Why is it ... everyone thinks the print insert is dead...when it most certainly is NOT!
There are three reasons I'm writing this blog about print:
First, I get inundated daily by digital marketers stating they can do this, that and everything else to get leads and sales. It's getting as bad as those emails from Nigeria that I have 14 Gazillion dollars waiting for me to claim, or that XYZ company can get me to page one on Google.
There is no question the "Path to Purchase" has become very complicated and that digital marketing "works" and the costs/investments are in reach of most brands and retailers. But to ignore other marketing delivery mediums is foolish and I will show you why, below with research I've uncovered.
The article was titled:
How the Big Game Played Out on the Second Screen (Click to read)
Commercials during the Super Bowl don’t just make us laugh or cry—they also make us search. This year, there were more than 7.5 million searches for the brands advertised during the game. This searching represents a 7X response rate compared to a typical TV ad, even after normalizing for audience size. Second-screen searching—whether it’s to re-engage with the ad, to learn more about the product, or to purchase—is a powerful indication of brand interest. For brands, that means a presence on the big screen isn’t complete without a strategy for the small screen, too.
This is what I found...and it WILL enlighten you:
U.S. adult consumers who had used newspaper inserts, or FSI's - Free Standing Inserts -cited deal-related benefits. Fully 70% said they checked the inserts to find out about sales and savings, while 62% said the fliers saved them time and money—and 56% had clipped coupons from a newspaper insert in the 30 days prior to polling.
But the proof that inserts do work, doesn't end there. Consider this research:
Two-thirds of newspaper readers either always or regularly look at inserts, according to Coda Ventures' Triad research, a Nashville-based research firm specializing in newspaper research. Coda Ventures recently reported that fewer than nine percent of newspapers readers state that they "seldom or never" look at inserts.
And, most important to advertisers, newspaper inserts drive action. Nine out of ten newspaper readers report that they take one or more of a broad range of specific actions after reading or looking at inserts.
Other recent research by Research and Analysis of Media (RAM), an international media research company, confirms the crucial role newspaper inserts play in consumer marketing. Data shows that nearly nine in 10 of media consumers use newspaper inserts. This is much higher than the usage of direct mailers.
even google acknowledges that the path to purchase - zmot (Zero Moent Of Truth) - requires an integrated approach with traditional and digital
When I contacted Valassis for their information about my article, the two charts below they sent me below really stood out:
In some of the larger markets, subscriptions may still be relevant; however, in most markets, I suggest you use delivery vehicles like the Valassis Red Plum, delivered in the mailbox, if it's not delivered in your local paper. AND don't just rely on a "print-only strategy"; you have to integrate your promotional print program with digital too, because:
Media used by Millennials Within the Past 7 Days
Source Quad Graphics - Download Study Below
Additionally, in the Wall Street Journal, they also substantiated the good news that newspaper inserts drove more retail shoppers than digital ads and are, without a doubt, the most powerful drive-to-retail media available to marketers.
more on how MILLENNIALS INTERACT And Use print On The Path To Purchase
Step One- Only work with a company that knows this industry, unless you do it all in-house.
Work only with a company that specializes in the furniture category for your creative design, print and distribution for your print program. I recommend Imagine Advertising. They've been doing this for over 15 years and have dropped over a billion...yes with a "B", print inserts for thousands of retailers. And they have a contract with Valassis, too, which is critical so that you get the best rate available.
Be sure to have a call to action, a coupon offer or something that you can track your promotion's effectiveness, AND be sure that this call to action is done digitally with integration on mobile and on your website. Using geography-based targeting is key to increase your ROI, delivering relevant, localized messages to high-opportunity consumers via desktop, mobile or tablet. Yep, you've just about covered every marketing medium that is relevant today.
While pairing direct mail with email is effective, pairing direct mail with mobile devices provides more opportunities to interact with the customer. In 2014, direct mail influenced “76% of internet users to buy a product or service online” (Gould). Also in 2014, it was found that “34% of customers search online about a product or service when receiving direct mail from a brand they are interested in” (Gould).
