Multi-industry experts from the print value chain met at the end of 2016 at Hewlett Packard’s Graphics Experience Centre in Barcelona to discuss the future of direct mail in Europe. The successful seminar and accompanying ‘2016 European Direct Mail Market Report’ (available to purchase and free of charge for members and participants) were coordinated by Intergraf, the European Federation for Print and Digital Communication, and FEPE, the European Envelope Manufacturers’ Association.
Motivated by a wealth of high-level, cross-industry speakers and the pre-commissioned market report prepared by Smithers Pira, seminar participants took part enthusiastically in several interactive sessions designed to analyse the direct mail sector and look to the future, learning from and being inspired by one another’s different knowledge and experience. Participants also took part in a guided tour of HP’s Graphics Experience Centre as well as a visit to a local printing company.
Lisa Kretschmann, Managing Director of FEPE, said that “It was exciting to see that our industries’ strong trust and interest in direct mail is justified: It is powerful and transparent, with major brands starting to realise that they may have overinvested in digital media. Part of the decline in volume is due to much improved analytics and targeting, meaning that direct mail is more efficient and offers good opportunities for our industries to pick up on or even shape the use and development of direct mail technologies”.
Participants identified networking with people from different parts of the industry as one of the highlights of the seminar. Alongside speakers from the market research, printing, postal, legal and direct mail sectors, there were also (among others) paper and envelope manufacturers, printing machine suppliers and various other European associations in attendance, so there was very strong representation from throughout the print value chain.
Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf, explained that “this event was a great opportunity for interested parties to meet in a rare cross-industry forum to learn and discuss about issues of great relevance in such a specialised sector. Direct mail is experiencing a resurgence in Europe, with many companies (re-)exploring this communication channel to promote their products and services. These developments offer exciting opportunities for direct mail producers”.
Direct Mail in the digital age is a dynamic and creative industry that can generate high returns on investment for advertisers who use this method of communication to connect with their customers. Reflecting this, the overall outlook of the direct mail seminar was very positive, with speakers and participants alike identifying many strengths and opportunities for the industry.
The main outcome of the event is the ‘2016 European Direct Mail Market Report’. It summarises the issues and conclusions of the seminar (strategic part) and contains an economic analysis of the European direct mail market (economic part). It is free of charge for Intergraf and FEPE members, plus participants of the seminar. To purchase the 2016 European Direct Mail Market Report please contact Intergraf or FEPE directly.