Print as an Effective Marketing Tool

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Direct Mail, Marketing, Print is Alive
Print marketing allows your audience to unplug and slow down from the hectic pace of the digital world. ("Moments for oneself IV by Procsilas Moscas l is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Print marketing allows your audience to unplug and slow down from the hectic pace of the digital world. (“Moments for oneself IV by Procsilas Moscas is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Print is making a comeback in a variety of ways. During the last 20 years, digital publishing and marketing exploded in popularity and prevalence as companies discovered their immediacy and reach. However, today’s marketing landscape — and really everyone’s lives — are inundated with digital messages. As such, the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way toward print, with audiences eager for moments during which they can “unplug.”

People are screen-distracted (as I write this, I have nine tabs up on my Internet browser, including the window in which I’m writing), and print media help reduce the noise. According to a January 2014 Goo Technology study conducted by Harris Interactive, 18- to 34-year-olds were more likely to ignore online ads than they were traditional print, radio and TV ads.

There is also more space for your printed marketing to be noticed, as many brands and publications have limited or altogether ceased producing print materials. Only about one in three marketers use the printed channel as part of their content marketing strategies, according to Content Marketing Institute research.

Consider millennials, too, who may likely be a large part of your target audience. This part of the population grew up in this digital age, where social media conversations are a normal part of how one interacts with others. Print media is seen as an alternative, dare we say, “new non-traditional” communication tool. With this demographic, print can be the “new,” cool way of getting information.

This example plays out in the resurgence of vinyl records versus the onslaught of digital music in the last decade. Young people and those who remembered records from earlier in their lives are discovering or rediscovering the merits of a tangible, physical media. An April 2015 Nielsen press release stated vinyl album sales during the first quarter of 2015 were 53% higher than during the same period in 2014, driven largely by solid gains in catalog album sales.

Print and digital can and should work together as complementary marketing tools if you think of them as “push” and “pull” techniques. Digital communications “push” the message out to an audience, feeding content into people’s inboxes (email blasts) and onto their favorite websites (pay-per-click ads, banner ads and interstitial ads) and mobile devices (in-app ads, SMS campaigns). Conversely, print communications “pull” an audience toward your call to action by enticing them with a beautiful print piece that they can muse over, absorbing your message and later converting them to action.

Print is a tactile way to engage customers, thanks to its physical permanence. Activating the sense of touch coupled with sight and even smell (fresh ink, anyone?) further enhances a viewer’s experience, leaving a long-lasting impression on not only your marketing piece, but most importantly, your message.

Finally, there have been major technological advancements in the printing industry. Digital printing and even web-to-print services speeds production times, which saves time and ultimately saves our customers money. Digital printers can produce smaller quantities faster, while maintaining quality standards, and wide-format printing continues to push the limits on size and substrate options.

At Chicago Print Partners, we offer an array of printing methods including digital, web-to-print and traditional methods to suit your needs. If you’re looking to add print to your marketing mix, send us a message, and we can talk about what would work well for your business.

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