New technologies and tools are being developed at a rapid pace these days. With them come new ways of marketing your business. Both online and offline, marketers have new techniques and best practices to adapt to. It can be difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of evolution. One marketing strategy that has stuck around is print marketing, but has it really stood the test of time?
There are plenty of marketers online heralding the fact that “print is dead”, but there seems to be at least an equal amount of people writing “why print marketing is not dead” articles in response. With these opposing views, it’s difficult to know whether we should keep investing money in print marketing or abandon it for good.
Print marketing vs. digital
Our world is becoming increasingly digital. Kids today are growing up surrounded by technology, so they’re already adept at using an iPad by the age of 2. Does this mean that print marketing doesn’t have a place in today’s society?
If you’re anything like me, checking your emails involves rapidly deleting a lot of junk. There might only be a few marketing emails each day that you take the time to open and read, and even fewer that you keep in your inbox. When it comes to physical mail, however, I am much more likely to open and read a letter I get through my door. There is the perception that letters contain more important and relevant content.
Sure, there’ll be a few cheap flyers and takeout menus that I instantly throw in the trash, but letters addressed to me, especially ones addressed by hand, grab my attention. Direct mail feels more personal and more thoughtful, even if it is marketing materials as opposed to an important letter.
It feels like the business has put real effort into getting their message to me. Think about the time it takes to send a “Thank you” tweet to a customer compared to the time and effort put into crafting and sending a personalized thank you note in the post. You are much more likely to keep hold of something like this, as opposed to the tweet that you’ll forget about pretty quickly.
Making print marketing work in 2018
Print marketing and advertising certainly still has power today, perhaps precisely because of how used to digital content we have become. Far from being an outdated medium, print has become something that is novel to us and, therefore, holds our attention better than digital content.
The way print marketing gets a bad rap is from marketers creating outdated campaigns. Just like spammy and intrusive online banner ads have given display advertising somewhat of a bad name, cheap and unimaginative print campaigns risk doing the same for print. Here are a few key ways to keep your print fresh in 2018.
Your print marketing has to stand out as something unique and valuable. Poorly printed flyers and cheap business cards aren’t going to cut it anymore. Make sure you invest money into printing marketing materials on high-quality paper or card, with impressive designs and compelling content. You should be proud to hand a business associate your business card, not ashamed. This quality will reflect well on your brand and also make you more memorable.
Personal and relevant
Leave old batch-and-blast techniques behind. You need to deliver personalized and relevant content to your audience in order to get your brand seen and remembered, and for the right reasons. I mentioned handwritten letters earlier; although this may take more time, it is a great way to give that personal feeling. Use the data you have on your customers to create specific, personalized content.
Bring print into the 21st century
If you still have concerns about print marketing being outdated, spruce it up with some 21st century technology. Using QR codes, RFID tags, or NFC are all good ways to link your print marketing with your digital marketing. Create a real omnichannel marketing strategy by making it easy for your audience to interact with you across multiple channels.
What’s your view on using print marketing and advertising in 2018? Is it dead-and-buried or still going strong?