The drive to use more digital communication channels is unceasing and rightly so. But as brands get all wrapped up in finding clever new ways to engage digitally with their consumers, we shouldn’t forget that’s there’s sometimes a role to play for real, tangible, touchy feely things too.
In the last 7 days I’ve received over 400 emails, over 50 texts and read over 250 posts on facebook … but received only 8 communications through the post. With all those messages clambering for my attention, perhaps it’s not surprising that the standout piece was one of the 8 – a welcome pack from a credit card company.Not something I’d usually expect to get excited about … but it was very well done.
Almost all the content could have been delivered online – but the plush silver box and well laid out explanation of some compelling benefits gave me a great first impression of the brand and reaffirmed their premium positioning. I think it would have been very difficult for an email to have had the same effect. I even found myself filling in two paper forms to apply for additional benefits rather than applying online – a slightly odd thing to do in this day and age but strangely compelling.
The sense of touch
Maybe there’s a clue in the idea of ‘touchy feely’. Unlike digital communications, my sense of touch was also stimulated, and while I’m no neuroscientist, I’m pretty sure that ‘touch’ triggers different reactions in the brain. Or maybe I’m in danger of overcomplicating it!
Either way, as marketers, I think there’s a danger that we see mailings as an old fashioned way to communicate… but while we should absolutely embrace new digital opportunities, there are definitely some occasions when it’s worth investing in something real, something touchy feely.
Equally, when used at the right time and in the right way, I can point to some fantastic results for some of the mail packs we’ve done – results that couldn’t have been achieved via digital channels and more than justify the investment in them.
There’s no doubt that digital developments present some fantastic opportunities, but we’d be foolish to assume that digital is always the answer.