The rise of digital gives marketers the ability to reach wider audiences faster than ever before and to capture the attention of customers in a more interactive manner. However, print continues to have an important place in the marketing mix, as it’s viewed as a more tangible and credible marketing method.
We spoke with a range of experts to find out if they think print marketing is still an effective method in a digital world.
Print Feels More Personal And Has Longevity
With digital marketing, whether it’s an email, a tweet or a paid advert, a customer will consume the message and then instantly carry on with their online journey. However, print offers longevity. If you hand someone a flyer or a leaflet, they can then take it away and read it at their own leisure, and then easily read it again.
Conrad Magalis, Marketing Manager at Advance Acceptance.
‘‘Despite the current trend of marketing automation and digital marketing, print has been seeing a renaissance since the economic downturn of the mid-2000s. The primary reason is that most consumers or target audiences are being bombarded by digital messaging. We go to work and have dozens of promotions and newsletters; we go home and our social media accounts are a stream of ads; and we turn on the television, only to see more ads. We can't even search on the internet, without seeing some sort of advert. As much as I love digital marketing, print has many benefits.
The human brain has not evolved to consume digital media - we have adapted to it. Choosing to print a campaign, promotion or communication means offering your audience a tangible good that stands on its own. A print piece can be left on a desk, in a car or a variety of spaces inhabited on a daily basis.
Print also has the power to show your audience you're thinking about them, personally. It isn't free or delivered to an inbox, it's delivered to someone's home or office - for them to absorb at their leisure.’’
Peter Dawyot, Managing Director atThe Publicus Community.
''Printed marketing has staying power which digital simply cannot compete against.
If done right, the printed piece will have certain a feel about it, a special collection of imagery and words that make an impact for the recipient.
Hopefully in the end, that piece stays with the recipient for a period of time far longer than anything digital will.’’
Maggie Aland, Marketing Staff Writer at Fit Small Business.
‘‘One of the main reasons print is still effective is because people feel more connected to marketing messages that are tangible. Emails flood into our inbox and we almost instantly ignore or delete these messages.
However, when you receive a letter in the mail, or someone hands you a flyer at an event, that's something that you can hold onto, which makes the emotional connection instantly stronger.’’
Rhonda Rees award-winning PR/Marketing expert, author, speaker and advocate
‘‘As a public relations professional, I highly recommend marketing your traditional media coverage (mentions in printed newspapers or magazines) and radio and TV interviews by posting them to your website, blog or on social media.
In today's competitive business climate, it's not enough to hope that people will see your mention the first time around.
Instead, you have to really work it, by actively engaging in these newer technologies, to best market who you are.’’
Print Is Often Deemed More Credible
Print is often considered as a more credible marketing method. A lot of people are wary of what they read online. Print offers a sense of trustworthiness which digital just can’t compete with.
Kathryn Harriman, Marketing Manager
‘‘Print is often considered more credible and more valuable than digital because there's an assumption that there was more of an expense and effort involved to create these materials.
You could take the same budget, scale down the design on print versions to account for printing costs and it will still be perceived as more valuable than the expertly designed digital versions.
There is something to be said for print having value because it is tangible and it is always limited but digital copies can be copied at no additional expense. In today's world there is actually a sweet spot for marketing with a combination of print and digital.’’
Jameson Slattery, Vice President of Global Marketing
‘‘Having worked in Marketing for over a decade, I continue to see that print is alive and well. Print journalism may be suffering but there are two distinct reasons why print marketing is still effective:
If you were to calculate all the emails you receive on a given day, at least five of them are something that you're not interested in or spam. Print offers a sense of trustworthiness that digital marketing cannot compete with. People have always been, and will always be, sceptical of what they see online. With print marketing, there's no danger in a newspaper ad or flyer. People who see a trustworthy ad are more likely to go to that business and purchase their product.
Reaching your target audience online has become increasingly difficult. Especially with all of the 'Ad-Block' software that is available now, you really never know who's actually seeing your ad. Placing advertisements in brochures/magazines is a more effective and cost-efficient way of reaching your target audience.’’
Print Marketing Is Perfect For Targeted Campaigns.
Print marketing can be perfect for more targeted campaigns and for customer retention. Many businesses may use print marketing to reward their customers, such as sending them special edition magazines and offers.
Brian Sparker, Product Marketing Manager at Review Trackers.
’’For us at ReviewTrackers, print has evolved alongside our digital strategy. Account-based marketing has become a major focus for us. At ReviewTrackers, we use printed materials as part of targeted ABM campaigns. We identify specific people who would be high-value clients and send them personalised marketing campaigns, including print mailers and marketing materials.
Smart marketers are making digital and print work together. For example, you can build custom landing pages with unique URLs to match up with your print campaigns. That allows you to track your print campaigns with a digital metric.
The paradigm of print vs. digital is outdated. In today's marketing environment, you've got to test all campaigns to see what levers work with your key prospects.’’
Jake Tully, Head of Creative Department for TruckDrivingJobs.com.
‘‘As someone who helps devise marketing plans, my company still frequently utilises outreach campaigns that are print-based.
This is due to the fact that we play to our audience, depending on their geographical location as well as their perceived familiarity with digital campaigns.
For example, if we are targeting a client based in the Midwest that might be slightly older, we would consider using some print materials to ensure we are catering to their attitudes towards technology.’’