Typical advertising budgets retailers should be looking at are between 5%-10% of sales. Be sure you take into consideration the key home furnishing shopping dates in the fall, spring, summer and winter so you get maximum engagement.
The average cost just for the print portion runs between $.08-$.10/each as a delivered price, which should include everything: design, print, and distribution for the printed insert. But there are a variety of options to consider: Red Plum wrap, ROP ads, solo mail options and more, and this is why you need to deal with a company like Imagine Advertising. They know all of the available options and can recommend the best platform based off your store's profile and budget.
Step Three - Know your target audience.
Have a target market profile created by Valassis for your retail location(s). This will highlight the areas you should be focused on based off your store's information. This will include zip codes, income levels, market indices - propensity to buy, and more, so you can develop a "plan."
I suggest you test different offers to different demographics in your area. If you're targeting Boomers, you may want to focus on mattresses, recliners and other products your CRM/POS software shows are most likely to engage that demographic. The same with younger Millennials, maybe beds/bedrooms...that's the first item people buy when they move out of Mom & Dad’s, apartment living, etc. Again, pull your data and marry it up with the data provided by Imagine & Valassis.
Don't assume anything. Ask consumers how they heard of you, what brought them to the store, website visits before and after the promotion drops, what they bought vs. what was promoted and more.
You need to gauge effectiveness, so start with the basics and wok with your CRM/POS programs to fine-tune this strategy.
Step Five - Analyze, fine-tune and REPEAT at least monthly - Bi-monthly if you're in a competitive market.
Knowledge is power and information creates knowledge. Fine-tune what you know and then put it to good use by repeating this process over and over. REMEMBER, "Water dripping on a stone leaves a mark."
from Quad Graphics
Download their complete report below
Just because Millennials use and prefer electronic media more than other generations, does not mean they ignore print. On the contrary, Millennials pay more attention to print advertisements than digital ads. Three quarters pay attention to direct mail and retail advertising inserts, compared to just half that are viewing online ads.
LEVERAGE LOYALTY DATA, PERSONALIZATION AND CUSTOM OFFERS
Millennials expect companies they do business with to know who they are and to reward them for their purchases.
These savings-conscious shoppers appreciate birthday offers, cash back rewards, gift cards and percentage-off coupons.
USE CATALOGS AND MAGAZINES TO DRIVE ONLINE TRAFFIC
Millennials are multichannel shoppers. Although they are more active online than any other target group, print drives them online and assists them in shopping and ordering. Use print to drive traffic and ensure that your brand stands out in a digital world.
COMBINE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL ELEMENTS WITH IN-STORE DISPLAYS
Millennials like to interact with their environment. Leverage video in stores and combine large format graphics with digital media to attract and captivate attention. Lifestyle images especially appeal to this social-conscious age group, more than they appeal to Boomers. It wouldn’t hurt to make them selfie-friendly too.
Remember the 3 pillars of marketing:
So why is it that everyone thinks printed inserts are dead when in fact, they have been shown to:
- Have demonstrated dynamic and lasting effectiveness
- Have the ability to target specific days of the week – such as Sundays (and you can't beat Sunday Shoppers)
- Reach a large, influential and "targeted" audience
- Make the overall shopping process easier for consumers
ignore the facts at your own risk
Why is it...?
AND he can help you with your brand, product, retail marketing strategy
Furniture Today Magazine has labeled Bill Napier as being a “disruptor” in the home furnishing industry and he loves that moniker!
In the 90’s, Bill’s marketing agency PMA Network (Promotional Marketing Associates, Inc.), with offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, launched many consumer brands, as well as being a strategic consultant for The Times Square Millennium celebration. He was hired by Ashley Furniture in 2000 as their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and was blessed to be part of their astronomic growth from $800MM – $2.7BN over his 5-year tenure.
He has also worked with two other furniture brands as CMO. He has been an industry consultant since 2007 and with his company Napier Marketing Group has developed and managed some of the largest promotions ever done in the industry.
Bill has developed and maintains the largest aggregated marketing informational website for retailers and brands:www.social4retail.com.