Key takeaways from Canada Post’s 10th Annual Think Inside The Box (TITB) Direct Marketing Conference

The panel from Canada Post's Think Inside The Box Conference.
The panel from Canada Post’s Think Inside The Box Conference discuss direct-mail marketing issues.

Nearly 600 marketing professionals attended Canada Post’s day-long 10th Annual Think Inside The Box (TITB) direct marketing conference in Toronto in late October, where industry leaders explored the latest insights, trends, research and creative possibilities. As it turned out, the customer experience loomed large. The conclusion: Marketing is all about a customer’s mindset. Basically, the conference focused on three elements that drive action, increase direct-mail response rates and create a positive brand experience – physicality, data and connectivity. Though the conference date is well past, its points will always be relevant to today’s successful and effective marketing professionals. Conclusion: Direct mail is not dead. In fact, it can be more influential than ever before! Here’s a brief summary of the three key elements:


  • Direct mail is more memorable, easier to understand and more persuasive than digital marketing.
  • Direct mail is visually processed faster than digital elements. The human brain needs 21% less effort to understand direct mail than digital marketing.
  • Digital marketing provides platforms for customer interaction. However, physical media is better to close the marketing/sales loop, or the gap between interaction and action.


  • On the plus side, we have more customer data than ever before. On the minus side, we have more data than ever before.
  • Companies suffer from ‘infobesity.’ Distilling information into actionable insights is a bigger challenge than obtaining it.
  • Marketers need to turn omni-channel marketing to opti-channel marketing and optimize at every consumer touchpoint.


  • The digital world is eroding the tangible. It’s easier for customers to ignore you with a simple swipe of their finger.
  • Engaging consumers in an omni-channel world is more difficult than ever before as consumers move fluidly across online and offline channels during their purchasing journey.
  • In a connected world, the secret to smarter marketing, stronger customer relationships and higher sales, lies in fusing the physical and the digital.

Watch the panel discussion

While the conference panel agreed that deciding which data is meaningful is absolutely crucial, they had different approaches on how to uncover the most important data touchpoints. You can watch the panel discussion (about 35 minutes) here:



Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.