8 February 2013
Investment in luxury print marketing should seriously be considered by any aspirational brand in the high-end home interest sector. Why? The simple reason is that because of the glut of digital marketing, printed marketing material stands out.
With the growth of digital communication, in particular social media and email marketing we are bombarded with messages, some saved in our in box, some tweets ‘favourited’ but in the main they are very transient, fleeting. Online marketing has become such a common ‘cost-effective’ way of communicating with affluent customers that few people expect to receive physical marketing material. This makes for an excellent opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors and really connect with your affluent customers and savvy specifiers.
Printed literature play to the most important sense first: touch, something lost in today’s digital world. With all good pieces of print there will be a feeling of substance, that the thing in their hands has been crafted by experts in their fields. The quality of the paper chosen plays an important part, as well as the ability to be put ‘it’ down and pick ‘it’ up again easily. The tactile nature of paper, and the various finishes that can be applied offers a far more involving brand experience than anything that can only be accessed on a screen. Research by M-Real has shown that the higher the perceived value of the printed product, the longer the reader will engage and the longer they will keep the piece. The paper used will tell your reader a great deal about your brand’s positioning, its aspirations and the message you are trying to convey.
Achieving an impression of luxury cannot be done with paper alone, as those considering a high-end purchase expect all touch points to be beautiful experience; this must be achieved with first class production values in photography, design, copy-writing, repro, print and finishing. There is still a connotation of wealth (success) that you can ‘afford’ to produce such a considered and appropriate piece.
Reading print demands the full attention of the reader and provides the means to escape today’s ‘always-on’ culture. The lack of distractions when reading print allows the reader to focus fully on any editorial or explore the extent and detail of your range of products and services. Beyond this there are those that keep, collect or to save as reference your beautifully printed material for future use. Many an anecdote of customers returning to a designer-maker requesting a product that was illustrated in a publication from the past.
These days you need more than seven points of contact before a prospect decides to truly trust and connect with you. Having a brochure to send gives you a reason to touch back with your discerning prospect. It allows you to give them more information and them to ask you more meaningful questions. This is an additional tool to be used in the sales cycle: it’s better for the customer who’ll be able to make a more educated purchasing decision. The brochure or catalogue is a perfect support when exhibiting at tradeshows, it gives your prospect something to do while you may be attending to another show visitor on your stand. It’s much easier to reference and share information about a product that may not be on display on your stand than to direct them to your website, which at best will be on a smartphone, maybe viewable on your new Responsive website (see February’s Newsletter), and at worst – there’s no reception.
An effective marketing campaign works best when print is used with other media as one element of an integrated solution. Two approaches to integrate with digital are with Quick Response (QR) codes. The QR code is a small, square code that when scanned with a mobile phone opens a file or links to a website. This file could be current price lists, or specification drawings, or links to the landing page designed to further convince your prospect. The results of an integrated campaign can demonstrate how digital and print can be both creative and play a key role in driving consumers online with effective calls to action. Successful campaigns will not only deliver better engagement and response, it will also lead to satisfied loyal customers.