In the last two years, more of our time has been spent in front of a screen than any other time in history. Working and learning from home, limited mobility due to cancelled activities and lockdown measures meant that our apparent desire for digital content was about to reach an all-time high. But this all comes at a price to consumers and businesses alike. Digital marketing content has exploded, and it has taken a toll with people feeling the real effects of digital fatigue.
Digital fatigue is a state of mental exhaustion and disengagement that occurs in people who spend too much time using digital tools and applications. Users who are experiencing digital fatigue, or burnout, feel actual physical and mental discomfort as a result of prolonged exposure to a digital screen such as a laptop, computer, mobile phone, TV, tablet or other devices. Ask any family member, colleague or friend if they feel digital burnout and most people will acknowledge they do, even if they don’t have the right words to express what they are feeling. This sharp increase in the use of technology has led to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Digital overload has also affected consumer attitudes towards digital ads, with 75% of consumers saying they are overwhelmed by the number of digital ads they see.
Digital is not just saturated, it’s oversaturated
It’s time for marketers to take stock; digital is not just saturated, it is oversaturated. A key strategic pivot to other channels is necessary to make your brand relevant in your consumer’s journey. Marketing to consumers involves building a long-term relationship in which brand loyalty is the ultimate reward. In this journey of building a relationship we work to engage our audience, convert them to a sale, and if we are lucky they will become a brand ambassador with family, friends, and colleagues. The challenge in the next few years will be to engage them in a way that will be refreshing and memorable. By moving towards non-digital channels, consumers are far more likely to pay attention to your brand.
Offline marketing engages consumers with your Brand
Experiential marketing for example is an offline strategy that has the capacity to engage all the senses at the same time by allowing consumers to engage with your product directly. When marketers think of experiential marketing, they often think of event marketing, which we can all agree has been affected by the pandemic. But experiential marketing can also be achieved very effectively through direct mail. The ability to engage with a product directly can increase sales, with 73% of consumers stating they would try a product or brand if offered a free sample. “In the last two years we have seen a significant increase in the number of product samples being sent through the mail. It offers consumers an opportunity to try the product in their home with no risk. Who doesn’t like a free sample?”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management.
Direct mail is a better fit for a consumer’s current journey
Recalibrating your campaigns to reach consumers offline can also offer brands a competitive edge. “If your competitors are all zigging, maybe it’s time to zag”, says Leonard. With so many brands heavily invested in digital, at a time when consumers are experiencing digital fatigue, going offline can create an impactful relationship with consumers. This is one of those times where brand managers have the opportunity to gain market share with a simple pivot of their channel strategy. It is important to meet consumers where they are in their journey and offer them something refreshing.
John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management. He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416) 752-8100.