You’ve probably heard the argument, “Digital marketing is king, print is dead.” But, if you buy into this fallacy, you will be doing a huge disservice to your business. Don’t think of print as obsolete, think of it as traditional.
It has been here for ages, and it has proven its worth over and over again. No one is denying the fact that digital channels and strategies such as PPC, email marketing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) are very important, but they are not a substitute for print (and vice versa).
Think of the two as strategic partners. You need both if you want to get the most out of your marketing.
Print Thrives on Touch
The weight and texture of the paper stock are much more palpable than anything digital ads have to offer. There is a good reason why we print formal announcements and wedding invitations. Print can have a luxurious feel to it.
If you are marketing an event, cards are a great way to emphasize its importance. They can provide a sense of prestige and elegance.
Print materials tap into the sensory memory that has to do with touching, also known as haptic memory, since we can hold them.
Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making partnered up with the U.S. Postal Service to learn more about the differences in our response to digital and physical media. Their neuromarketing study found that physical ads cause a stronger emotional response than digital ads. It also found that participants spend more time on physical ads and remember them better.
Print offers some key emotional and sensory factors that digital ads don’t. The consumer gets to feel the paper texture, grip the pages, and even smell the ad. More senses equal more channels that you can use to communicate your message to the consumer’s subconscious and conscious mind.
Print is Personalized
According to Statista, 90% of U.S. shoppers find marketing personalization to be appealing. Whether we are talking about printed direct mail or email, marketing campaigns that revolve around personalization work better.
However, direct mail has a considerably higher response rate than email (4.4% to 0.12%). Compared to print, email seems impersonal and thus it’s easier to ignore.
Receiving a letter in the mailbox is much more exciting than checking your junk folder to see if an important email accidentally ended up there.
When a customer sees their name printed in full color next to the words, “Happy Birthday!” it is sure to leave a better impression on them. Undoubtedly, print is a more efficient, more personal way of telling your customers you appreciate them.
When it comes to personalization, print gives you more options than digital marketing. You can personalize promotional swag such as cups, power banks, bags, and even simple lanyards.
And, thanks to QR codes and personalized URLs, you can both further personalize your print materials and boost your digital marketing strategy. This allows you to use unique landing pages for each person.
You can offer them content that is tailored to their preferences. Moreover, you can change it and update it as needed. The use of PURLs also allows you to better track the performance of your print campaigns.
Print Is Trustworthy
According to a survey by Marketing Sherpa, print ads are the most trusted marketing channel. About 82% of respondents stated that they trust print the most when they want to make a purchase decision.
Now that malicious websites, online scams, and “fake news” are all over the place, gaining the trust of the consumers is harder than ever. Among all the pop-ups, spam email, and clickbait titles, print seems much more authentic. Consumer trust is vital to a brand’s survival, and print is one of the best ways you can gain it.
Print Can Utilize Augmented Reality
Even though print channels are “old,” they can keep up with recent technological advancements, and PURL and QR codes aren’t the only proof of that. You can use print with augmented reality (AR) technologies to grab the attention of your target audience and engage them on a whole new level.
AR is an interactive experience in which virtual objects are “added” to reality. Pokémon Go is a notable example of an AR game. Thanks to AR, you can create print materials that come to life and offer your prospects and customers a one-of-a-kind immersive experience.
For instance, HP Enterprise embedded QR codes in the postcards they sent to their prospects. When the recipient scans the QR code with their smartphone camera, the postcard becomes interactive. You can create a fun experience for your prospects and customers by sending them print that can be manipulated with an AR app.
Print Marketing Supports Hyperlocal
Print marketing strategies are perfect for reaching prospects in your immediate vicinity. If you have a small company that relies on local traffic, flyers, banners, posters, business, cards, and direct mail can be a more cost-effective way of reaching consumers than online marketing.
Moreover, you can target specific offerings to specific areas by combining print with search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, and geo-location services.
The hyperlocal approach to print marketing also works for larger companies that are operating all over the country. It allows you to maintain brand consistency and integrity while targeting local markets. You can run a print campaign with messaging that targets the recipients based on their specific location thanks. This is all made possible thanks to variable data printing.
Print is a tried and tested way of marketing. No matter what line of business you are in, you cannot afford to underestimate the power of print. Not only is print far from dead, but it is a thriving marketing medium that can be adapted to digital strategies and modern technologies.