While there are a host of attributes that favor digital media over print—i.e, the ability to instantaneously update and add in video and audio—there is one area that paper-based marketing beats digital hands down.
Paper evokes an emotional attachment, fed by its inherent tactile nature, that savvy marketers are tapping into when looking to optimize their message. (See section: Why Paper Performs)
When combined with targeted lists finely tuned to ferret out high quality prospects, marketing programs that focus on paper’s emotional draw are generating a high return on investment.
The whole point, says Lisa Arsenault, president of Maryland-based McArdle Solutions, is to capture the attention of a consumer marketplace that is overly saturated and stimulated.
That’s why, says Arsenault, the connection with paper companies is so critical. “At the end of the day, we all have too much to do, and are often challenged with ideas,” says Arsenault. “The paper products themselves can help generate ideas.”
McArdle, a “solution-oriented communications firm,” offers design, cross channel communication, data management/segmentation and custom direct mail.
Paper companies—such as Mohawk (see below for its latest campaign), Neenah, and Iggesund allow printers and marketers “to get in front of prospects and tell a different story,” says Arsenault. Another major resource for top marketers and printers is FactoryFold.com, which offers custom and standard templates for folding, as well as project support.
Spawning a Website
Mohawk’s line of Dimensional pre-diecut and pre-perforated packaging, plus its line of Panoramic products, is helping McArdle Solutions spawn a new e-commerce site, boxes-4-you.com, set to launch within the next two months.
The new website will offer customers predesigned die templates or allow them to create it themselves.
“All these different tools in our portfolio informs your prospects and clients; it gives our salespeople the opportunity to talk about challenges in getting noticed, and how we can work with the client to resolve it,” says Arsenault.
For its own promotional campaigns, McArdle continually looks for out-of-the-box creative ideas, designed to highlight what’s possible. A promotional calendar shows specialty techniques like pearlessence, letting prospects see for themselves what it looks like.
Another campaign, titled “You don’t know Jack,” a paper-doll—Jack—was diecut into a direct marketing piece. “Jack” popped up when the piece was open.
The campaign moved 10 percent of business respondents to take action, as well as seven percent of their college audience.
“We were looking for a way to give our customers ideas of what we can do,” explains Arsenault. “Our clients really enjoyed Jack—they hung Jack up in their offices, cubicles and on their windows.”
The promotion has taken on a life of its own, with a Jill and Spot the dog dolls also being created, ”helping to extend the campaign,” explains Arsenault. “One of our clients turned Jill into Superwoman and the dog into Underdog and sent us a message back, saying ‘You’ve given us our superpowers.’”
Another promotion piece turned a brochure into a game board, mimicking Candy Land. The player’s travels around the game board, showcases McArdle’s different service offerings, instead of candy. “The idea was to engage the customer, letting them know that they could use us to do a mailing or design, or wherever they had a gap to fill,” says Arsenault. “It demonstrated in a fun way that we didn’t need to do the entire project, we could do a piece of it-- wherever they need us.”
Exploiting Paper’s Tactile Nature
Exploiting the tactile experience that paper delivers is the cornerstone of New York City-based Structural Graphics, which specializes in creating three-dimensional and interactive print materials for top brands and agencies.