In the middle of the pandemic, almost every business has had to rethink its marketing strategies. With budgets under pressure, return marketing drives have become even more critically important. Recent research has explored the way people now interact with, and feet about, media, has been very revealing. Changing the rules of engagement and influencing the way brands communicate.
The unprecedented disruptions to our lives this year have changed the way media is consumed. There’s been a much-publicised shift to digital, but that’s far from the whole picture. As the new research outlined here shows, physical mail in its many forms has been a particularly effective channel in these unsettled times.
There have been two obvious but profound changes to behaviour during the prolonged lockdowns. Being confined to our homes meant that people became more focussed on our surroundings, taking more notice and engaging more with what arrived through our letterboxed each day. The postie brought welcome relief from hourly Zoom and Team meetings and digital burnout.
Over 44% of respondents looked forward to receiving mail during lockdown, illustrated by a record 96% of all mail being engaged with during the first lockdown last Spring. With circumstances unlikely to change in the near future, this trend is set to continue.
Digitalisation is not a binary choice between online and offline. One of the key arguments in the report is that mail is an increasingly effective method of driving people online. The research found that a 70% year-on-year boost in online traffic driven by mail. Even the humble QR code appears to have had a second wind.
In an environment where physical retail is likely to be disrupted for some time, the role of mail in long-term brand-building, as well as activation is also going to be vital. A recent Gartner report found that the Covid crisis has shifted CMOs’ focus to retention and loyalty, with 60% of marketers regarding these as priority areas.
Research shows that on average, a piece of direct mail was looked at by 4.5 people with a reach of 4%. That’s the highest level ever. Statistics also showed that a staggering 96% of mail is engaged with in some way and that 88% of people said that they have paid the same or more attention to mail during lockdown.
That might surprise some people. But mail has a unique resonance, resilience and credibility. It plays a vital role in the marketing mix, and, as home has become central to people’s lives, mail has demonstrated its continued value. With 2021 looking as unpredictable as last year, mail is set to play an increasingly important role in ongoing omnichannel campaigns. If you’re considering making mail a key part of your marketing activities this year, come and talk to us.
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