Around 300 people listened to the virtues of print in a central London conference hall, almost all from brands, advertising and marketing agencies.
The event was the IPIA's Everything is Possible in Print & Communications (Epic) conferences where the subjects were focused on improving marketing performance, but with more than a nod towards the impact that the use of print can bring.
There is an opening delegates heard. Advertising is not as trusted as it once was. In a report produced by Credos said its director Karen Fraser, the 50% of the public who said they trusted advertising in the early 1990s, was now halved to 25%.
And the reason is the penetration of advertising into all aspects of life, both through traditional means, but also through sponsorship deals and most markedly through the digital channels.
Mark Davies, the final speaker of the day and managing director of iDoorstop, the leaflet distribution arm of Whistl, related how his business had boomed in the last two years as printed leaflets, samples and other printed door drop communications were able to cut through the digital clutter and combined in an integrated campaign to magnify results over using a single channel alone.
One customer he said had reported “We get a 70% uplift in sales when you do a door drop for us”.
His was the most direct reference to print in the day. According to IPIA director Marian Stefani, the concept had been to present a marketing conference, not a print conference. Print would receive an indirect benefit. Thus there were no presentations from printers nor from technology providers who were confined as sponsors to table top presentations and to pages within the conference guide.
Instead the presentations featured influencer marketing, promotional goods, statistical analysis, door drops and key note presentations from inspirational speaker Peter Docker, whose key message was that every company and every individual has to find his or her Why, and from the Apprentice winner Mark Wright. His business plan was to start a digital marketing agency with the Lord Sugar money, he said, repaying the investment in double quick time and going on to become a millionaire before he reached 30.
And print played and continues to play a major role in his success. He had drummed up the first customers for his own business using a combination of knocking on doors and printed leaflets shoved through those doors, and had won his first job in the UK after handing out printed CVs to passers by in London.
He told his audience: “Every company needs sales people, every company needs marketing. Print is so important to your business. We do as much print advertising as online advertising. When most people are jumping on Facebook, I’m going in newspapers.”
By Gareth Ward
Last year the IPIA staged Everything's Possible in Print. This year it has focused more sharply on the marketing sector, attending numerous events to push the Everything's Possible in Communications conference and was rewarded with a sell out event and one where the positive messages about print came thick and fast.