Bringing Print Marketing Into The Future

Reports on the death of print marketing are greatly exaggerated. Gartner reports that companies are increasing their digital marketing spend by 9 percent for 2013, but they shouldn’t fund the increase with a complete elimination of print. Even though all the hype is about the immediacy, intimacy and speed of digital marketing, nothing beats the staying power and impact of print marketing. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association reports some surprising statistics, with catalogs and inserts showing a lower cost per lead than email.
Print advertising carries an innate sense of credibility that digital marketing hasn’t yet matched. Almost invariably, print automatically feels substantial, permanent and legitimate in a way that no pop up ad or SEO result can match. In addition, print advertising eliminates concerns about malware or viruses that can inhibit customer responses to ads, even ads or referrals from affiliate marketing.
Print advertising potentially has more staying power than digital marketing. Magazines, newspapers and promotional inserts often stay in circulation for days, weeks or months. Every day your ad remains in circulation provides another potential opportunity to reach your best prospects. Even the best digital campaigns are fleeting and usually only engage consumers for a few seconds at best.
Print is one of the best outlets for ensuring consistent branding. You have complete control over colors, fonts, images and other brand elements that you don’t find in digital marketing. Even though your website may have your exact brand colors and font sizes, you can’t control for individual user’s settings or the distortion that particular devices may introduce.
It’s easy to use print marketing to reach your target audience. Despite the recent shrinkage in the number of magazines and the reduction in ad pages they carry, an abundance of periodicals still exist that are targeted to special interest groups. Whether your target audience is into knitting, boating, running, DIY projects, finance or anything else you can think of, you will find niche periodicals that deliver interested eyes to your ad.
The best marketers use every tool at their disposal to engage with their targets, and one of the best ways to do this is to use print marketing to funnel prospects to dedicated landing pages using QR (Quick Response) codes. By placing a QR code on a print ad or on product packaging, you can send buyers to a landing page with product offers, specifications or discount coupons for related products.
In addition, print marketing doesn’t have to be limited to ads in niche periodicals. You can find promotional print opportunities in point of sale signage as well as giveaways such as window decals, coffee sleeves, pens or other trinkets you distribute at trade shows or onsite promotional events. Utilizing various printing services will provide the opportunity to put your logo on an item that people will use every day over a long period has impact that is more lasting and builds more credibility than a fleeting email that is quickly deleted and forgotten.
Digital marketing is here to stay, but don’t let your enthusiasm for new media blind you to the advantages of print. For the best results, print should continue to be an important part of every company’s integrated marketing strategy well into the future.