“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” —John F. Kennedy
Last month we posted a blog about how the new presidency will affect publishers and the printing industry. What we did not discuss was what can be done to better prepare for a changing economy.
The economy is changing, but print shouldn’t be the first thing you cut out of your marketing program. In fact, on the contrary, we predict that (once again) print is going to be one of the most valuable commodities for retailers in 2017.
That said, staying in front of your customers and having meaningful interactions with them is more important now than it has ever been before. This can be done through social media to an extent; but, neuroscience has proven ten times over that having a piece of physical print affects the human brain in ways digital technology cannot.
Here are a few ideas to help you beat the masses and better prepare your direct mail and print campaigns in the coming year.
- Think outside the box of substrates: this past June we published a blog article titled The Keys to Success: Paper Selection, where we discussed the importance of selecting the right paper for your print. Today, print has surpassed the traditional substrates and publishers and retailers are utilizing all sorts of materials. Technologies such as Documation’s wide Format Arizona printer has changed the face of printing. This past summer we ran a direct mail campaign printed on metal. Yes, you did hear that right. We mailed out hundreds of targeted direct mailers on a synthetic metal substrate (see for yourself). If you are a retailer, remember consumers value unique experiences. For 2017, consider utilizing your substrate to stand out and give them that unique first impression they crave.
- Be creative with your personalization: over the past year, it is likely you have heard more than once or twice about the importance of personalized and variable data printing in your direct mail. Technology such as web-to-print and high-speed inkjet printing has made this not only easy to do but affordable as well. If you haven’t yet targeted your audience this way, 2017 is your year. Studies have shown that consumers prefer to be targeted as individuals. Millennials especially are crazy for personalization. They are also responsible for what millennialmarketing.com estimates to be “over a trillion dollars in direct buying power” (read more). If you are not going out of your way to target that demographic, it may be time to take a look at how you can improve.
- Utilize technology to captivate: Technologies such as augmented reality and unique folding techniques such as the ones you see from com, go beyond the traditional one-dimensional direct mail piece and captures the attention of your audience. Augmented Reality, for example, allows you to use your mailpiece as a gateway to information. This is most certainly the direction technology is moving towards. It’s the way of the future. In the coming year, try utilizing technology to enhance the direct mail experience. You will be remembered for it.
Every new year is a new opportunity. The new world is coming fast and, trust us when we say, you don’t want to miss the train. Get better prepared and equipped in 2017 for the next stage of the customer experience. Capture their attention and utilize the technologies around you. Our best advice, think creatively and engage. If you do this, you will create a better chance of remaining stable, no matter what direction the economy takes. Remember, Documation is here to help. Have fun and happy printing.