Print can be impactful and a powerful storyteller, but how can we prove these facts to the print buyers who can benefit most? Mathew Faulkner, EMEA senior marketing manager, professional print, Canon Europe, spoke with experts from different parts of the print industry to bring a practical toolkit of examples to prove prints value.
According to Faulkner, print is perceived as slow, inflexible and above all difficult to target and track. One in three marketers Canon spoke to have little or no way of measuring the success of their print campaign.
In a webinar hosted during Canon’s Make It Event: Future of Digital Print Industry, Canon asked Canon Ascent Programme mentors for their thoughts. Jacky Hobson, UP marketing, said that the conversation needs to be less about cost and driving down the price than ROI, and that we need to look at examples and best practices: ‘I think the marketer is very interested in the ROI and that is how we should be phrasing the conversation.’
Hobson said it is important to identify the tools that demonstrate the ROI of print. A good example she cited was QR codes, as they can quantify the number of scans or ’hits’, as well as when and where they were scanned. It is a tool that works for all businesses, large or small.
Richard Mayer, Be Focused, said that we need to identify what print offers, that print is more tangible and that digital is less personal as there is a screen between people. With print it is the touch, smell and feel, and important to note is that brands use sense. He also emphasised that print adds value to digital when combined and integrated with it. Mayer stated that print plus digital uplifts the amount of response: ‘We can use print at the forefront, or we can actually use print as a supporting mechanism.’
He also said that businesses need to ask customers why they do not buy print, then isolate those reasons. It could be about cost, the difficulty to track results or even the time for results to come back, as well as the difficulty in setting up print campaigns.
Print is not actually difficult to measure and track, mostly because of QR codes, as well as augmented reality. Even posters can integrate technology that can track who is walking past and looking at them. By showing customers just how much engagement can be measured, print businesses can show the value of print.
Mayer said that it is about investment and quantity (from a measurement point of view), over quality. He also mentioned that direct mail can be reinforced through identifying consumer behaviour through digital mediums.
Hobson said a good example she’s seen of how print can be very effective is direct mail, with a QR code, that linked to an animation with a specific call to action, which could only be accessed through the print medium itself. None of the engagements were attributed to social media or email.