The possibility of communicating directly with potential customers online is certainly enticing; where once a poster on the street might catch the eye of the odd person in a few thousand, the internet opens up the possibility of millions, perhaps even billions, of prospective patrons engaging with your message.

But while a printed ad is placed in a particular location, whether that’s a poster on a street corner or a page in a magazine, programmatic online advertising is a much more freewheeling affair. Digital banner ads, governed as they are by ‘cookies’ and randomisation programs, can turn up almost anywhere, in front of almost anyone, which is at best not very targeted and at worst potentially damaging to a brand’s image.

An ongoing concern for brands is ensuring their advertising is seen by the right people. For some of-the-moment, cutting-edge brands, there are concerns that print is an irrelevant format for youthful tastemakers – the digital natives – and a belief that online is the only way to reach them. However, Paperplanes, the direct mailing subdivision of Go Inspire Group, has not found this to be the case.

“Digital marketers want to utilise multi-channel marketing without print, which is nuts,” says founder Daniel Dunn. “They don’t think younger people will connect with print, but we send direct mail to millennials and they love it.

“The time and attention that has been put in to seeking them out and putting something tangible in their hands is powerful.”

But how does Paperplanes know where to send its mailers? Funnily enough, it uses programmatic technology, something direct mailing companies are grasping with both hands and giving a print spin. Based on an individual’s online activity Paperplanes can automatically create and send out relevant physical one-to-one direct mail pieces.

Read the full article here.

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