The mistake we all collectively made in hoping, believing or thinking that email would be the answer to all our local marketing prayers a few years ago is slightly embarrassing, if nothing else. And when I say ‘we all made’, that’s probably an exaggeration, but only just.
Thankfully, we haven’t compounded the matter with stubbornness. We’ve learned how email can work best in the marketing mix and where the other channels have more relevance or firepower.
I’m pretty sure that we’ve not treated more recent imposters the same. Social channels and Search seem to have had a more considered and successful introduction into ‘our’ world of regional marketing.
But how are the traditional channels faring today?
There are countless opinions, often espoused by interested parties. But many commentators who aren’t influenced by self-interest (I count myself amongst them) are very excited at how impactful print can be now - because of digital and not in spite of it in the regional marketing areana.
A recent survey of UK and US consumers by Two Sides picked up some interesting facts around print and digital. Importantly, around 80% of people prefer to READ PRINT over digital, they find it MORE RELAXING and they also REMEMBER more of what they read. These figures are significantly high enough to have some meaning I believe. What’s equally interesting is that there was consistency across EVERY AGE bracket, so you can’t just put it down to the grey vote.
So - what?
So - let’s use this kind of intel to tailor our local marketing. When are prospects most likely to NEED the relaxed, easy-to-understand delivery of print rather than tablet, phone or screen? It’s probably when they’re a good way down the sales funnel, close to making a final decision or purchase.
They’re in the stage where they want to check the more granular stuff - specification, detail and numbers - then let’s make it more relaxing and easier to remember...it’s time for print, especially if it’s a big-ticket item.
We already have the tools and intel that tell us where in the sales funnel our prospects are most likely to be from their interactions on our website. A well-timed, personalised and well-executed printed piece can be a clincher at this point, and in spite of the cost of production and delivery, the ROI on tactical direct mail like this can mean it’s the smartest money you ever spend.