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Useful Learnings from the Power of Print Event 2018

Power of Print Event - St Austell Printing Company
Trends, changes and the latest developments in print research and insights from other industry experts, as revealed at the Power of Print event.

Beth and Matt from St Austell Printing Company have just returned from the latest “Power of Print” event at the iconic Stationers’ Hall in London.

Organised by the BPIF, Print Power and Two Sides it’s a great opportunity to share in the latest developments in print research and trends from other industry experts. This is useful, because not only does it help us to keep at the forefront of our industry – but there’s some useful research we can pass on to help your investment in printed marketing go further.

Firstly Charles Jarrold, CEO of the British Industries Print Federation (BPIF) set the scene, and talked us through the resurgence of print in both marketing and consumer use. In particular, he talked about the continuing growth in book sales in the UK and that research shows that print continues to gain attention in deeper, more meaningful and immersive ways – this is something that online cannot emulate.

Mark Davies from Whistl Doordrop Media talked about how the advent of digital marketing has encouraged print to grow smarter, leaner and more fit for purpose. Although digital ad campaigns can boast high delivery figures, a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau reports that 54% of online adverts are not actually seen by visitors.

Then there’s also the reputational side of online advertising. Last year, Unilever threatened online ad cuts to clean up the internet. At an event in the US, Keith Weed, chief marketing officer called on the technology industry to improve transparency and consumer trust in an era of fake news and “toxic” online content. 

Other large organisations have followed suit, starting to use door drop advertising to support smaller online campaigns. Mark told us that one of his clients Proctor and Gamble UK have increased their doordrop spend from £0 to just under £1m in a year.

“Direct Door Drop is GDPR compliant by design” says Mark, which is great news for companies and organisations who found themselves being forced to slash their marketing databases when the regulations came into effect. In one case, Mark shared that a charity client of his saw their email database get slashed from 1 million, right down to just 13,000. They are now using direct mail effectively to get their messages out and build up that number again.

Mark explained that it’s been tough in recent years for direct mail to compete with the complex reporting online platforms can offer clients. That’s why JICMail was established.

JICMAIL stands for Joint Industry Committee for Mail and delivers industry-standard audience measurement data for advertising mail and door drops. Finally, direct mail marketing has a currency it can trade with. The figures have always been good, it’s just been hard to qualify them – until now.

It’s thanks to JICMAIL that we now understand how long a piece of mail is “live” for in a home, before it’s recycled. The figures are impressive – to give you an idea, a recent campaign by food retailer Farmfoods stayed live in many homes for a phenomenal 18 days.

Dan Davey from Progressive Content told us how print enables you “to cut through the noise” and being recognised by many major agencies “as offering excellent value which digital cannot match.”

In particular it’s a great way to connect with hard-to-reach audiences such as senior executives. These people want to feel valued, special and feel that they can trust what they are reading. With print you can indulge them with a quality you cannot emulate elsewhere.

Trust was a theme which all the experts kept coming back to time-after-time throughout the day – a word that is now becoming more and more synonymous with print.

It was Joe Waterton, Head of Philathropy from Macmillan Cancer Support who made us realise how important this really is to people when they most need it.

Macmillan produce a huge amount of printed content to help those affected by cancer understand what they are going through. The subjects range from how to tell children, how to manage finances and also subjects aimed at those around cancer sufferers. They are also produced in different formats including braille.

“The printed booklets we create are important as there is so much unverified information online” Joe said. “Last year, 3.6m people used our printed resources and they are a source of trusted information.”

He shared stories of people who had recently been given a diagnosis telling him how the booklets enabled them to understand the situation in their own time, in their own space with no distractions. One person who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer said that the booklets were a lifeline, “offering a sense of control when you actually have no control at all”

The information in the booklet is available on other platforms too. But Macmillan’s own research shows that 4.3/5 people understood and preferred the paper versions as opposed to 3.8/5 who preferred online.

There’s lots of other learnings from the day too – we’d love to share them with you. Please get in contact with us to find out more.

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