Marketers Are Returning To Traditional Advertising

May 19, 2022

Over the past few months we have been sharing information on the continuing shift back to traditional advertising.

There are many articles about how consumers are experiencing digital fatigue, partly due to working remotely for the past few years. It seems that when using a computer all day, users need a moment of rest and revert to reading what fell through their mail slot.

There were also changes to what extent digital marketers were able to track ads and online communications. Last year Apple made significant changes to privacy and data sharing policies on iOS devices. Unsurprisingly, when given the choice most users choose to prevent third-party tracking.

As a society, over the years we have been too willing to give up our personal data to the cyber cloud. More recently there has been growing pushback to unring that bell. Add this to the ever-increasing risk of fraud, phishing, and spam links, more and more of us are becoming more reluctant to click on links in emails or banner ads.

With increasing consumer protection laws being adopted by more states and nations, the use of digital advertising has started to recede. But there’s no escaping the fact that advertising helps sell products. Consequently, marketers and retailers are returning to traditional methods of advertising – such as PRINT.

Digital advertising tracks who visits websites. USPS informed tracking can track delivery of mail. The USPS also states a 97% delivery rate. (the 3% was Newman’s route on Seinfeld)

And with promotions by the USPS your mail can have some interaction to reduce costs but also drive consumers to your product via QR codes or coupons. QR codes have had a resurgence partly due to necessity. During the pandemic QR codes replaced traditional items to reduce touch.

Increasingly, the items that catch our attention are those we can see, hold and touch. It’s why we’re turning back to print.

Faced with a constant stream of emails, we simply press delete – often without even reading them. Instead of sending a reminder email that is more than likely going to be deleted or unread, businesses are opting to send programmatic mail – that is, direct mail, personalized to the recipient.

And don’t just take our word for it. MarketReach and JICMail have both found that direct mail is enjoying a resurgence, spurring 70% of consumers to online activity.

Direct mail is also perceived to be more trustworthy. 87% of people consider it to be believable, compared to just 48% for email communications.

Their study shows printed mailings remain in our homes for 8 to 9 days, and are looked at between 4 and 5 times, while 5% of consumers – especially lapsed customers – are prompted to access their accounts and 7% are prompted to purchase.

The excerpt below from the Harvard Business Review speaks the same ideas as above. People are numb to digital and there are many factors that will help drive print to the foreground, AGAIN!

1. Breaking through the digital clutter

As consumers are spending most of their waking hours online, it seems they are becoming increasingly numb to conventional digital advertising and engagement. They report frustration and negative brand association with digital advertising clutter that prevents them from reading an article, watching a video, or browsing a website. For example, a HubSpot survey found that 57% of participants disliked ads that played before a video and 43% didn’t even watch them. As a result, marketers are looking for a way to cut through the noise.

2. Capitalizing on consumers’ trust in traditional advertising

The same MarketingSherpa survey found that the top five most trusted advertising formats are all traditional, with customers trusting most print advertising (82%), television advertising (80%), direct mail advertising (76%), and radio advertising (71%) to make purchasing decisions. Similarly, it found that British and American consumers trust traditional advertising such as television, radio, and print more than social media advertising. As a result, marketers can use traditional advertising to build brand credibility and trust with jaded buyers.

3. Preparing for the decline of third-party cookies

For years, marketers have relied on third-party cookies to track website visitors, using detailed data on their search preferences to improve the user experience and target consumers with personalized ad experiences. However, with Google phasing out the third-party cookie on Chrome browsers by late 2023 and Apple implementing changes to its iOS14 operating system, the death of third-party cookies is imminent. The CMO Survey found that 19.8% of companies invested more in traditional advertising (outside of online approaches) as a result.

Because of this inevitable change to the advertising landscape, marketers will be forced to rely on segmentation methods that hew closer to traditional advertising models. Without advanced data-driven targeting, marketers will need to refocus on extending their reach.

4. Tapping the growing medium of podcasting

Podcasts are a form of digital media. However, unlike banner, display, and other social advertisements that often appear within consumers’ everyday browsing, podcasts use an on-demand approach that is more similar to traditional radio. And this is one reason advertising succeeds. According to Ads Wizz, “Podcasts saw a 51% increase in available inventory, a 53% increase in new podcasts, and an 81% increase in podcast ad impressions.”

In addition to reaching over 100 million monthly listeners, podcast ads are effective because listeners trust their podcast hosts and are genuinely influenced by their endorsements. In fact, Edison Research’s Super Listeners 2020 study found that 45% of podcast listeners believe the hosts of their favorite podcasts actually use the brands mentioned on their shows. According to the same study, almost half of podcast listeners pay more attention to podcast advertisements than those of any other format. Given the match of target market to podcast content, podcasting has proven to be an effective way to get a company’s brand in front of a well-suited and attentive audience.

5. Exploiting the digital lift of traditional media

Digital technology can leverage traditional tools in powerful and surprising ways. For example, who would have thought that direct mail would be resurrected? That’s exactly what happened when mailers are paired with a QR code that consumers can scan to learn more. Furthermore, as Madison Taylor Marketing shares, unique URLs and QR codes allow marketers to gather extremely granular data, permitting them to develop robust marketing analytics regarding ROI and attribution, and eroding the advantage of digital channels.

6. Fine-tuning brand and market fit

Marketing is an art and a science of contingencies and context. This means that sometimes traditional advertising is a perfect fit for some brands, markets, and messages.

CWP has multiple options to fulfill your direct marketing needs from small projects on our digital presses to long run variable data projects. CWP’s mail data processing department can assist you with your informed tracking needs.

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