The digital revolution has cast a significant shadow over traditional channels of media consumption, like print. But in recent years, print has returned as a viable method of marketing due to its inherently engaging format and ability to stand out in the mind of the consumer.
Now, more than ever, print can be used as a way to develop brand recognition. Many companies are choosing to run the majority of their marketing campaigns online, and thus fading into the perpetual stream of information. Marketers who aim to separate themselves from the pack might be well-served to implement some print solutions in order to create a more compelling dialogue with consumers.
Old school marketing is back – not that it ever went anywhere
Michelle Ames of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle wrote that "vintage" marketing is returning to prevalence due to its ability to distinguish an organization from its competitors. Since consumers are inundated by ads and too-good-to-be-true offers online every day, a professional-looking postcard, brochure or business card can offer a more reputable feel to the audience, Ames reported. The author also pointed to websites such as Airbnb which have achieved massive success operating exclusively online and are now distributing print materials to serve as components in a comprehensive marketing approach.
Take advantage of the absence of oversaturation
Business 2 Community contributor Aaron Agius argued that print marketing is hardly falling behind. He even went as far as to characterize the medium as thriving, pointing to its frequent evolution and detachment from the overcrowded online marketing sphere.
Agius referenced a study by HubSpot, which found that direct mail marketing is still highly effective. Research showed that the response rate for the format is 24 percent, while ROI averages about $27 per dollar spent. Agius admitted that these figures are not as lucrative as email marketing, but this is likely due to the fact that email inherently has a significantly wider reach than direct mail. Many recipients of an email may be likely to either hit the spam button or simply trash the message without even opening it, whereas with a print advertisement, the consumer must at least pick it up and look at it before disposing of it. Agius recommended adding a degree of value to a direct mailing to entice responses – such as a coupon, promotion or even a rebate.
The author also advised producing a periodically distributed newsletter in an attempt to build long-term, recurring relationships with clients. He warned that time-sensitive news is not appropriate in this setting, however, since the audience can turn to the Web for timely information. Agius suggested producing high-quality, rich and deep content that is relevant to the industry, but not limited to any particular period of time. Writing in a conversational tone is also important, he said. This can make the company seem more amicable and relatable.
QR codes are vital in 2015 – Agius said these convenient launching pads can drive traffic to websites or social media, helping to contribute to the organization's online presence. When using a QR code, marketers should look to create compelling content that instills a desire for further information in readers, leading them to willingly scan the code and access the company's online offerings.
Print marketing is evolving to be consistent with the demands of the contemporary consumer, and as such it is hardly on its deathbed. Rather, it appears as though print is returning to the forefront of the marketing sector, as businesses are beginning to realize its vast potential in terms of offering engaging and appealing content to consumers.