1 to 1 Personalization Keeps Print Relevant
November 1, 2010
by jpark

If technogeeks have anything to say about it, Summer 2007 will go down in history. Why? It was the summer of the iPhone. If Apple, in particular, has its way, you’ll never need any other communications device again. It’s a wired, wired world.

So why, then, in a survey conducted by Graphic Design USA, are more creatives designing for print than ever? And why did 88% of the magazine’s survey respondents say their use of print—that dull, old-fashioned medium—is holding steady or even increasing?

In the last issue, we looked at four characteristics of a specific type of print, 1:1 personalization, and why it makes print media a marketing must. In this issue, we’ll look at four more.

Print is Beautiful

It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your JPGs are, a beautifully printed piece will blow away your screen graphics any time.

By definition, 1:1 print personalization must be printed on a digital press, however, which makes some marketers nervous. But there is no need. Digital print quality has improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Digital quality has become so good that it would be very difficult for the average marketer (or consumer) to tell the difference compared to conventional printing.

With print, you get another benefit, as well. When you communicate with people by e-mail, recipients can’t see beyond the subject line unless they actually open the message. With print, you can communicate on the outside of the envelope or insert the pieces into clear envelopes so that recipients can experience the impact of the piece before they even open the envelope.

Print Plays Well With Others

It’s true that sometimes print alone won’t meet your marketing objectives, such as when going to a young adult audience. But sometimes, electronic media won’t cut it alone, either. Today’s complex marketing environment often requires multiple touch points, allowing marketers to build on and reinforce the message.

Take, for example, personalized URLs (PURLs). By using PURLs, marketers can send out personalized print pieces that grab the recipients’ attention, then encourage them to log into their own personalized Web pages that reinforce the message. Or salespeople can create personalized follow-up brochures after prospects leave the showroom, reminding visitors of the products they preferred and offering them a personalized incentive to return.

Print Influences Buying Decisions

Marketers once thought that, as e-commerce became mainstream, printed catalogs would fade away like cowboys riding into the sunset. But recent research continues to indicate otherwise. According to a United States Postal Service/comScore Networks, Inc., survey, online consumers who received a printed catalog from any given retailer were nearly twice as likely to make an online purchase at that retailer’s Web site. The reason? Consumers seek print when they’re ready to buy. Combine this with the power of personalization (communicating based, not on generic references to products and offers, but on each individual recipient’s past spending patterns) and you have incredible marketing power.

Print is Credible

Open your e-mail. How many scams do you receive every day? Don’t know? Check your spam filter. It only takes a few dollars and an e-mail address to put a scam together, and it’s increasingly difficult to tell today’s scams from the real thing. Conversely, print still has the appearance of greater authenticity. Combine that with personalization (unlike spam, you don’t send out five million 1:1 print pieces, hoping to hit a few gullible takers) and you really have a piece people think they can trust.

The fact is, print is as relevant today as it was centuries ago. That relevance is now heightened with modern technology like 1:1 print. As such, print remains a critical component in today’s fast-paced, “what’s in it for me?” world. And while e-marketing is a necessary component in our multi-channel marketing environment, 1:1 print brings benefits that electronic media just can’t touch.

More Insights to Enjoy:

+ Are You Thinking About One to One Printing Too Narrowly?

+ Think E-Media Beats One to One Printing? Think Again! {Consumers Love Getting Mail}

+ Psychographics Can Help Your Marketing Communications and Improve Direct Mail

© Action Graphics, 2010. Article taken from Action Insights, Vol. 1, Issue 1.  Sign up today to receive future issues of our newsletters.

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