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A New Type of Customer Connection: The Evolving Role of Print

Communication and connections are important in the best of situations, but they become vital when adapting to a new normal.

As customer expectations evolve, all the while remaining high, marketing teams are rethinking their plans so that they can adjust to ensure the best possible customer experience.

Thinking Differently and Making Adjustments

When possible, take adjustments one step at a time to make the process manageable by your teams and consumable by consumers.

During times of change, it’s important to remain true to your brand to ensure customer familiarity. “A crisis limits people’s capacity to absorb information in the early days,” so it’s important to continue communication and marketing efforts as information evolves and time goes on1.

It is likely your brand communicated safety messages over recent months. It’s also likely that message fatigue, which refers to a state of being exhausted and tired of prolonged exposure to similarly themed messages, has likely set in2. Accordingly, refreshing your safety signage mid-campaign is important for audience engagement.

Think of your campaign as a marathon, not a one-time sprint. You may be informing customers about updated safety policies or holiday sales, or creating excitement about a new product line; that’s where print can help deliver your message efficiently and repeatedly.

Using printed materials in-store or targeting customer with a direct mail piece can help keep your message top-of-mind.

Improve Connections by Keeping the Customer in Mind

People process information differently, so varying your communication strategy can help reach more people as their information needs and intake method evolve1.

Retention of information increases when print materials are used over digital: 87% of studies show reading comprehension and performance improve when print materials are used instead of screens, according to the Journal of Research in Reading3. With new and critical information conveyed nearly daily, you have an opportunity to make your messages more memorable with print.

However, the thought of logistics for an ongoing communication or marketing campaign can leave anyone’s head spinning, especially if the campaign message might need updating mid-flight. When you have a message to communicate nationwide, or you need to make a print deadline in multiple cities, printing closer to the point of need allows for quicker turn times and cost-effective delivery.

No matter where your needs and customers are in the country, campaigns with printed assets can still run seamlessly, but you must have the right support. You have deadlines and budget requirements, and the right print expert should help you come up with a solution to meet them.

Meeting High Standards Pays Off

Conveying confidence and trust with consistent, quality print materials shouldn’t be an afterthought. A lot of time is spent on the words and design of a message, but don’t let the intention fall flat with poor execution.

Brands are built and maintained on consistency—not the least of which is color consistency. In fact, research shows that “color increases brand recognition by up to 80%”4. As marketers, you know your company’s brand colors by heart for a reason. In color-matching, precision is everything.

When you’re printing in multiple locations with multiple printers, your colors won’t be exactly the same. To achieve brand consistency, you should work with print experts who use the same equipment nationwide. A consistent look helps your brand stand out in your customers’ minds and helps set you apart from your competitors.

We are all dealing with unprecedented circumstances and trying to make the best of ever-changing situations. Fortunately, there are opportunities to continue communicating and marketing to customers with as little interruption as possible. Relying on a print and logistics expert can help your important efforts to connect with customers.

Sources:

1 Mendy, A. (2020). A leader’s guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communities during COVID-19. McKinsey & Company: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/a-leaders-guide-communicating-with-teams-stakeholders-and-communities-during-covid-19#

2 Kim, S, So, J. (2017). How Message Fatigue toward Health Messages Leads to Ineffective Persuasive Outcomes: Examining the Mediating Roles of Reactance and Inattention. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29272208/

3 Clinton, V. (2019). Reading from paper compared to screens: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Research in Reading. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12269

4 Morton, J. (2005). Why Color Matters. Color Com. Retrieved from http://www.colorcom.com/why_color.html

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