Creating the ultimate user experience at this year’s Future Promotion Forum

Cathy Bittner
Cathy Bittner

Business Development Manager

How can marketers ensure that their comms channels are harmonised to give consumers the best user experience (UX)? That’s what marketers strive for and was the key theme of this year’s Canon Future Promotion Forum held online on 5 October 2021. 
From the discussions, it became clear that, after over a year of interacting virtually with consumers, brands are now having to work that bit harder to engage and convert target audiences. What the consumer needs from brands has changed – their behaviour has become more sophisticated, emotional and purpose-driven and it’s up to marketers to dig deeper to formulate campaigns that will resonate with their targets.

Moderator Richard Askam discusses the effectiveness of online and print marketing with speaker Ludovic Martin

In line with the overarching theme of the event, in a bid to create the best possible user experience, keynote speaker and owner of NR Digital Consulting, Nicole Ramirez advised marketers on how to bridge the transition from the ‘new normal’ to the ‘next normal’. Being smarter about the way we use data and how it to combine digital marketing with print is key to a campaign’s ability to resonate more deeply with the consumer – success in the ‘next normal’ will depend on the harmonised use of multiple channels. Marketers were also shown what was possible using data to create sophisticated, personalised direct mail to evoke emotion in the consumer for the best user experience.

The blanket, one-size-fits-all marketing campaign no longer works. It’s all about knowing your customer intimately and getting the data in the right format to enable the curation of personalised marketing campaigns to provoke the desired effect.

The Forum featured hot topics such as consumer expectations post-COVID, channel measurement, designing for digital print mailings and optimising channel orchestration for improved return on investment (ROI).

Behind the scenes at the Canon Future Promotion Forum 2021

Use print to enhance digital

At a time when we are seeing a reduction of click-through rates and an increase in online ad fatigue, there’s never been a better time to use print to boost the performance of digital campaigns. Independent consultant in eCommerce strategy and web-to-print Ludovic Martin explained how print can play a vital role in boosting other elements within the marketing mix and “you need to use the right tool at the right step in the Customer Journey” during his presentation ‘Comparing the Performance of Print to Search Engine Advertising and Social Media Advertising’. 

During her session on ‘Maximising your Direct Marketing in Print’, Isla Munro, Managing Director of UK-based direct marketing agency Dragonfly, took the concepts from Ludovic Martin and made them more concrete. She coached participants on how marketers can achieve even greater cut-through using targeted direct mail. She stated, “By combining both personalisation and production flexibility, marketers can now integrate printed direct mail to enhance the performance of their digital channels.”

Student Emma Bentley talks about her experience with the Class of 2021 project

Reflections on the Class of 2021 Exhibition

To round up the event, Cathy Bittner, Strategic Business Development Manager, Canon Europe was joined by Gordon Young, Founder of The Drum, to discuss a real-life case study combining online and print channels. They reflected on the success of the joint venture between the two organisations, known as the ‘Class of 2021 Exhibition’. At a time when exhibitions were restricted, this initiative provided students with a dedicated platform to showcase their work.  

This virtual ‘degree show’ was launched on 29 June 2021 and was designed to give the global creative community exclusive access to hundreds of up-and-coming talented individuals in creative arts.

"6.5 times as many people converted when they also received a postcard, as compared with people that only received an email."

– Finding from Class of 2021 Project 

Now in its fourth year, the Future Promotion Forum has become a source of inspiration for marketing professionals, helping marketers to plan future campaigns and get the best return on their marketing investment.

Watch the video below for highlights of this year’s Future Promotion Forum.



Why brands and consumers trust print more than digital



Print’s new potential in age of digital fatigue