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IPIA urges marketers, brands and agencies to include more print in their sustainability strategies

Tuesday 08. September 2020 - In the wake of the Government committing 350million to fuel a green recovery, the Independent Print Industry Association (IPIA) is urging brands and marketers to re-look at print as they plan their sustainability strategies.

IPIA CEO Marian Stefani says: “The national outcry recently at the demise of the Argos catalogue is a good illustration of how nostalgically brands are looking at print and it little reflects either the nation’s perception of sustainability or how much greener and much more effective print can be.”
Recent research by Essity* reveals that 81% of consumers say sustainability and the environment are now more important because of Covid-19. The report reflected both the nation’s confusion over sustainability but also their willingness to understand how to be greener and prepared to pay more for it (average +12% more*).
“People (63%†) get it that paper and card are better for the environment, and 38%* are already looking for information about sustainability on packaging,” says Marian
She says, however, that brands don’t seem to be aware of the quiet revolution that’s been going on in print, how newer techniques can not only make a massive difference to the environment but also to a brand’s bottom line. Better profiling and smaller print runs are now much more effective when it comes to ROI.
“While ‘one size fits all’ print approaches may no longer be relevant, print-based communication can be done creatively but tailored to reflect the brand’s identity or regionality. This in turn generates a stronger customer experience, which drives stronger engagement and ultimately more sales,” claims Marine Kerivel Brown, International Marketing Manager for Duplo International Ltd. “
“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. 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,” offers Marine.
The IPIA claims most of its members are already investing in technology that uses less energy, more environmentally friendly inks and FSC certified paper sources. And consumers (42%)* are already seeking out products accredited by sustainability groups; they trust third party certifications such as the FSC*.
“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. 86%1 of people like keeping catalogues and referring to them; time will tell what Argos has up its sleeve next,” concludes Marian.
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