I sat down with Universal Wilde's new summer marketing intern Meg Ennis to get her perspective, as a millennial, of the print industry and thoughts of the UW Company.COLLINS: What interests you about Universal Wilde?
ENNIS: When the opportunity to intern at Universal Wilde presented itself I took it knowing it would be very different from my previous experience. I knew minimal about the print industry but was eager to learn. The company is known for working on multiple projects, prints, and prospects simultaneously. I believe print has many opportunities and innovations to expand and thrive in today’s environment.
COLLINS: If you were to read a book would you choose digital or print?
ENNIS: When it comes to books I am old-school and stick to the print. There’s something special about physically holding the book and flipping through each page. I feel a greater sense of accomplishment when I finish a big book after seeing how many pages it had, instead of just hitting the next button. I also don’t fully take in all the information when it is on a screen. I’ve only read one or two books digitally, but I didn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t enjoy reading it anywhere. For example, I LOVE to read on the beach, but with all the glare it’s difficult to read in the sun.
COLLINS: How about magazines?
ENNIS: I do buy magazines for special occasions when I know I’ll have time to relax and enjoy them, such as vacations, long train rides/flights, or relaxing weekends. When I want to spend time and immerse myself in a reading, I go for print.
She is not alone. According to a study by Tech Times, “More Than 90 Percent of College Students Prefer Reading Paper Books over E-Books.”
COLLINS: What, in your opinion, is so powerful about print?
ENNIS: I believe print is powerful because it is genuine and trustworthy. I am more likely to believe and trust a printed article than a digital one. I believe the print adds a sense of credibility. Today, almost anyone can post something online and make it look official. Reading print also brings a nostalgia feeling. I grew up in school reading tangible books.
More time is spent reading print too, according to Freeport Press, 16% of people spend up to 10 minutes in print, 62% spend over 10 minutes in print (some even over an hour!), and 22% don’t read print magazines. Digital articles on the other hand don’t get as much attention with 21% spend up to 10 minutes, 25% spend over 10 minutes, and 54% not even reading digitally.
COLLINS: How do you think technology can be incorporated with print?
ENNIS: I believe bringing technology and print together makes the printed piece memorable should be utilized more. I am a strong supporter of QR codes that would turn my phone into a portal for virtual reality. For example, IKEA magazines were used to help customers see what different furniture pieces would look like in their living rooms. I loved that concept and hope more companies would follow the idea. Especially clothing companies so I don’t always have to try on clothes, I could just virtually try it on in a mirror!
COLLINS: What do you feel is the most important aspect of a direct mail campaign?
ENNIS: For me personally, it is all about the design of the direct mail piece. If it is aesthetically pleasing then I am intrigued. I lose interest if I see too many bold words, dark colors, or unprofessional photos.
COLLINS: What is the coolest piece of direct mail you have received?
ENNIS: The coolest piece would have to be back when I was in high school receiving all sorts of mail from prospective colleges. I remember one college, University of Connecticut, sent a large foldout that was bright royal blue with a big husky on the front. It had tabs that folded open on each side. Eventually, after reading all the information and looking at all the photos, I realized I had unfolded a large banner that said “UConn Bound, #ClassOf2019!” Of course this called for a photo shoot with my new piece of direct mail to rally school pride. This piece of direct mail wasn’t the #1 reason why I choose UConn, but the way they presented themselves compared to other colleges in direct mailings definitely helped.
COLLINS: How much mail are you receiving currently?
ENNIS: As a college student I do not receive a lot of mail. I am lucky if I get one or two pieces a week.
COLLINS: Do you read all of your mail?
ENNIS: Since I get so little mail I do read everything I get.
COLLINS: How long would you say you look at your mail?
ENNIS: On average, I would say I spend 30 seconds – 1 minute reading a piece of mail. If I find it relevant or important then I save it and read it 2-3 more times later.
A study from U.S. Postal Service found that, “on average, millennials spend more than 9 minutes per day sorting through their mail, more than any other generation. They also are more engaged with their mail than the average consumer, taking more time to scan, read and organize their mail.”
COLLINS: How can marketers grab your attention with a direct mail campaign?
ENNIS: If you want to grab my attention with your direct mail campaign then you need two things: High-quality intriguing images and personalization to make the content relevant to me. I will not read a piece of mail if it looks outdated, my eye first goes to the photos. This includes company logos, if it looks stereotypical or lacks innovation then I have already lost interest. When it comes to personalization, I like having my name on mailing pieces but only if it is done correctly. What I mean is, if it says “meg” or “MEG”, then I am already questioning the credibility. It should look professional I should believe the company is genuinely trying to connect with me. I recommend that all marketers keep their contact data updated and relevant to avoid this problem.
COLLINS: What do you hope to experience/learn from this internship?
ENNIS: I think most young professionals leave college and know exactly what type of job and company they want to work in. Often times, they have a very narrow view and don’t try any opportunities outside of their usual comfort zone. For me, this internship is my opportunity to try something outside my comfort zone and see what I learn about the marketing world from a new perspective. All my experience has been digital and with no sales team to support. Now I find myself learning, just as much if not more than I would’ve anywhere else.
I would like to thank Megan for taking the time to sit down with me and answering these questions. It was interesting gaining a perspective that I believe many marketers can use in their direct mail marketing campaigns. The millennial generation enjoys reading and the technological advancements in print are bringing it to life. I think it is also important to note that personalization is a useful tool when designing a direct mail campaign to this generation. They do not get a lot of mail so when a mail piece arrives with the name and information that is important to them, THEY READ IT. We look forward to having Megan as part of the team this summer!
Universal Wilde helps marketers achieve increased effectiveness by guiding them to data-driven, personalized communications solutions. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more news and insights.