to add increased value to digital marketing is using postcards and direct mailers with URL links to digital assets. Sending direct mailers with URLs to digital assets is a clever – and creative – way to make your marketing rise above the digital noise, spam folders, and ad blockers.

man shaking hands partnership

Strategic Partnerships Correct Many Internal Roadblocks

Many otherwise savvy brands balk at the idea of using an external partner to manage any aspect of their marketing operations. But understanding the strategic benefits of these partnerships can add real value and help internal marketing teams hit their quotas. “There’s too much red tape with other departments,” Hall says as he describes the attitude of many internal teams. But bringing in outside management of certain activities can “fuel other parts of the company, resulting in better talent, lower costs, and improved relationships with investors.”

And indeed, that is the real added value of strategic marketing partnerships in 2019. With more and more “X as a service” industries opening up, more and more areas for highly specialized expertise have emerged. And by leveraging this expertise in specific areas – like print management or marketing supply chains – your brand can actually do more and enjoy a greater ROI than would be possible without the partnership.

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As 2019 draws near, new marketing trends are on the horizon for CMOs everywhere. By keeping these tips in mind – not relying solely on digital, using print marketing to add value to your digital efforts, and leveraging trusted partnerships – your brand can succeed and stand out from the crowd in the new year.

 

[This] Business Insider, Mar 23, 2017. “30% of all Internet users will ad block by 2018.”

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Print Marketing Strikes Back with Stronger Force for Retail

colorful printed books - print strikes back

When it comes to retail and print marketing, a changing landscape is shifting the priorities of marketing teams everywhere. Digital media marketing continues to grow – industry estimates forecast digital marketing spend to hit $100.8 billion in 2018[1] – and this means CMOs must find new ways to get the most from their print marketing activities. But according to the same estimates, print marketing spend is expected to reach $97.8 billion this year – nearly equaling digital media marketing. There are a few big reasons why print marketing is still huge for retailers, and why smart CMOs are finding new ways to leverage it. That’s according to Neil O’Keefe of DMA, who breaks down the big uses for print marketing today.

NVISION postcard - direct mail insights

Direct Mail Marketing Driving In-Store Retail

O’Keefe points out that one of the largest drivers of 2017 holiday sales was direct mail marketing activities. “Retailers often use print to leverage their private label offerings, as a means to drive visitors into their stores,” O’Keefe says. Though it may seem counterintuitive, physical mail is now a far more unique means of outreach than email. While countless junk emails go directly into customers’ spam folders each and every hour, an actual letter or mailer from a brand shows a much more personalized touch. And because of its physical nature, direct mail is an extremely effective way to drive customers to your brick-and-mortar stores with by-mail only promotions and coupons. Plus, you don’t need an up-to-date list of email addresses and several spam filter-dodging best practices to deliver it!

Print Marketing Still Reaches More Customers Than Digital

Digital channels are growing rapidly, but that growth still hasn’t equaled the overall market share that print still holds. “Print advertising is still very effective and doesn’t show signs of going away any time soon,” writes O’Keefe. “A recent International News Media Association article cites a Nielsen Homescan survey and concludes that about 80% of U.S. households still use traditional printed sources as their primary medium for information about stores, sales, and specials.”

QR code scanning from direct mail

Combining Print and Digital Marketing for Greater Conversion

One of the newest and most ingenious ways CMOs and marketing teams are leveraging print marketing is by using it to promote their digital marketing assets. Many marketers have discovered that a key way to take advantage of the higher open rate of physical mail is to send mailers with custom URLs and hyperlinks, directing the recipient to go online and download an asset, like a case study or infographic. This type of print outreach can make your digital marketing assets go further, too.

What’s more, many savvy retail marketers are using what they’ve learned about targeting and segmentation from digital marketing and applying those lessons to print marketing. “Retailers are doing more experimenting with new ways to send out deals on paper, sometimes mining online behavior or databases of shopper trends to improve their print marketing,” O’Keefe says. “This form of marketing reactivation is seen as cutting-edge, and capability that is generating much retailer interest.”

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It’s no secret that digital marketing is growing rapidly. But, as O’Keefe says: “It is hard to imagine a strategy which accomplishes its goals without print as an integral component of the overall plan.” By understanding the new ways marketing teams can leverage print marketing, and how print marketing fits into a comprehensive marketing strategy, CMOs can make their budgets go further and enjoy a greater return on investment.

[1] MediaPost, Jan 12, 2018. “Digital Ad Spend To Surpass Traditional in 2018.”

