Why personalised printed communication is your secret weapon to engaging customers in the new normal

Make print media your secret weapon for success

2020 saw a radical change in the opportunities open to businesses to communicate with their customers. Many of us are spending much less time in the office, reducing face-to-face meetings and spending a lot of time online – working, but also catching up with friends and shopping. In fact, time spent on digital media has steadily increased, reaching 7.5 hours a day this year1.

With such a high percentage of our time spent on digital channels, achieving cut-through is becoming increasingly challenging. Research suggests that target markets are showing signs of ‘digital fatigue’, demonstrated by a steep rise in adblocking technology2. This puts a renewed emphasis on the importance of alternative communications such as print as a way to capture and engage customers in the new normal.

Make print media your secret weapon for success

Digital fatigue and media mistrust

Recent research finds that in the last two years, 95% of communications buyers have moved spend into digital 3 . On the surface this makes sense: as well as helping to save costs – printed media is more expensive than digital – marketers want to be present where their customers spend their time. In 2020, more than ever, that is online. However, further research has also shown that it’s becoming more difficult to market effectively on digital media channels and it appears to be an issue of trust. Media consultant Kantar has reported that website advertising, and particularly through social channels, were the least trusted medium available to marketers. The most trusted was print. 4

Capturing engagement with print

Historically, print media has been proven as an effective way to connect with customers, and that impact continues even at a time where our attention spans seem to be getting shorter. Some 65% of consumers say they are likely to give their full attention to print direct mail 5 , a significant proportion that’s hard to ignore. So, while print may represent a higher initial investment, printed customer communications are more likely to be read, and to be trusted – making its ROI ultimately higher than digital strategies.

Why quality matters when it comes to print

When it comes to print, quality really does matter. A study on the effect of print quality recorded increased positive feelings and brand preference when the paper was upgraded 6 , showing that it can actually affect a perception of a brand. That’s why we always design our devices with quality delivery in mind. For example, our latest series, the imagePRESS C170 Series is able to handle a wide range of media and paper sizes, making it the perfect machine for managing a modern workspace needs, from posters to glossy brochures to POS material. They are fast and accurate, are easy to use with many automated functions, and robust and reliable for all-day usage in a busy office or studio.

One of the challenges that customers face in considering creative print comms strategy, is deciding how to produce them. Production can either mean investing in outsourcing, or in buying a specialist device on top of your existing office model. However, the versatility of next-generation systems like the imagePRESS C170 allow organisations to combine their traditional print needs, with the ability to carry out a greater variety of high-quality printing work in-house.

Customer communications like direct mail, brochures and catalogues, and even invitations and short-run packaging, can all be produced on-site with high levels of colour accuracy and finish. As well as increasing control over quality, timelines and security, this gives businesses more creative freedom.

A personalised experience delivers added value

Creating high-quality printed communications adds value by keeping messages relevant and engaging, enhancing the customer experience. Executing these campaigns in-house also offers greater control over personalisation. Digital printers and software imbued with the power of variable data technology, allow users to produce short runs of incredibly targeted, individualised material. Applications such as catalogues, invitations and marketing material can be aimed at specific customers, personalised with their names and other information.

Printed communications have physical attributes not shared with digital: people can see, touch and smell print – sensory experiences that further drive engagement. Combined with the trust consumers still hold for print, quality printed customer communications offer organisations a valuable opportunity to positively engage, convince and drive loyalty with customers. While previously delivering creative, personalised print would mean buying an additional specialist device, today’s more versatile devices can meet your needs for office device functionality, combined with the ability to deliver new, professional formats.

  3. Canon Insights report 2020’Creating Customer Value’
  6. Sappi and Eagleman, D. (2015) A Communicators Guide to the Neuroscience of Touch, p28-29

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