Since the dawn of the internet, companies have heralded the death of print publications.
Marketers are reacting to the world becoming increasingly digital and physically disconnected by shifting their business models and strategies to rely more heavily on digital optimisation and conversion.
However, print is still alive. And what most marketers don’t realise is that the powerful tool isn’t a direct competitor of the digital marketing tactics, in fact - they are best friends. And in this digital age, printed publications are perhaps even more relevant and potent than ever before.
Consumers are keeping up with digital marketing techniques, and in many cases they are outgrowing them, with a recent study by Vieo Design showing that 91% of people believe that digital marketing is more intrusive than it was three years ago.
People are becoming frustrated with being bombarded with ads, emails and online content, so much so that brand breakthrough is becoming increasingly difficult, and the companies that are achieving it are actually irritating their key target audiences.
That’s where print media comes in.
Over the ‘digital’ decades, print has refused to disappear, and with good reason. It works. The response rate of direct mail is 37% higher than email marketing, and young people implicitly trust print more than digital content (somewhat surprisingly).
Let’s take a closer look at why print marketing is just as relevant as ever in 2021.
1) Print is read when there is a physical audience to read it
Printed publications and marketing materials are audience specific. The people reading them do so because it is relevant to them and their vested interests.
Whether you post a leaflet through someone’s letterbox, or hand them a brochure in the street, people will automatically look at what’s on the paper as soon as it touches their hands.
When a company or brand comes into physical contact with their consumers (such as at an event or in a meeting), it makes perfect sense to gift them the physical information that they are seeking.
2) Print is trusted
Research shows that all demographics (including millennials) trust print media marketing much more than any other content they are exposed to.
This is due to the fact that print is often considered much less invasive. A brochure, magazine or other form of print is a relaxed form of marketing. The consumer can read the content when they choose, without having their Facebook feed interrupted by an ad.
3) Print maximises sensory appeal
It is no secret that emotional and sensory engagement is a vital goal to aid in converting consumers. Sensory appeal is difficult to conjure through snippet digital marketing and long form digital content.
With printed marketing, consumers have the smell of the freshly printed paper, the feel of it in their hands, the vibrant colours and the sound of the paper moving. Using quality cardstock or even scented paper could be what it takes to turn a casual browser into a first-time customer.
Print can be consumed in an easy to read format, improving the experience for a consumer and positioning the brand positively. Print allows a company to tell a story effectively, ultimately supporting sales pitches and other marketing efforts.
With print publications having the highest engagement rate and ROI of any marketing tactic, it would be a business risk to move to an entirely digital marketing model.
These days, the most successful marketing campaigns utilise both print and digital marketing to create a cohesive brand experience which appeals to a wide range of audience.