What’s the deal with pick-up rates?

We get asked on a regular basis whether we provide percentage pick-up rates for our clients on their print distribution. Over the past couple of years we have reworked our feedback offering and looked into how effective or useful pick-up percentages are.

In short, we do not offer numerical feedback on how many leaflets were picked up during a campaign. Through feedback from our venues, distributors and clients we’ve come up with a couple of examples as to why our focus is slightly different and how we are helping you make the most of your print marketing.

One such example would be our London Calling Student Run. This distribution run covers a multiplicity of student accommodation, hubs, unions and libraries. Racks are placed in reception areas and meeting points, where students have time to hang out and glance at print and then place it back or even take a picture of it. Physically counting leaflet pick-up in this instance does not give a reflection of the impact this print has had in a venue where hundreds of students could engage with it on a daily basis. Younger people also tend to have different types of reactions with print than the older generation.

In a similar vein, one of London Calling’s most significant racks is located at a meeting point near the rest rooms in the National Portrait Gallery. This location is a classic example of a point where visitors will browse the racks taking in information whilst
waiting for other members of the group. Through monitoring this rack space we’ve seen it to be a great example of how people interact with print – with many viewers digesting various pieces of print as they are waiting for someone and in some instances then returning this to rack. With an average of 1.7 million visitors across the year in this one venue, even an estimate of those who will visually pick up on the print would massively out-weigh the value of a pick-up percentage, which at a superficial glance may influence you to remove this valuable run from a marketing plan.

Our targeted approach means that within certain campaigns the venues in which your print is displayed are very local. Whilst we have great relationship with our venues and visit them regularly to re-stock and tidy we cannot control all the factors in that environment at all times. A venue such as a café could have a re-shuffle or refurbishment and temporarily move print display. In the realm of pick-up percentage this could feedback as a false positive, informing a client that an area or venue has been more popular than thought.

Essentially, our view of print and its branding power goes beyond it simply leaving one of our racks! In the same way that poster branding operates, we see your print as a mini signage solution, cropping up in high footfall and convenient places for your desired audience. Whether you catch your audience at a café till, museum meeting point, at a bar waiting to buy a drink or in a local community centre you are ensuring that your branding is consistently being fed to your target audience. What we aren’t looking to do is enforce an empirical system or ‘science’ onto a marketing method that is heavily based on branding power.

Essentially, as we continue to look into ‘The Power of Print’ in a modern marketing landscape we are asking our clients to think about their print products as much more than a number in a rack. Your print is a constant drip feed of information to your target audience and our services ensure you place this product in the most accurate areas for your target audience.

So what do we offer in terms of feedback?

We do however appreciate that in the world of marketing every penny has to be accounted for! This is why we have a range of ways we can assure you that your print is being delivered to the right audiences.

We provide venue lists in advance for all London Calling and Culture Calling networks, special runs, racked neighbourhoods and bespoke lists. These runs have the postcodes of each venue on so you can locate your print at any given time.

We provide photo feedback of your print in situ the week is has been distributed, which includes pictures of the print in the venue and the venue front so you can be absolutely sure of where your print is. We either send across a photo feedback document or send this to you in a dropbox file.

We can also ask our distribution offers to provide us with a Good/Fair/Poor rating for your print distribution. Our drivers usually service the same runs each week, so this is based on their expert knowledge of these venues and their average pick up.

We regularly update a list of the top performing venues on our networks and specials that can be shared on request. This gives you an idea of key venues on certain runs where print is usually completely consumed when a driver returns. This can give you an idea of the types of audience profiles that are strongest on these runs.

Want more information on The Power of Print? Check out our AMA 2018 Presentation: