The Role of Print Marketing in a Digital World

Feeder on a sheet-fed offset printing press
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Print marketing has been around for centuries. While the rise of digital marketing has led many to believe that print is no longer relevant, the truth is that print still plays an important role in today’s digital world.

Despite the rapid growth of technology, there are still many advantages to using print marketing that make it a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

Tangibility

One of the biggest advantages of print marketing is its tangibility. People are more likely to remember information when they can touch and feel it, rather than just seeing it on a screen. This is why business cards, brochures, flyers, and other printed materials are still widely used today.

Stack of open magazines

They provide a physical touchpoint for potential customers, which can help to build brand recognition and establish a connection with them.

For example, if someone receives a beautifully designed brochure from your business, they are likely to keep it and refer back to it in the future. This is much less likely to happen with a digital ad that can easily be lost or forgotten in an email inbox or buried deep on a hard drive.

Trust

Printed materials have a level of permanence and professionalism that digital materials lack. A well-designed and printed catalog, for example, can convey a level of trust and credibility to potential customers.

People are more likely to trust a company that takes the time and has the (at least perceived) financial stability to produce high-quality, professional-looking marketing materials. This can help to establish your business as a trusted authority in your industry and can go a long way in establishing credibility with potential customers.

Targeted Audience

While governments and consumer watchdog groups are cracking down on tracking technology that is making it harder to target users online, print materials can still be easily targeted to specific demographics.

Direct mail campaigns still have the ability to reach a specific geographic location, age group, household income range, or target consumer spending habits. This makes it easier for businesses to reach their desired audience, rather than relying on the hit-or-miss approach that can come with digital advertising.

For example, a real estate company could target homeowners in a specific neighborhood with a direct mail campaign promoting their latest listings. This allows you to focus your efforts and resources on reaching the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer, rather than casting a wide net and hoping for the best.

Multisensory Experience

Print materials engage more than one sense, such as sight and touch, creating a more memorable experience for the reader. This can be especially effective for businesses looking to promote a new product or service.

When you realize the average person sees anywhere from 4,000 – 10,000 advertisements in a day, it’s not hard to realize the value of a tangible piece of direct mail that MUST be handled by the recipient.

Times square advertising

For example, a beauty company might create a printed brochure with high-quality images and textures of their products in use, allowing potential customers to get a feel for the products before they buy. This multisensory experience has been proven to be much more impactful than simply viewing images on a screen, and creates a more lasting impression on potential customers.

Cost-Effectiveness

With advances in digital printing technology, print materials can still be cost-effective, especially for small businesses and local companies with limited marketing budgets.

While digital advertising used to be exceedingly cheap, those costs are now on par, and often higher, than the costs of producing printed materials. And with some printed materials like posters, signage, and point-of-purchase (POP) materials, it’s a one-time investment that can be used for years at no additional cost. Whereas there is no method of digital marketing that doesn’t carry at least some ongoing cost.

The typical difference in print and digital marketing is a lower cost of entry into digital marketing that has caused many consumers to view it as less expensive without regard to the return on their investment (ROI).

In fact, direct mail has a higher ROI than both paid search and online display ads.

A Multi-Faceted Approach

It’s worth noting that while print marketing has its advantages, it should not be used in isolation. The best marketing strategies today incorporate a mix of print and digital marketing efforts to reach customers where they are and in the way that they prefer.

For example, a business might use social media to build brand awareness and drive traffic to their website, and then use print materials to provide customers with detailed information about their products or services.

Or, many businesses go the opposite route and build awareness using direct mail with the goal of driving consumers to their website where they can view in-depth product and business information, product demos in video form, and where they can be digitally tagged to be remarketed to in the future.

The best marketers do both. This combined approach allows you to reach customers in multiple ways, increasing the chances of attracting and retaining their attention.

Print marketing still has a valuable role to play in today’s digital world. Its tangibility, trustworthiness, targeting capabilities, multisensory experience, and cost-effectiveness make it an effective tool for businesses of all sizes.

By combining print marketing with digital marketing efforts, businesses can create a well-rounded and impactful marketing strategy that reaches customers where they are and in the way that they prefer.

In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of marketing, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest trends and technologies. But don’t forget the power of tried-and-true methods.

By incorporating print into your marketing mix, you can create a well-rounded and effective marketing strategy that will help you to reach and engage with your customers in a meaningful and memorable way.

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