Print is dead, or at least in its death throes. That’s the opinion of a big chunk of people, anyway; but is that really accurate? Print marketing has certainly fallen out of favour, and organisations of all sizes are flocking to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to attract customers and clients, and make new business connections. Does that mean print is no longer useful for marketing purposes? Absolutely not. It still has its place, and the very fact that fewer organisations are making use of print marketing means that it can be more effective for those who use it the right way.
1) Print has Attention-Grabbing Potential
Not so long ago, when print was the primary marketing method, household mailboxes were inundated with circulars and newsletters and other forms of advertising. As a result most of it ended up in the bin. But now, people tend to get a lot less in their mailboxes, and that means people pay more attention to the mail they do get.
The attention-grabbing ability of print can make it an effective lead-generation tool when it’s used in the right way, even driving traffic to a sales website, which means it can still be useful for organisations whose presence is online-only.
2) Print Focuses on Retaining Customers
One of the primary reasons why big brands used to develop their own print magazines and newsletters was customer retention, and while 64% of B2B marketers are still creating content aimed at customer retention, many just aren’t getting this aspect right. On the internet, one of the biggest problems that marketers have is that they’re not creating content that’s specifically designed for retention. In the offline world, print has traditionally excelled in this regard.
3) No Need to Spend on Audience Development
Magazine publishers typically have to spend a fairly large amount of money on audience development and cultivating interest, but that expense is eliminated in print marketing, simply because the marketer already has a list of customers who have demonstrated interest by virtue of prior purchases.
4) Print is Still Exciting
There’s an old saying, “if someone invested enough to print and mail it, it must be important,” and that’s an even more salient point these days, when fewer marketers are sending out print material. For many people, especially the baby-boomers and Generation Xers, the printed word still feels more credible than anything that can be read online, and there’s still that tendency to enjoy getting printed mail. That’s a great reason to consider print marketing, especially when targeting those generations of consumers.
5) Print Makes You Unique
Even as recently as ten years ago, organisations that were focusing on online marketing were considered somewhat unique, and early adopters of social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter generated lots of buzz. These days, most big brands, and a big chunk of small ones, have an online presence. Being online doesn’t make an organisation unique any more, but using print marketing and publications might do it. And it gives rise to all kinds of interesting possibilities, such as using a print magazine to drive traffic to a website, or offering special deals by targeting people who use both formats.
6) Allows People to Get Offline
There’s a lot of buzz these days about people choosing to unplug, eschewing digital forms of media, especially social media, in favour of spending some time away from the online world. That tendency creates new opportunities to connect with people via print.
7) Print is Less Conducive to Multi-Tasking
People interact with print in a more focused fashion than they do with digital media. People who are interacting with digital advertising material are more likely to be multi-tasking; they’re surfing the web, texting or instant messaging, listening to a song or watching a video at the same time, and all of that digital input makes it harder for advertising to get noticed.
When someone’s reading a magazine, they’re much less likely to be multi-tasking in this way, and therefore they’re focused on what they’re reading, and more receptive to whatever marketing messages they see.
8) It Lasts
Print has longevity: websites do too of course, but it’s of an entirely different kind, and there’s really no way to replicate online the kind of longevity that print has in the offline world. From magazines in doctor and dental offices, to the publications that adorn coffee tables, magazines last, and they still get shared around to family members and friends.
Print has another kind of longevity, too: people remember print advertising almost as well as they do TV advertising. But far fewer people remember web advertising, and a pretty large percentage of internet users install browsers that block advertising altogether.
9) Print is an Effective Brand Introduction
All of the advantages that come with using print make it a great way to introduce consumers to a new brand, especially for organisations that operate within a discrete local area. In those cases, print is still an incredibly effective way of targeting people, with the advantage that the bump in brand recognition that the print marketing provides means that keyword advertising used online is that much more effective.
10) The Golden Age of Print?
Social media and other forms of online content are important in marketing terms, but there’s no denying the power of print. And the very fact that print has fallen out of favour for many marketers means that it’s now considered by many to be old-fashioned. Print marketing is just about old enough to be considered retro, and online marketing has become the traditional form of advertising: which makes print the perfect channel for marketers who want to do something non-traditional.
Print Marketing: Definitely Not Dead
There are a lot of ways to use print effectively, but a big chunk of people aren’t even considering print any more. It’s definitely a mistake to write it off, however: instead of abandoning print in favour of internet marketing, innovators are using both formats, and devising new ways of using print that are tailored towards the new breed of consumer.