Social Media's ineffectiveness reiterates Importance of Print

Man hold the smart phone in the hand

A flurry of research on social media over the last 12 months, from all parts of the globe, continues to support the value of the printed communication piece.

Locally, Australia Post commissioned a report titled, “Creating connections that matter: How Australians want to hear from brands”.

The report was endorsed by ADMA, whose CEO Jodie Sangster describes it as providing “a significant step forward in assisting Australian marketers to deliver customer-centric marketing and creating connections that matter”.

One of the primary takeaways from the report was that Direct Mail, the traditional communication channel now fully customisable with personalisation, featured as a top 3 preferred channel for communication as ranked by consumers for each major category of client engagement: Switching customers; existing customers and new customers.

A direct mail piece that engages through being thoughtful, articulate, targeted and thereby customer-centric will deliver results. More people will open a mailed piece than an emailed piece. Over 75% of emails don’t get viewed compared to less than 20% of personalised mail which is never opened.

Woman using smartphone on wooden table

In a sea of visual digital overload, where advertising and marketing filters through almost every aspect of life it can be argued that everything equals nothing in terms of cut through.

One of the myths busted by the Australia Post report is that younger demographics do enjoy receiving personalised mail above all other channels. Yet marketers are increasingly turning their back on a proven channel, despite consumer sentiment.

According to Nielsen, a total of $9.3billion was spent in fiscal year 2013 on advertising in Australia. However, there is confusion over what channels are the most effective with many marketers seemingly embracing a new way of communicating which is not delivering results or resonating with their clients.

A Forrester report from the US sites Ogilvy as claiming that only 2% of Facebook posts reach their intended audience. Engagement fairs even worse with only .073% of Facebook fans interacting with major brand sites along with Twitter at .035%. Billions of dollars are being spent globally on social network advertising which is not hitting the intended target.

The winning combination – research supports a content rich company microsite integrated with clever, well-designed and beautifully printed personalised communication pieces – a clear winner in delivering effectiveness, reach, authenticity and value. Mixed with the speed to market of digital or on line campaigns, the concept of the ‘slow burn’ or gradual reveal that can play out in a savvy direct marketing campaign could be the novel approach in an over populated market and achieving an improved ROI.

For access to the Forrester report visit –

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