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Is direct mail the answer to capitalising on lockdown trends?

Without wheeling out all of the clichés, it’s true that 2020 has been different to any other year. And after the world’s businesses held their breath through a variety of lockdowns, in the UK we’re now seeing a solid recovery partly driven by changes to consumer behaviour as a result of lockdown.


So, what are people doing differently? And why is a print expert bothered?


Moving house


If there’s one thing that lockdown opened everyone’s eyes to it’s the suitability of their home. Whether that’s about location, proximity to nice places to walk and enjoy, or just the amount of space. Commentators also speculate that the need for a home office will drive changes in home design and drive house moves in the coming months as many businesses intend to make people work from home on a far more regular basis.


Property information site Zoopla said that house sales had rebounded within weeks of lockdown being lifted, while rival Rightmove reported a big spike in searches for homes with good transport links and “out of city” locations from where people can split their working week once they get back to some office working.


Home improvements & gardening


Another product of staying at home is noticing the things that might previously have been overlooked. That’s translating into desire for a new bathroom, kitchen or bedroom, redecorating, or a garden overhaul for many.


According to research by windows company Safestyle UK published last month, more than half of Brits are prioritising home improvements, and one in eight expect to spend money on them in the remainder of 2020. Kingfisher Group, which owns B&Q, reported a 200% rise in online sales during May and June as a result of post-lockdown DIY.




Having been prevented from travelling for so long, Brits are now longing for a change of scene. But as travelling abroad is still fraught with uncertainty – as we’ve seen with Spain this last week – savvy staycationers have raced to secure a place to escape to.


For example, Hoseasons reported getting a booking every 11 seconds after Boris Johnson announced that staying somewhere other than your own home would be allowed from 4 July, with year-on-year sales up 270% by the end of the day.


What does this mean for print?


The current climate leaves print perfectly positioned to drive B2C sales. Many people are still working from home, meaning they can go to collect post the minute the letterbox announces it has been delivered.


Businesses wanting to capitalise on renewed enthusiasm for home improvements, hotel or self-catering stays, or the appetite to move home would do well to move swiftly to target their databases with clever print. I say it repeatedly, but print has been proven to be more trusted and to hang around longer than digital productions of the same messages.  Data from Marketreach shows that 86%  of people keep catalogues to refer to and 45% of mail stays in the home for over 4 weeks.


If you’re looking for inspiration for your next home or garden project, who doesn’t want to flick through a catalogue of things you can actually buy, rather than losing yourself down a Pinterest rabbit-hole and finding every product you’ve pinned hasn’t been sold since 2017?


Now is the time to create quick and clever campaigns to capitalise on consumer trends. With digital methods noisy and competing with already-bulging inboxes, print is the solution to achieving that cut-through. During a time where everything is online print is the perfect antidote to our digital lives. Whether you’re a hotel that needs to fill more rooms or a bathroom company poised and ready to start installing, print should be front and centre of your marketing revival plan.


So come on then, who wants to chat?

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