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Emerging Challenges Facing CMOs in 2018

man working on laptop

As Summer 2018 approaches and brands are preparing to make their marketing pushes to capitalize on the summer spending season, it’s not just sunscreen and cook-outs on the minds of marketers. That’s according to Emily Cross at the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), who explains that there are five (5) main areas where CMOs are facing new challenges, exactly what potential dangers those challenges pose, and how savvy marketers can overcome them. So let’s take a look at some of the challenges CMOs are facing in 2018, and how smart brands are dealing with them.

Digital Transparency: the Real Numbers

Digital is the hot word on the lips of CMOs right now. Omnichannel expansion and the Internet of Things are revolutionizing how marketers target and reach their audiences. But there are some pitfalls with digital as well. Namely, that ROI and revenue can be much more difficult to attribute with digital versus print. That’s why WARC says that most brands cite “digital measurement” and transparency as the number one issue in their marketing plans. In fact, 30% of those polled expect to cut their digital spend in 2018 if these issues aren’t alleviated.

So, how can smart CMOs protect themselves and their brands?

  • Take proactive steps to minimize risk
  • Prioritize ad visibility over duration
  • Explore more traditional channels

Customer Experience: Superior and Competitive

In increasingly crowded marketplaces, more and more brands are setting themselves apart by delivering a superior, highly personalized customer experience. And the reasons are obvious. Modern consumers will actually give preference to brands that offer them personalized experiences. In fact, 80% of consumers state they are more likely to engage with a brand if it offers personalized customer experiences, and customers will shop 3x as frequently if it provides experiences personalized to them. That’s why, according to WARC, 53% of brands will prioritize CX in their marketing strategy for 2018.

So, how can CMOs position themselves to compete – and win – on the customer experience?

  • Understand CX is a whole customer journey, not one touchpoint
  • Structure teams, operations, and supply chains to execute
  • Use data intelligently to create a full view of the customer
brand idea poster - onsite services

Defining Your Brand Purpose

Everyone is searching for a purpose in life. But according to WARC, many brands are, too. As the lines between politics, world events, and marketing continue to blur thanks in part to social media, many CMOs are seeing purpose-driven advertisements as a powerful way to associate their brand with issues that matter to their customers, winning their loyalty.

Which explains why WARC reports a 300% increase in purpose-driven ads from the top 100 global brands in the last five years. But when purpose-driven marketing misses the mark, its backlash can be loud and damaging. Authenticity is key.

So, how can CMOs leverage their brand purpose wisely?

  • Keep it rooted in your brand’s current, actual values
  • Support long-term brand building and customer loyalty
  • Respond rapidly to popular trends; don’t wait too long and miss them

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE

Integrating Direct Mail Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2018

Direct mail has long been one of the most trusted tools in a marketer’s arsenal. But as the digital revolution in marketing continues to grow and evolve, so too do the possibilities that direct mail presents. By understanding some of the newest and hottest trends in integrating digital and direct mail marketing, savvy CMOs can position their brands for ongoing success well into an unpredictable future. That’s according to Jason Sullock of IT Pro Portal, who breaks down a few of the most promising trends in direct mail for 2018.

Omnichannel Integration

It may be surprising to think of direct mail as a way to unify your multi-channel digital marketing efforts, but it’s actually a fantastic opportunity to do so.  By incorporating printed QR codes into their direct mailers, marketers can make it extremely simple and convenient to direct recipients to the landing page, product demo, or special promotion you want them to see. You can also include unique URLs linked directly to your mailers. That way, when your customers visit that URL, you can track the fact that the mailer sent them there, and you can better measure the impact of your direct mailing efforts

thinking girl with digital shopping symbols

Programmatic Personalization

Programmatic mail links your direct mailing efforts to each customer’s specific online activities, but in the opposite manner of the omnichannel integration we discussed above. By using digital tracking and analysis of customer behavior – things like what pages they’ve visited, what products have they’ve searched for, and what items they’ve abandoned in their shopping carts – marketers can then send direct mailers that speak to these specific interests and talking points. An email reminder to complete your online checkout? Easily ignored and deleted. A colorful, eye-catching piece of mail delivered right to your front door? That’s much more effective at converting shoppers into customers.

Augmented Reality

As more brands try to provide a truly unique and engaging customer experience by venturing into augmented reality (AR), the possibilities for using AR to supplement direct mail, and vice versa, are growing. Marketers can design even rudimentary AR apps so that when a customer scans a QR code included in a direct mailer, the brand’s logo appears or a product video plays. In more advanced versions, scanning a direct mail QR code in an AR application can display three-dimensional virtual versions of your products, creating lasting and meaningful impressions.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE