Print is my Business

The power of physical print

Our relationship with print has been tested over the past few years, particularly by the impact of the pandemic.

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At its height in 2021, many consumers had shifted from print on paper to the internet and read more on digital devices, across all categories of communications, including; newspapers, magazines, books, catalogues, bills and statements, tax statements and personal health information, states the Two Sides Trend Tracker [1] survey.

Digital reshaping

The pressure to make digital choices reshaped a number of areas such as books, newspapers, and magazines. According to the Federation of European Publishers [2] digital and audio book formats accounted for 15.1% of sales in 2021. However, our love of print cannot be restrained it seems. The Two Sides survey has found a resurgence in print is underway. European consumer preference for printed materials has recovered significantly post-pandemic with many people moving back towards print, especially when reading books and magazines. The survey [3] shows that the percentage of European consumers who prefer to read printed books has risen to 65%, up from 53% in 2021. The preference for printed magazines is now 51%, up from 35%. The trend for newspapers and catalogues, paper bills and statements is similar.

There is a physicality with these mediums that keep us - the target audience - engaged. So much so that 2022 was a bumper year for the UK's book publishing market. Sales were up by 4% [4] from 2021. Compared with the pre-pandemic year 2019, 2022 saw double-digit growth in many countries, with rates exceeding 18 per cent in Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Revenues have also been driven up by rising prices.

There is a reimagination of applications as well – luxury look and feel magazines that have a reduced frequency, shorter runs and a premium price point. Consumers are responding to different approach that values printed creativity.

Why integrated customer marketing is an effective marketing strategy

Consumer marketing communication is another area where digital marketing formats and social media advertising are frequently employed to engage audiences across marketing channels, but utilizing print in a considered and creative way can achieve a significant return on investment by fostering loyalty and prompting action. 

For example, high-quality, targeted, informative, eye-catching, and engaging marketing mail.

Advertising and marketing collateral that holds consumer interest with:

  • personalised and tailored content; 
  • bold, creative, and memorable marketing messaging; 
  • tactile substrates and finishes; 
  • simple to read and digest content that can be easily understood; 
  • consistency of brand messaging mirrored across all forms of communication for higher levels of trust.

Marketing research has shown a data-driven communications strategy works in the marketing mix. The latest quarterly figures from JICMAIL, the UK provider of audience measurement data for Direct Mail, found 40% [5]of British website visits prompted by mail in the fourth quarter of 2023 converted into online purchases. 6.5% of mail (including direct marketing mail, business mail, partially addressed mail and door drops) preceded a purchase in the Christmas trading period, with half of these purchases completed online. Year on year comparisons found 95% of mail was engaged with, up 1%, 30% of mail promoted a commercial action, up 6%, and 5% of mail resulted in a purchase, up 24%.

Hit the spot with integrated marketing communications

Well-executed one-to-one physical marketing communications that reach a target market, elevate brand awareness, reinforce brand identity and support marketing efforts. They get long-term and short-term results as part of an integrated marketing campaign and multi-channel approach because they:

  • Prompt online actions from the target market - online searches (2.6% of mail), emails to advertisers (1.1%), and app download and usage (1%). 

  • Drive cross channel sales for example in physical retail stores - 2.3% of mail, with actionable elements such as personalized and targeted vouchers, prompted an instore purchase in Q4 2023, enabling marketers to see their return on investment with the measurement of redemption rate. It is clear that ‘real life brand experiences’ remain important to consumers.

  • Hold attention and is interacted with for longer - the average piece of business mail is read for over two and half minutes during a 28 day period, compared to one minute for the average door drop. 


Integrated marketing communications that embrace a non-traditional, user-generated approach, deliver vibrant and powerful marketing communications strategy that is more successful in reaching the target audience and elevating brand awareness. They support creative cross-selling and sales promotions for more effective marketing efforts and a result-achieving communication process.

Whether it's content marketing or digital marketing, advertising, personal selling, social media or sales promotion, the objective is always going to be to establish authority and attract more potential customers.  Whatever your strategy or marketing channels used, print is always going to be part of successful integrated marketing campaign. And digital print offers so many amazing options in the overall marketing mix to the relevant target audience.

Marketing mix uplift 

Marketreach also reports successful marketing campaign mail delivers uplifts across every stage of the marketing funnel. It drives 65% awareness, 16% consumer consideration and 5% of people to buy on average. It is cost efficient too at 42% less per minute of attention than a social display advert.

Digital print production capabilities can power affordable print on demand for books and creative versioned and personalised content for magazines. A combination of individualized data, tailored content, attention grabbing design and clear call to action can drive numerous responses to achieve real return on marketing investment (ROMI) for direct mail and integrated marketing communications.

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