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How to ensure your print media advertising is sustainable

23 August 2023

If you’re planning a print media campaign, you might be concerned about the impact on the environment.

We get it. In today’s world, sustainability is non-negotiable. In fact, 66% of global consumers say they’re willing to pay more for a sustainable brand, whilst 55% of young people are more loyal to brands that make the effort to reduce their carbon footprint.

Modern consumers are also an astounding 88% more likely to perceive your business in a positive way if you support environmental issues.

However, despite common misconceptions about the sustainability of print marketing, the good news is that paper has a great sustainable story: made from trees, it’s a renewable, sustainable, and recyclable raw material.

The paper, pulp, and print sector is one of the lowest industrial emitters of greenhouse gases, accounting for just 0.8% of emissions, and according to Two Sides, 72.5% of paper in Europe is recycled.

Still not convinced? Don’t worry – there are several additional steps you can take to make sure your print media advertising is sustainable…

5 ways to ensure your print media advertising is sustainable

1. Keep your data clean

We know we talk about it all the time, but it’s true: if you want to understand who your customers are, how to target them, and ultimately deliver stand-out marketing campaigns, you need to use your data.

However, data can have a significant impact on the environment, which is why it’s essential that your data is clean and accurate.

Outdated, “dirty” data can result in bottlenecks and backlogs, and having this unnecessary data in your system is wasteful and can actually create greenhouse gases and environmental repercussions that impact your carbon footprint.

The incremental pollution for every gigabyte of data that moves through the internet is estimated to be one kilogram of CO2.

And that’s not the only way clean data can impact the environment. If you’re running a print media campaign, it’s also essential to ensure your data is as accurate as possible so your campaigns can be as targeted as possible.

Doing so means that not only will your campaigns deliver the results you need, but you can also minimise waste by ensuring your campaigns are targeted to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time.

2. Have a “less is more” ethos

This leads us to our next point. By taking a customer-centric approach to print advertising and ensuring your campaigns are highly targeted, you can find the audiences that matter and deliver powerful campaigns that enable you to reach your business goals.

By using your data to inform each decision and using precise targeting to minimise waste, you can ensure that you print the right amount of marketing materials and campaign collateral as opposed to printing large volumes and wasting paper.

This “less is more” approach means that although you might target fewer people, the campaigns you are delivering are about quality rather than quantity, enabling your campaigns to be as sustainable as possible whilst still delivering the result you need.

3. Choose environmentally friendly methods

Another way to ensure that your print media advertising is as sustainable as possible is to choose environmentally friendly processes that support the environment.

Here at Join the Dots, for example, sustainability is at the core of everything we do, which is why we always go the extra mile to ensure we offer sustainable services to our clients.

Some of the ways we support the environment whilst delivering powerful print campaigns include carbon-balancing all our print and using FSC-certified paper. We even offer vegetable ink to our clients who want to create the most sustainable campaigns possible!

And that’s not all: we also ensure all our electricity comes from certified renewable resources and offset 100% of our carbon emissions. We’ve also planted 12,061 trees in the last month, bringing a total of 21,000 trees in our forest.

You can find out more about our environmentally friendly processes and how we help the environment in our Environmental Impact Report.

4. Use an omni-channel approach

Another important way to make sure that your print media campaigns are sustainable is by using an omni-channel approach.

An omni-channel approach to marketing enables you to create a thoroughly integrated marketing plan that allows you to reach your audience at every touchpoint, ensuring your campaigns are as efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable as possible, whilst driving real results.

Did you know that marketing campaigns that use direct mail combined with one or more digital channels experience a 118% increase in response rates compared to using direct mail only? These targeted, efficient campaigns deliver results whilst minimising waste – that sounds like a win to us!

5. Choose a sustainable print media partner

Finally, one of the best things you can do to ensure your print media advertising is as sustainable as possible is to work with a sustainable print media partner.

Start by looking at your print supplier’s environmental credentials and certifications as well as their policy on waste.

From an ISO 14001 environmental accreditation to B Corp status, there are numerous accreditations that show a print media company is sustainable. If you can’t find anything about their environmental credentials, there are plenty of other suppliers out there to choose from.

At Join the Dots, we are passionate about fighting climate change and are proud to be a B Corp. You can find out more about the sustainability efforts we’ve made so far, as well as our goals for the future, in our B Corp Impact Report.

How we can help make your print media as sustainable as possible

Here at Join the Dots, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – we are truly passionate about making sure our campaigns are as environmentally friendly as possible.

Our tailored and targeted approach means we might contact fewer people – but we believe powerful sustainable campaigns should be about quality rather than quantity.

To find out more about how we can help you deliver powerful print campaigns whilst supporting the environment, contact us today.

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