To paraphrase a well-known quote from author Mark Twain, the reports of the death of print have been greatly exaggerated. Even in this hyper-digital era, print produces solid results for marketers.

Evidence of the benefits of print is plentiful. For instance, a 2015 study conducted for Canada Post Corp. by True Impact Marketing found that direct mail is more action-oriented than digital media. Key findings of the study include:

  • Direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media.
  • Direct mail is much more persuasive than digital media.
  • Direct mail is visually processed more quickly than digital media.

On Oct. 8 at &THEN, a panel of cross-sector industry leaders will explain how they leverage print and direct mail across numerous marketing platforms. The panel is titled “Amplifying Print in the Digital Age.”

Panelists will be:

  • Lois Brayfield, owner and CEO of J. Schmid.
  • Jaclyn Epstein, director of acquisition marketing at Liberty Mutual Insurance.
  • Mary Hennen, chief marketing officer/vice president of marketing and e-commerce at The Tile Shop.
  • Denis McSweeney, director of acquisition and win-back email at AARP.
  • Debbie Roth, vice president of sales and marketing at Japs-Olson Co.

All five of the panelists are leaders of DMA’s newly formed Council for Print in the Digital Age, whose mission is to “advocate and educate for the evolution and leveraging of print and direct mail as key drivers of effective performance-based marketing.”

“Print and direct mail have always been a key part of successful integrated marketing and fundraising campaigns,” says Senny Boone, DMA’s general counsel and executive director of the DMA Nonprofit Federation. “The purpose of the council is to promote creativity and effectiveness through these methods in innovative marketing campaigns as members look to the DMA for strategies and examples and advocacy.”

Ian Parmiter, DMA’s senior vice president of membership engagement and sales, adds: “Fueled by data-driven advances, direct mail marketing has become much more innovative and integrated with digital marketing. Direct mail delivers outstanding return on investment for marketers across industry segments … .”

Authors of the Canada Post and True Impact Marketing study say their research demonstrates a powerful role for direct mail in the digital world.

“Consumers are now interacting with brands in a constant, fluid, channel-agnostic way — and digital media provides essential platforms for interaction,” the study says. “But all interaction has an end game: action. This hasn’t changed. …”

The researchers say their findings prove digital under-delivers on the action front.

“Direct mail, on the other hand, taps into deep-seated neurological processes that trigger action,” the study says. “It also offers the creative versatility to amplify action by appealing to senses beyond touch. It is better suited to close the marketing-sales loop or the gap between interaction and action.”

In the digital world, brands need both interaction and action, the study says.

“Perhaps, then, the secret to smarter marketing lies at the [crossroads] of physical and digital media,” the study says. “Fusing the two allows marketers to capitalize on the best of both interaction and action to drive customer relationships and sales.”

This article is brought to you by &THEN, DMA’s annual event. Click here to join the leaders of the marketing community and advance your data and marketing mastery in Las Vegas, October 7-9.