DM industry comes out fighting despite inserts slump

InsertsThe direct marketing industry is attempting to put a positive spin on a 12% slump in insert volumes by highlighting the fact that magazine and third-party campaigns have remained steady and that GDPR could trigger a resurgence in the market.
According to a report – compiled by the DMA – the total number of inserts fell from 4.5 billion in 2015 to 3.9 billion in 2016, although 70% of this decrease came from a drop in newspaper inserts.
Overall, the sector has declined by 18.8% since 2014 yet the third-party channel has actually increased over the same period by 9.8%.
Recent statistics from the National Readership Survey highlight that consumption of national press through mobile devices has increased by 17% since last year, going some way to explaining the decline in newspaper insert volumes year-on-year.
DMA Print Council deputy chair Ben Briggs, who is also planning and brand partnerships director at Response One, said: “As marketers of print media we shouldn’t necessarily view this report with gloom. Although we will undoubtedly continue to see print circulations decline as the consumption of press moves online, inserts face a real opportunity to increase their cut-through through innovation, creative thinking and playing to the strengths of the medium – making impactful, tangible connections and delivering great ROI.”
“The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018 means a possible shift away from digital will make inserts a more favourable alternative, especially as online retail, subscriptions and auto-replenishment services are increasingly common. Inserts continue to offer a viable alternative to direct mail. As data protection legislation tightens, inserts give advertisers the opportunity to reach an audience without handling their personal data.”
Briggs continued: “Even if print media volumes decline in light of GDPR, inserts still have a crucial role in the marketing mix due to their impact and tangibility. When a consumer flips the pages of a newspaper over breakfast, ponders a creative DM piece they’ve picked up off the doormat or luxuriates with a glossy lifestyle magazine, that experience is real, relevant and undeniably engaging.”

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