November 10, 2022
It seems like everything is digital in our world today. We buy online tickets to events and sporting events, meetings have shifted to online formats and preregistration forms for schools and medical offices are increasingly becoming electronic. The proliferation of online reading platforms has made what was once a novelty, commonplace. And digital marketing floods our personal and professional inboxes. So we have to ask, is traditional printing dead?
While digital marketing will only continue to grow and expand into all sectors of business, print media will always be part of the marketing landscape for one very important reason: brand recognition is greater with print marketing. When comparing print ads to digital advertising, research compiled by Gardener Business Media indicates that 77% of consumers report that print advertising helps them recall branding and company information and up to 80% of consumers say that they act on print marketing materials. So with the powerful impact that print marketing has on consumers, it is unlikely to be replaced by digital formats in the future.
But that doesn’t mean that the future of marketing and advertising won’t shift and adjust with the times. Instead of utilizing only one or the other, successful businesses will look to implement both digital and custom printing strategies to capture the benefits of both mediums.
Is printing dead? In a word, no. One excellent way to consider the longevity of the print medium is to consider how effective print materials are. When businesses use print marketing materials, they must factor in production and delivery costs as well as keep track of how successful the products are in achieving their specific goals. But print marketing materials can be delivered straight to a potential customer’s address while digital materials bound for an electronic mailbox might not hit their intended mark. So how does print deliver compared to its digital counterpart?
1 Onslaught of Digital: Anyone with an email address can attest to the never-ending tsunami of email marketing that overwhelms most inboxes. Some of the digital content is blocked by a spam filter, knocking out legitimate (and sometimes spammy) email marketing out of view before a customer or potential client can view the content. But the digital marketing content that does land in the inbox may not even be seen due to the overwhelming volume of emails that most people and businesses receive. Even though a company may not send out a large number of emails themselves, the vital marketing information they do send can easily be missed in the mass of emails that most people and businesses receive daily.
2 Print is Unique – Again: With many businesses relying upon digital communications, companies that choose to use print materials will now stand out more than ever. For example, formal printed invitations used to be the gold standard strategy for inviting potential donors to fundraising events. But in recent years, many businesses and non-profit organizations switched over to digital invites to save money on printing costs. So now, organizations that choose to use a printed invitation will stand out from other groups with a beautiful, custom invitation sent directly to the potential attendee. Printed materials like event invitations are unique again, drawing attention to businesses that choose to use them. But printed invitations are not the only type of marketing materials that help a business stand out. Postcards and direct mail flyers are excellent eye-catching marketing materials to use that will attract attention and not get lost in the digital marketing crush.
3 Print Does Not Require Connectivity: One aspect of digital marketing that is often forgotten is that the customer, client, or intended recipient may not be online. While connectivity is not an issue for most businesses, some communities and therefore part of the target market for digital campaigns may have limited internet access. Print campaigns, on the other hand, only require a physical address to be delivered. For a business to run a broad marketing campaign, print materials must be used to ensure connecting with the whole market.
So, is printing dead? We think not.
Businesses that want to maximize their marketing dollars know that combining print and digital is the way to go. A smart marketing strategy will implement both print and digital components while utilizing the strengths and avoiding the weaknesses of each.
Is your marketing strategy untested? Then digital marketing campaigns can show your business craft the best messaging and reach the right audience. Digital marketing is very nimble and allows businesses to test out different strategies with targeted, unique messaging to see what works and what misses the mark. Most of the time, digital campaigns are carefully evaluated for their effectiveness and tweaked and adjusted to maximize their reach and messaging. Because digital is so agile, many businesses choose to integrate at least some digital aspects into their marketing campaigns.
When cost is paramount, many companies lean into the use of digital marketing because it provides a very cost-effective way to connect with potential customers, clients and the community. Marketing professionals can assist businesses, increasing the cost of launching a fully digital marketing campaign while some companies have employees who are capable of managing the ins and outs of a modern digital marketing campaign.
One of the great strengths of print marketing it is imminently more memorable than digital marketing. For companies that are new to their community or emerging in their marketplace, print marketing campaigns like postcards, posters or printed brochures are the perfect way to help bring name recognition to the community. We are more likely to remember something that we read physically compared to what we read digitally, so businesses that want to begin a brand or strengthen branding turn to print marketing materials to maximize their marketing impact.
Direct mail marketing is known to build better relationships with targeted recipients than digital marketing strategies. Messaging can be tailored to match the consumer. Companies can focus on developing high-quality prospects by sending out smaller groupings of print marketing materials that help foster deeper relationships by focusing on the direct needs and interests of the recipients.
In many cases, print marketing engages consumers at a higher level than digital marketing is able to. Print materials can be physically located where the consumer or community might need the information, creating instant engagement with the business not possible with digital marketing. Product information cards can be made available in retail outlets to meet the consumer’s immediate need for information to encourage sales while a tourist office might offer brochures featuring local businesses and attractions available to travelers.
No business wants to feel out of date or behind the times. Hanging on to “what works” instead of embracing new ways to integrate print and digital marketing tools might mean missing out on new ways to bring in revenue and build new consumers. One way to integrate both is through the use of QR codes. These printed codes provide direct links to social media, websites, or even purchasing links and can be accessed through any digital camera. Many businesses use QR codes on direct mail, product information cards, and printed advertising posters to provide instantaneous linking to the business right when the consumer wants or needs it. Consumers love integrations like QR codes because they combine the convenience of digital marketing without the hassle of receiving unsolicited marketing information.
Digital tools can also lead to in-person strategies as well. Website landing pages can prompt visitors to sign up for a free gift or another physical token while also capturing a physical address to use for future campaigns and customer acknowledgments. Providing a personalized thank-you gift like a notepad or a custom calendar is a great way to integrate both digital and print mediums to connect with your customers on a deeper level.
From business cards to direct mail marketing to postcards detailing discount codes for special customers, custom printing is an asset that no company can afford to skip. Since the small costs associated with personalizing marketing materials are well worth the investment, businesses can build strong customer relationships more quickly, leading to more potential revenue down the line.
Taking the next step with your print marketing is to partner with a trusted printing company like Publishing Xpress. With decades of experience behind them, Publishing Xpress can help you connect with your customers with beautifully printed marketing materials to integrate with your digital campaigns.
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