A day at IPIA's Everything's Possible in Print event

IPIA EVerything's Possible in Print

The logic and magic of integrated marketing

I had the pleasure yesterday of being both an exhibitor and guest in a glorious sunny London for the Everything’s Possible in Print 2017 Conference (EPIP) run by The Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA).

Directly addressing the positioning and use of print in our modern, digital world.

In a jam-packed day featuring a wide-range of professionals, we were entertained by Insights (a 10 minute presentation on a particular topic), Case Studies and Keynote Speakers. The best thing being that the stage was not to be used as an opportunity to promote your business, but rather give the 140+ guests new ideas for maximizing the impact of their brands, insights on marketing in a digitally-led age, new knowledge of print’s extraordinary technology-led capabilities and contact details of highly skilled people that can help:

• Create campaigns that stand out from the competition
• Save time and money
• Keep their skills & knowledge fresh

The myriad of assembled guests were treated to an array of presentations on subjects

A range of interesting topics were covered, such as branding, print, sustainable value, the importance of data, the value of mail in an uncertain world, digitally engaging print and TV, the use of clever packaging and the power of the envelope, amongst many other interesting topics.

When esteemed speakers, such as Rita Clifton CBE, labelled the “The doyenne of branding” by Campaign magazine, “Brand Guru” by the FT and recognised worldwide as a leading expert on brands, take to the stage, you tend to want to listen.

Rita gave some fantastic examples of projects where brands have used print to connect with consumers physically as well as digitally, ASOS being one, another is Apple – their packaging is a sensory experience. To use her words: “you want to lick it, it looks so good”.

Data was an incredibly ‘hot topic’ with the impending impact of GDPR now rapidly approaching on the horizon.

As many of us are now very much aware the 25th May 2018 is the date where the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years comes into force – The EU General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR as it’s most commonly known. The primary objectives of the GDPR are to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

I’m always very interested in the findings of Royal Mail Marketreach, and was heartened again with the stats on channels/mediums that build trust. Mail conveys credibility and reassurance, in fact 52% of respondents in their latest piece of research found this to be the case, against 13% with e-mail. Mail has gravitas and is reassuringly private. They gave a really interesting example on the hot topic of “fake news” – something you only associate with online, not print.

Digital and print integration, and no we are not just talking about sending DM and Email in an integrated campaign.

Another way that print has combined successfully with digital, is with the use of direct mail to follow up redundant online baskets. Basically, when a consumer shops, adds a product, but leaves the site without buying – companies are able to take that data, put it into a personalised letter, and mail it to the customer. This has seen a 40% uplift in sales as leading brands set out to engage, acquire and retain their customers.

We got to see magazines with embedded videos, paper that bridges the gap between print and digital, patented products for embedding user generated content into print using phones and wearable devices, the power of analytics and to learn about packaging from an environmental and sustainability perspective.

Our MD, Michael Barter, gave a brief talk on The Power of the Humble Envelope, which was thoroughly endorsed by the renowned author and CIM Fellow, Dee Blick, who coincidentally had used one of our products in a very successful recent DM campaign.

I left the event genuinely inspired by both the resurgence, scope, depth and – most of all – love for print.

The future is value over volume. Data will lead to better decisions. Quality will improve and we will enter a golden age of marketing.

If I could change one thing, really it would only be that I’d have wished for more companies outside of print to have been there, to truly see the value, thought and ambition that is available. The business world should all know the power of print, but I guess it’s our job to make sure they do.

And to top it all off, I even came away with my own personalised 1st Class stamps from Royal Mail – can’t wait to send a card to my parents – I wonder if they’ll notice my face instead of the Queen!

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