Direct mail is proving an incredibly resilient medium. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. In our information overload world, where 2,5 exabytes of data are generated each day, the noise can be deafening. Both the volume of advertising messages that consumers are subject to and the multitude of advertising channels available to brands continue to expand. In this frantic climate, it is no surprise that humble direct mail, a letter or brochure posted in an envelope, was predicted to fade away. Trampled upon by the convenience, cheapness and immediacy of the email and its attendant digital touch points.
Zig, don’t zag
But wait, it hasn’t happened. Direct mail offers a number of attributes that alternative channels just cannot beat as Ricoh’s new infographic illustrates. Trust, shelf life and the scope for creativity are all vital elements in direct mail’s staying power. There is another important factor though. It is that the agency community, which thrives on freshness, and challenging accepted thinking, is turning back to direct mail as the centrepiece for integrated campaigns. Nicky Bullard, Executive Creative Director at direct marketing agency Lida says in Print Power magazine: “Clients are starting to get an appetite back for direct mail, particularly with younger audiences. Their lives have been so digital that direct mail is hugely disruptive for them.” Rory Sutherland, executive creative director and vice chairman of OgilvyOne London and vice-chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK recently said in Britain’s Cross Media Magazine, “when everyone zigs, zag”.
The future is bright
Direct mail volumes are holding up well across much of Europe, the use of colour is on the up, and smart print services providers are working with agencies to extract insights from data to fuel powerful campaigns across sector after sector. Particularly on behalf of premium products and services where a compelling Return on Marketing Investment can be most readily secured. Further, direct mail is bridging the offline-online gap – interactive print technologies like Ricoh’s Clickable Paper(TM) can move consumers seamlessly from print to digital to find out more or purchase an item.
The message is clear: never underestimate the power of direct mail
For more insights into Direct Mail see: http://www.ricoh-europe.com/services-solutions/production-printing/print-and-beyond/marketing-services/index.aspx