Is Print Back? How Do We Feel About This?

B2BMarketing.net did a nice post earlier this month with their content marketing predictions for 2015. One of their biggest predictions? That print will become the new “B2B disruptor” tactic.

I am instantly of two minds about this. Even in the B2B world, many people have a lot of nostalgia for high quality print marketing campaigns. Full disclosure – I joined the workforce right as the .com bubble was bursting, so I arguably missed out on the glory days of print marketing. But I still remember the care and creativity that would go into creating a print marketing campaign… particularly a B2B piece targeting busy executives. Each decision would be made so carefully, from the witty but elegant creative to the expensive feeling paper and embossed envelope. We would imagine the target customer sitting in his or her beautiful executive office, opening our piece of mail, and then picking up the phone and calling the sales team to enter our sales funnel.

And then I groan… because it reminds me of how much work a print campaign requires. I think it has actually gotten more difficult to effectively execute a print campaign because people have forgotten what it takes to execute one well – namely more time and more budget than many faster, simpler online alternatives require. As much as your agency would love to create and execute an award-winning print campaign for you, they cringe a little when you bring it up because they are waiting for you to rush the creative, demand edits after the work has been sent to the printer, and try to negotiate for cheaper paper (PLEASE NEVER USE CHEAP PAPER).

Let’s choose to be optimistic. I agree with the concept that our email inboxes are overflowing and getting a beautiful piece of snail mail can be a lovely experience. So I will choose to hope that brands will selectively use snail mail in situations where they can plan ahead, budget appropriately, and provide a great brand experience for their target customers.

For further inspiration, let’s take a look at some recent attention-grabbing print campaigns:

Image credit: http://www.adeevee.com/aimages/200904/27/green-belgium-world-water-day-letter-direct-marketing-148583-adeevee


Image credit: https://www.behance.net/Gallery/Direct-Mail-Christmas-Card-2004/228135


Image credit: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/watch-cats-basically-hump-direct-mail-coated-kitty-crack-155799

So logical, and yet I still have to imagine that after a marathon brainstorming session someone finally said, “screw it, let’s just rub the damn thing with catnip.”


Image credit: https://www.behance.net/Gallery/Touch-Branding-Corporate-Identity/196968

Creepy, but creative.

Are you optimistic about the “return” of print? Do you have a favorite snail mail campaign? Please share in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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