Customers are people too

How hyper-personalised print humanises consumer marketing.

Shop assistant and customer talking in clothes shop

Get to know your customers

In recent years, brands have increasingly targeted consumers through digital alone, because of the channel’s quick delivery and measurability. But, as Mark de Bruijn, a recognised author and speaker on Customer Experience, highlighted at our recent Future Promotion Forum, “customers are people too” and “experience is personal”. Whether it’s relating to music, art or communications, each person’s interests are unique and sending non-targeted, irrelevant ads or e-shots is no longer cutting through.

Instead, brands should be tapping into their customers’ emotions by targeting them with content that addresses their needs. To measure a buyer’s experience, companies have to understand how they’ve made the consumer feel – that’s the basis of a genuine relationship. And it’s not a new concept either. Netflix and Airbnb are just two big names already making their platforms more personal with specific recommendations based on a user’s search history and preferences.

And accessing the information to get to know customers shouldn’t be a challenge. As Mark explained, “it’s not the lack of data available that is the concern, it’s about using the data and turning it into insights to create the right experience, at the right time, using the right platform, for the right person”. Regardless of whether a company has the technology and data already in place, if they don’t get to know their recipient, they’re missing a trick!

Print’s making a comeback

Brands that gravitate towards a digital-led strategy are discovering that it’s no longer as effective as they hoped. And, when looking for an alternative approach, they’re finding the answer in print, thanks to its ability to emotionally engage with customers. Digital giants like Facebook and Amazon are among the prominent examples of this, both of which now publish print magazines.

Print engages people in a different way than digital media. It’s tangible, it inspires emotion and it’s trusted. Using print also boosts ROI. In fact, mail is 33% more engaging than email and 35% more engaging than social media advertising.[1]

As we spoke about in our recent article on print’s power of touch, print’s superior emotional impact is backed by science too. Print is a ‘haptic’ medium, which means that when we interact with print it’s more personal and leaves a deeper impression. Surveys have also found that people feel more valued if the sender has taken the time to design and print a more individual asset.

Utilising print’s power to cut through

With today’s digital print workflows, customers can be looking at and touching individualised print within 24 hours of it being sent to press. Moving beyond the simple “name and address” approach to personalisation, brands can now send completely individualised direct mailers such as a personalised brochure or a voucher that offers an incentive to complete a purchase online, triggered by the individual consumer’s digital behaviour. We call this concept “Programmatic Print”. Put simply, with its quick delivery of ultra-targeted, high-quality direct marketing materials, Programmatic Print proves that it’s absolutely possible to create data-driven campaigns that combine the best of the digital and physical worlds.

Marketing decision-makers can explore the full scope of hyper-personalised print with an expert print service provider (PSP) to understand the ease of one-to-one communications and the positive impact it can have on customer relationships and commercial outcomes.

And, Canon can help too. We’re used to bringing PSPs and marketers together in a triangle of expertise with our technologists and business development experts. We know what’s happening in the promotional print market and we can suggest innovative on-demand print applications and help to optimise their performance for the brand owner.

If you’re interested to hear more about the importance of humanising marketing, watch Mark De Bruijn’s talk at Future Promotion Forum 2020:

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    1. Source: “Why Mail Cuts Through” Royal Mail. 2018