The annual Two Sides Partner Meeting brought together members of Two Sides to listen to presentations from Philip Ricketts of Royal Mail Marketreach and Lucy Swanston of The Strategic Mailing Partnership.
On February 1, Two Sides held its annual Partner Meeting, a chance for the organisation to provide its members with the latest information on its campaigns, alongside presentations from Philip Ricketts, Wholesale Commercial Director of Royal Mail Marketreach, and Lucy Swanston, Chair of The Strategic Mailing Partnership.
The meeting not only delivered key information about all three organisations, but offered an in-depth look at the highly complex world of the modern marketer as they navigate their way through ever-increasing numbers of available channels and stricter regulations.
Early Trend Tracker Survey Results
The morning began with Jonathan Tame, Managing Director of the global Two Sides campaign, welcoming the online delegates and providing an overview of the not-for-profit organisation. The past year has certainly been a success for Two Sides, with 20 new members boosting UK membership to 233, and worldwide membership to over 600. While printers make up the majority of the UK membership (26%), mail companies (15%) and digital equipment firms (14%) aren’t far behind.
One of the key updates was news on the results of the latest Two Sides Trend Tracker survey. Carried out every two years, this vast piece of research questions over 10,000 consumers all over the world about their preferences, perceptions, and attitudes towards print, paper and paper packaging, and this year produced some fascinating results.
While the final survey won’t be published until May, Jonathan was able to reveal some of the key findings, which showed that consumers still believe European forests are shrinking, and there remains a significant gap between consumer belief in our industry’s recycling record and reality.
“The results show that 60% of EU citizens think that European forests are shrinking, while just 15% understand that forests are growing in size,” said Jonathan. “However, while we obviously still have a lot of work to do, that figure is improving, and I believe that our messages and the industry’s amplification of these messages has had a significant effect.”
Another key finding was an increase in the number of people understanding that paper is recycled more than other materials – 18% versus 15% for glass, 11% for metal, and 10% for plastic. “Since the actual paper recycling rate is 74% and 83% for paper packaging, there’s certainly more work to be done,” said Jonathan. “But we have a great story to tell, and we just need to keep reminding people that we’re an important part of the circular economy.”
The Holy Grail Of Marketing
Following Jonathan, Lucy Swanston battled through a heavy cold to deliver an insight into The Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP), a professional body that represents the interests of printers and mailing houses in the UK. Comprising a large number of mailing houses, as well as print management companies and agencies, the SMP’s key aim is to retain and grow print volumes in a sustainable way, as well as broaden its membership to encompass every part of the supply chain, from the OEMs and paper merchants to the technology providers and trade associations.
“We need to come together as an industry,” explained Lucy. “We need to be more collaborative, more exciting, and more sustainable for the generations to come. We want mail to be an attractive industry to move into and we’re here to provide the tools and help you promote the benefits of mail.”
With the title ‘The evolving value of mail in an omnichannel world’, the presentation by Philip Ricketts from Royal Mail Marketreach explored the communication challenges for the modern marketer and how mail has the potential to offer many of the solutions. “Omnichannel communication is the holy grail for marketing professionals,” he began. “But there’s more choice than ever in terms of the channels in which customers can be communicated to.”
Philip went on to explain just how complicated communication planning is and the value of effective customer experience, before providing evidence for “the superpowers of mail”. That evidence includes how mail works across all age groups (85% of millennials and Gen Z will open it and 65% will store it for future reference) and how the medium is highly trusted by consumers, with 71% completely trusting the mail they receive.
“The fact is that people keep mail in their house for 28 days,” he said. “They pin it on the notice board, which they walk past it all the time. It’s effectively a household poster for many brands that stays there for 28 days on average, and that’s a powerful benefit for businesses.”
Two Sides Future Strategy
After going through the various platforms Two Sides uses to communicate its messages to members and consumers, Jonathan Tame then outlined the 2023 strategy for Two Sides. This is largely based on building the organisation’s Anti-Greenwashing and Love Paper campaigns, continuing to tackle misleading anti-print and paper statements, and strengthening engagement with publishers, as well as growing the membership.
“Hopefully, today shows that through our work, resources and partnerships, we are talking to brands, consumers, and users about the sustainability and positive benefits of print,” said Jonathan. “But we’re all in this together, so I’d like to thank all of our members who are online and everyone who supports us.”
To listen to the 2023 Two Sides Partner Meeting and download the presentation, go to www.twosides.info/UK/two-sides-partners-meeting-2023-recording
To listen to Philip Ricketts and Lucy Swanston, and download their presentations, go to www.twosides.info/UK/two-sides-partners-meeting-2023-royal-mail-smp-recording