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Reimagining Print’s Role in a Digital World

Keypoint Intelligence’s new research analyzes print demand in key vertical industries

Apr 28, 2024 8:00:00 PM


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In late 2023, Keypoint Intelligence completed a comprehensive Multi-Client Study to gain a better understanding of how print demand is changing in key vertical industries. This survey serves as an update to similar vertical market research that was conducted in 2020. The verticals we covered in depth included education, finance/banking, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and publishing.


Over 1,200 respondents from businesses with 200+ employees participated in this study. On average, survey respondents reported having over 2,000 employees each. At the same time, however, well over a third of our surveyed businesses had fewer than 500 employees.



When survey respondents were asked to estimate the split for digital, print, and other media, digital media accounted for roughly 44% of marketing advertising spend. In terms of vertical industry, it is interesting to note that insurance (47%) and retail (45%) respondents allocated the highest share to digital media, while the finance/banking and education sectors (42% each) allocated the least.



Among the 858 respondents that used direct mail to reach their customers, a strong majority (86%) were personalizing or customizing it for more targeted messaging. Some examples of customization include changing images or modifying text for different groups of recipients. On average, those respondents that were creating more targeted direct mail estimated that about 60% of their total direct mail campaigns included personalization or customization. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of respondents (98%) reported that personalized campaigns delivered significantly or moderately higher response rates.



Like personalization, specialized printing capabilities (e.g., metallic/specialty colors, embellishments, quick response codes, near-field communication tags, and augmented reality) are a popular way to enhance direct mail communications. In fact, 95% of businesses employing personalized direct mail also integrate specialty printing capabilities at least some of the time. Of these respondents, the most commonly used specialized printing techniques included QR codes and specialty/brand colors.


Respondents who were able to answer questions about their company’s printing services were optimistic about the importance of print. In fact, 90% of these businesses considered printing marketing collateral to be very or somewhat important to their sales and marketing efforts. Meanwhile, only 2% of respondents considered print to be very or somewhat unimportant.


Our study confirms that, even in today’s digital world, direct mail campaigns can be undeniably compelling when done well. It’s not always easy to stand out in a vast sea of marketing messages, and direct mail remains a popular choice for marketers that are hoping to foster deeper connections with their customers.


This blog provides just a glimpse of the information that is available in our 2023 Vertical Visions research. Each of the 100+ questions that were posed to respondents are broken down by primary vertical industry in our Excel data tabs so readers can understand how print demand is changing among the different verticals. The simple message is that print remains an important component of the media mix even as the digital transformation continues.


Click here for more information on our in-depth and comprehensive Vertical Visions Multi-Client Study!


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