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How to Reach and Engage with Customers in 2021

Even the most optimistic predictions would not have foreseen the rapid change in consumer behaviours that we’ve experienced in 2020. Looking ahead, is digitalisation the best way to spend your marketing budget or is there another way to reach and engage with customers?

Marketing Strategy

The past year has been a period of intense change. Individuals and businesses have been forced to adapt at speed. Business plans went out of the window, as we kept pace with the impact of ever-changing guidance.

Fortunately, technology has enabled many of us to keep working, remain operational and maintain communication. Many local pubs, village shops and independent makers are among the businesses that have had to create an online presence for the first time. Digital advertising has offered a solution when businesses couldn’t rely on passing traffic, industry events, networking and in-person promotions.

Digital marketing certainly has a value, but as we plan for the coming year, should other options form part of our marketing strategy as well?

Digital Burn Out

Before we go any further, how is constant screen time working for you? Are you loving the convenience of online meetings, shopping, socialising and entertainment or has it become a bit overwhelming?

Many of us are facing some degree of digital burn-out. We would relish the opportunity for more personal interaction. Any brand that can deliver an alternative to the endless stream of social media posts, Google adverts or email promotions has a good chance of being viewed favourably.

The Value of Printed Media

Research in the latest Royal Mail Market Reach report supports the digital burnout theory. The study surveyed households through lockdown. The findings suggest that people welcomed the routine arrival of their postman and 96% of physical mail was engaged with.

The report reveals that through lockdown, there was a 7% increase in engagement with business mail, 11% increase in addressed advertising and 15% increase for door drops. What’s more, 75% of posted mail remained in the home for 4 weeks. That provides considerably more opportunities to become a familiar brand than a fleeting social media post.

If you believe that print media is behind the times, you may be surprised to know that the highest increase in engagement with mail was among 18-34-year-olds. It seems that there is a novelty value in receiving something tangible.

Go Against the Flow

Print media is known to build brand awareness, retain customer loyalty and drive online traffic. In the Royal Mail research, 70% of participants said that print mail gave a better impression of a company than an email. With this in mind, Alison Page Marketing would encourage you to consider going against the flow.

Digital marketing shouldn’t be ruled out, but with increased activity, standing out online is going to be harder and more costly than ever. Printed flyers, magazine advertising and addressed letters are all effective ways of reaching and engaging with your target audience. When you are planning your 2021 strategy, we would encourage you to include print media in the marketing mix. It could give your brand the edge.

A Positive Customer Experience

We have no idea when it will be safe to resume face-to-face interactions with customers, but consumers love personalised experiences. So, consider how this could be achieved when preparing your marketing.

We offer five suggestions for enhancing the customer experience with print media:

  • Replicate the knowledgeable salesperson by offering advice and tips – a magazine editorial is a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and provide content of value.
  • Provide a taster that engages the senses, such as a small product sachet to try or a fabric sample.
  • Print flyers that includes an incentive to encourage recipients to find out more, such as a discount voucher or a competition entry.
  • Send a letter to your most loyal customers. Thank them for their custom through 2020 and update them on things of interest that are planned for the coming year.
  • When it is safe to open your doors, plan a re-launch event and invite local residents.

Professional Marketing Support

If your business needs additional capacity to develop and implement a marketing strategy, Alison Page Marketing can assist. With specialist skills, we will recommend proven marketing methods that fit with your goals and budget. Our support has helped many small businesses to reach, engage and retain customers. Call us on 07963 002065 if we can help your company in 2021.