Why does print remain so relevant today as a communication channel, even for Millennials? To answer this question, we sat down with Daniel Dejan of Sappi North America, which has done extensive research on the neuroscientific effect of print and how it fits into our multichannel marketing world. Below is our edited interview. Hear more insights from Dejan in our on-demand webcast, “Generation Nation — Keys to Unlock Marketing Success Across Any Age Group.”
Presentation is important for any direct mail piece, but without good copy, your enticing visual means nothing. Compelling writing sets the tone for your offer, allows for the reader to identify your brand voice, builds consumer confidence, and delivers instructions.
Before you fire off a direct mail campaign, here are a few general tips to make sure your copy will effectively resonate with your readers.
Companies have been trying to persuade customers to opt for electronic billing and communication for decades, and yet the rate of adoption has remained relatively stagnant. While it varies by industry, most consumers still opt for paper. Only 34% of bills and statements are paperless, according to the 2017 survey of North American businesses by Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, which tracks the trend annually. The research company forecasts that total market adoption is even less (27%-29%).
In an age where so many people are plugged in, why do they still need paper communication as their main source of information? We’ve heard the following reasons from consumers:
- The paper statement is my physical reminder to pay my bill.
- I don’t want to go to 10 different websites to get my statements when they can be in a nice stack on my kitchen counter.
- I don’t want to lose the documents and like to keep a paper copy for my records.
“What all of these reasons have in common is that consumers are still looking for ease of use. They don’t care whether their statement is physical or digital, as long as it’s a good experience,” says Cynthia Bajana, vice president of sales for RRD’s Business Communications Solutions.
Rather than simply pushing electronic communication, brands need to step back and examine how to improve the customer experience. As Steve Jobs said, “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology.” Here’s how brands can evolve their communication strategy to increase adoption of electronic communications.
Fact: Consumers are tired of being treated like a number. Actually, they’re not tired of it, they’re over it. And that’s why personalized marketing matters for any brand looking for long-term customer loyalty.
Consumers, aka your customers, place a high value on being acknowledged as an individual. They have increasingly come to expect a personalized customer experience from the brands they remain loyal to. Think Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Netflix — the digital platforms rated by consumers to provide the best personalized experience, according to a recent report.
Many companies in the retail space are under pressure as the market undergoes a transformation driven by changes in consumer behavior and preferences. While traditional bricks-and-mortar stores shutter doors, e-tailers — including online giant Amazon Inc. — are opening and acquiring more. The changes are fast and furious, and are also implicating how retailers and fashion brands market to and engage with consumers. And just like the convergence of online and physical retail, companies are learning there’s a convergence occurring between print and digital. Here, John Pecaric, chief commercial officer at R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., which is a multichannel marketing solution provider with clients that include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Ulta Beauty, shares his insights on this trend and how companies need to respond.
The text of this article originally appeared in the June 23, 2017, issue of WWD.