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IPIA champions print for sustainable marketing

The Independent Print Industries Association (IPIA) has called on marketers, brands and agencies to include more print in their sustainability strategies, saying that this will help to boot their environmental credentials.

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IPIA chief executive Marian Stefani wants brands and marketers to revisit their perception of print

Citing new research by Essity, which found 81% of consumers say sustainability and the environment are now more important because of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), the IPIA says including print in marketing is critical.

Other key findings in the report include that 63% of people understand that paper and card are better for the environment, while 38% are already looking for information about sustainability on packaging.

With increasing willingness to understand how to be greener and people being prepared to pay more for it, IPIA chief executive Marian Stefani says print can be a valuable tool for marketers.

Stefani adds that newer techniques can make a big difference to the environment and also to a brand’s bottom line, with better profiling and smaller print runs now much more effective when it comes to return on investment.

“All we’re asking brands and marketers to do in this ‘green recovery’ is to revisit their perception of print, especially direct mail,” Stefani says.

All we’re asking brands and marketers to do in this ‘green recovery’ is to revisit their perception of print, especially direct mail

“If they exclude it as a channel they could be missing a trick, not just in terms of sustainability but also in building lasting connections with customers. Some 86% of people like keeping catalogues and referring to them; time will tell what Argos has up its sleeve next.”

Stefani cites the recent decision by Argos to stop printing its catalogues and the impact that has had on customers, with the move leading to something of a UK-wide outcry.

“If the Argos decision was based purely on saving cost, it might realise quickly it could be damaging its long term relationship with customers for the sake of short-term budget cuts,” Stefani says.

“I suspect it’s smarter than that and may already be working with a trusted UK printer to identify a creative and sustainable way to transform its existing printed catalogue into a more manageable printed solution that drives sales by delivering a more immersive customer experience that still reflects its environmental stance.

“Because at the end of the day, nothing beats the brand in your hand.”

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