If you’ve been thinking about striking print advertising from your marketing strategy, think again. Many are claiming that print media is dead, and in fact, they have been claiming this for almost twenty years. The truth is, print still matters, and is in fact an effective way to target customers. As more companies listen to doom and gloom rumors about the downfall of print marketing and begin to shy away from using it, you and your company can leverage this fear to stand out in your industry by putting in to action an effective print sales strategy.
Writing someone a letter is much more intimate than sending them an email. The same goes for personalised print media; it’s much more intimate than a personalised email. This is a powerful asset when vying for somebody’s attention, as it obviously takes far more effort than a mass email. It’s also a lot easier to ignore an ad in your inbox than it is to ignore an interesting piece in your mailbox.
Print marketing is an effective way of reaching niche audiences, especially those who may be more difficult to find online, or those who do not use the internet that much (like the fifty and over crowd). Advertising your business in specialty magazines continues to be a tried and true marketing tactic.
To stand out from the crowd and capture people’s attention, your message must be surprising and different. Digital ads have become so prevalent that even the most non-uniform ones can still be easily skimmed past. Internet users have trained their eyes to simply skip areas where ads are usually displayed. An unusual piece of physical mail is much more effective at catching someone’s eye – people will not throw it out without first finding out what it is.
The exciting thing about print media is that it can be so much more interactive and engaging than it used to be. QR codes are a great way of leading customers to your website with the simple scan of their smartphone. Including links to your social media sites and profiles is another way of bridging the gap for your customer between analogue and digital interactions.
Speaking of interaction, print media doesn’t begin and end with an advertisement on a piece of paper. One of the myths about print marketing’s effectiveness in today’s world is that it is limited to business cards, direct mailers, and brochures. The good news is that this is another myth that can be leveraged for your advantage. Many marketers forget that print marketing can also include hats, shirts, stickers, key chains, magnets, mugs, pens, coasters, etc. These types of print media, especially if useful or practical, are more often considered gifts than marketing material. Every time your target customer drinks a beer out of a pint glass with your company’s logo etched into the glass, you increase your brand familiarity with them.
Print mail just seems so much more legitimate than digital media. With the excess of digital advertisements constantly bombarding customers and the ongoing threats of computer viruses, customers are much more likely to open a strange piece of physical mail than they are to click on an unfamiliar banner ad online.
You don’t have to choose one or the other; a mixture of both print and digital media is the preferred marketing mixture for 76% of small businesses, according to a Pitney Bowes study on business owners’ marketing tactics. In fact, the 2013 Nielsen survey about paid social media reported that over half of the marketing and media professional respondents use both social media and print media in their advertising campaigns.
Whether in print or digital media, your ads need to be original and creative in order to stand out and get your audience to engage. Fortunately, you and your company can enjoy a slight competitive advantage compared to the companies who are moving away from print.