Consumer behavior has changed significantly in comparison to the pre-pandemic world. In this article, PrintingNews.com sheds light on emerging trends and key takeaways marketers should know to ensure their brand leaves a lasting impression that will stick in the minds of over stimulated consumers.
Over the last year people have spent significantly more time online, being bombarded by ads, offers and promotions. It would be expected that, with increased exposure to digital marketing efforts, people have put up metaphorical walls – tuning out ads and messages that don’t stand out and grab attention. But the opposite has happened.
Nearly 40% of consumers in the United States were more willing to interact with social media advertisements during lockdown. According to McKinsey and Company, consumers will likely continue their reliance on digital consuming habits following the pandemic.
How people interact with brands may never return to pre-pandemic habits. Innovative marketing efforts will be required to break through the noise of advertising and create an engaging customer experience that drives buying decisions. IDC predicts that by 2023, 65% of consumers will be using voice, images and AR to interact with brands, according to Quadient’s 2021 “The State of CX” e-book.
The pandemic accelerated an already voracious appetite for researching and buying products online. Today, e-commerce is booming.
According to Keypoint Intelligence, 60% of professionals who suddenly found themselves working from home, bought printing devices with their own money – online. The numbers only go up for folks able to expense their purchase.
Imagine you need a new coffee maker for your office. Chances are you’ll start by comparing brands, models and features online. Perhaps you’ll head over to some review sites. Maybe you’ll reach out to your friends for recommendations. Then, once you’ve made your decision, you’ll head over to your e-tailer of choice, add it to your cart, and enjoy fresh brewed coffee the next day.
Throughout it all, you are in complete control of the buying process. There is no middle person required until you decide it’s necessary.
Interactive print makes the buying experience more engaging.
What are the innovative marketing efforts that cut through the noise and create an experience that attracts your attention, keeps you engaged and drives you to a buying decision?
Ninety percent of millennials prefer to have hard copies of important documents, and 78% of millennials prefer physical books over digital ones, according to RIT.
By bridging the digital and physical, interactive print can capitalize on human memory sensors, like touch, while exploiting the benefits of an e-commerce ecosystem. As the physical printed piece provokes the urge to touch, the interactive element transports you back to the comfort of your online world.
The result is a stronger memory – and connection – to the brand.
Today, it can take as many as 10 interactions before brand recall even begins to set in. These “touches” come in many forms, including digital marketing, social media, advertising, websites, cold calling and print. Each touch is an opportunity to create awareness, build trust and develop a relationship.
Remember that coffee maker you started searching for online? All of a sudden, you’re seeing ads for it everywhere. They’re in your social feeds, articles and videos. Now, imagine receiving a postcard in your mailbox from one of the vendors with a special offer – personalized just for you – including a coupon for the exact model you were searching. On that postcard is a QR code that, once scanned, takes you straight to the product page, with the discount already applied. All that’s left to do is check out. You started and ended on the web, with print precipitating the final decision to purchase. While this is a very simplified example, it perfectly illustrates how seamless and unique the interactive print buying experience is, and how it fosters a connection between the buyer and the brand.
The Benefits of Interactive Print for PSPs
Companies that offer AR are 41% more likely to be considered in the buying decision, and generate 94% more conversions, on average, over those that don’t. And that’s just AR.
There is no question the pandemic bolstered interactive print, particularly the adoption of QR codes – as restaurants embraced them to provide touchless menus for dine-in patrons.
SmartLabel, is another company that uses QR codes right on the packaging to provide more detailed product information than could ever fit on a package label – about a wide range of food, beverage, supplement, household, pet care, personal care and over-the-counter products. Safety and wayfinding solutions like social distancing stickers and floor graphics – so critical and essential at the height of the pandemic – might now include QR codes with links to videos, coupons, contests and surprise deals.
Using these types of technology, companies are turning to interactive print to tap deeper into existing target markets by up-selling and cross-selling to new and existing customers.
Take the coffee maker example. It’s been a couple of weeks since you’ve been using it, and you receive another piece of direct mail. When you scan the code this time, it brings you to an AR program that transports you to Paris, where you are in a bistro sipping a cappuccino – recreating the moment in your very own home, with your very own coffee maker. All you need to do is purchase the right accessories and coffee – discounted for new customers just like you, naturally.
Physical, touchable, scented, colourful print complements immersive and interactive digital customer journeys with fun, one-of-a-kind experiences. Providing a multi-touchpoint, engaging and relevant omnichannel experience becomes a brand-showcasing opportunity at every step of your customer’s buying journey. And nobody builds a memorable brand experience better than the print industry. Direct mail and postcards are just two examples of how printers are literally putting brands in the palm of people’s hands. Adding interactive elements, like AR and QR codes heighten the experience – and brand recall.
Let’s not overlook the role that interactive print plays in the packaging and label market. What else besides print can transform a blank package into an interactive and dynamic experience – complete with a virtual brand ambassador?
According to ResearchandMarkets.com, the North America Print Label Market was valued at $7.59 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach $9.44 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.
Brands offering AR experiences are 41% more likely to be considered and can expect a 94% increase in their conversion rates, according to Snap & Deloitte’s Digital AR Consumer global report.
19 Crimes is one example of how “living wine labels” are jumping on the interactive print bandwagon. They’ve created an app that scans the label on their wine bottles, and immerses the buyer by bringing the bottle of wine to life using AR. Their most recent addition includes rapper, artist and entrepreneur, Snoop Dogg, sharing stories of his road to success. CNBC called it, “The secret trigger that makes you reach for your favorite bottle of wine.”
Is interactive print here to stay?
With lockdowns lifting and the world reopening, attentions will shift away from monitors and towards more live, physical interactions – between people, between products and between brands. Companies that rely solely on digital strategies to attract and engage buyers may suddenly find themselves behind the pack, while their competitive counterparts continue to embrace the powerful role that interactive print plays in the buyer journey. The possibilities for innovation are nearly endless.
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