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If “Print is dead,” as was declared in “Ghostbusters” 35 years ago this summer, then its spirit lives on in wondrous ways. Team Savoir Faire got its start in print, so we love it when content marketers deliver creative ways to keep it going. Check out these POIs that prove traditional marketing doesn’t automatically mean boring and stuffy.

Thoughtful junk mail

Marketers in the European Union have lived with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules for more than a year now, which affects how marketers – both digital and traditional – handle customer data.

Being more thoughtful toward existing and potential customers has led to a resurgence in direct mail, according to a recent article in Print Week.

Compliant companies continue rebuilding their email lists post-GDPR, and maybe they should consider a direct mail campaign for a couple reasons: one, a potential better return on investment and two, using direct mail to entice email sign-ups. Joint Industry Committee for Mail offers this data:

  • 69% of direct mail gets opened
  • 63% of direct mail is looked at immediately
  • 25% of direct mail is saved and looked at later

As data privacy efforts grow in the U.S., too, take a look at your budget to see if a direct mail campaign makes sense now.

REI’s print punt

Marketers at REI, an outdoor activity retailer, may be readers of our POIs! A couple months back, we suggested creating content like a journalist – and it looks like REI took that concept to heart.

The retailer says goodbye to its longtime product catalog to make way for a new print magazine, dubbed Uncommon Path, arriving in the fall. It will be available in all REI stores and at newsstands. It’s a curious choice as U.S. print magazines struggle to maintain relevance in a world of instant online news. For example, longtime magazines Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly shrunk from bi-monthly and weekly to monthly in 2019.

Hearst, one of the oldest names in publishing, is part of REI’s change and it’s heartening to see that REI is also partnering with NewsMatch, an organization that benefits local journalism. (Savoir Faire has two old-school journalists on the team, so this makes us smile.)

Marketing Dive shares more details on the new magazine here.

Print dies/lives once again!

Research shows that print is more trustworthy than digital with young people, so providing them relevant, meaty content might keep us from having the “Is print dead?” conversation for a while.

Savoir Faire’s team weathers the print storm, refusing defeat, because we know the death knell for the printed page gets rung way too often. Thankfully, we’re not alone. European effort Print Power aims to highlight the power of print by combating prejudices against it, according to an article in The Drum.

Print Power’s players point to quality as a reason for print’s potential resurgence. Quality suffers when journalism teams get reduced to skeleton crews. Therefore, focusing less on reach and more on in-depth content could provide some wins.

Creative Kiwis

New Zealand’s marketers pump out the “Wow!” factor with unique print and design campaigns. Australian website B&T shares five creative ways Kiwis keep it exciting. 

For example: Beck’s, the beer, supports music and the arts and sponsored New Zealand Music Month with a wild concept – a playable outdoor poster. About 100 of them were commissioned to allow passersby to become instant composers with a built-in audience.

Conductive ink printed onto the rear of the poster created sensors that were activated by electrical impulses from fingertips. A processor and speaker were also built into the poster, thereby turning it into an instant concert.

There’s more to brick and mortar

The shopping mall is the hot location in the new season of “Stranger Things,” but the rest of us aren’t living in 1985. Brick and mortar retailers today struggle to lure customers away from their phones.

One tactic is creating hands-on, educational and immersive experiences in shops. Companies like Macy’s, Johnnie Walker and Cannabis Now engage with customers in creative ways, according to this piece from PSFK.

For example, Macy’s debuted a store concept named Story, which looks like a magazine layout. The first theme is color, though styles will change monthly and include hands-on workshops.

Cultural marketing, with care

Personalized marketing can be profitable, sure, but take caution when you begin reaching out to specific communities and audiences. If your history does not align with your new branding and messaging, you could be seen as untrustworthy. We explored the topic of marketing reflecting your culture in a recent post.

Your customers are savvier than you think. There was a glut of rainbow-colored, Pride-themed marketing seemingly everywhere in May and June 2019. We guess the thought was, “LGBT is more mainstream, so let’s wear our Pride colors on our sleeve!” But companies that do not support the LGBT community year round received blowback for their brazen opportunism. 

Clear, honest marketing wins. Reflect what you believe in and your longtime culture, and those who share your values will show up.

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