The numbers speak for themselves. Far from being gradually phased out and replaced by digital formats, printed materials are still a crucial part of many marketing campaigns.
While email, digital screens and TV have a role to play in the media mix and are complementing more traditional campaigns, print advertising is still alive and well. So says a recent Mail Media Centre report, which found that in 2010 an average of 91% of direct mail was opened, that 48% of customers felt information received by direct mail was easy to understand compared with 20% by email, and that the percentage of mail where customers took action increased from just 4% in 2004 to 5% in 2010.
Outdoor advertising is delivering similarly impressive results, with a Kinetic Worldwide survey finding that 75% of store owners say posters outside their shops are the main influence on what sells, and Outdoor Media Centre reporting that, although outdoor digital accounts for 14% of their revenue, six out of seven pounds are still being spent on printed posters.
Still need convincing? Then take a look at PrintWeek’s pick of some of the most successful printed campaigns of late...
Out-of-home (OOH) marketing has long been a key aspect of H&M’s promotional strategy. Working with Clear Channel to deliver wide-format posters, H&M’s outdoor presence is increasing year-on-year with OOH now by far the principal medium for any campaign, accounting for 62% of the brand’s entire media investment (up from 16% in 2006).
The reason behind this emphasis is that H&M has discovered that it is not just a certain sector of the population buying its clothes. Many women now buy H&M clothes and accessorise with more expensive items, so a form of marketing that broadcasts to the public as a whole, and not just young girls, has proved a worthwhile strategy.
Print will be the medium of choice for the majority of OOH campaigns for a long time, says Darren Mckay, Clear Channel international sales director, UK, because technological developments in HD presses mean that the quality is always improving. This is particularly advantageous where fashion OOH is concerned, Mckay reveals, with high definition print complementing H&M’s simple and striking images.
"I think there’s something quite sexy about the poster and I think that’s why fashion has bought into it over many years," he says. "There are more large digital canvases coming out, but the quality of them isn’t as good as you get on the smaller format. There’s a also a cost issue with digital screens."
Print is important throughout H&M’s marketing strategy, he adds. The brand appears in the right magazines, attracting people in the first place, and the posters act as reminders to people as they are out and about shopping.
Through consistent growth in outdoor advertising, H&M now runs a live campaign for 22 weeks of every year (versus six in 2006). The result of H&M having visibility on almost every high street in the UK is a brand awareness of 98%, a 700% shift in 16-30s agreeing that H&M would be their first choice, and a 15% increase in global sales in 2010.