Companies that believe the noise about the print and paper industry being a thing of the past might be losing out on opportunities to significantly drive revenue.
Businesses today must be especially strategic in their marketing efforts. But with so many channels of distribution and platforms for communication available, it can be difficult to identify where the focus should be. Many organizations are increasing technology investments to drive revenue through digital content and advertisements. And, given the rapid worldwide adoption of the Internet of Things, this approach makes a lot of sense.
Print media still viable approach to advertising
People use electronic devices for a wide range of tasks, from shopping for products and services and getting work done to reading the news and socializing with friends. It seems that if a company wants to reach a particular audience, the chances are high that it can do so on the Web.
However, recent research has suggested that the key to effective marketing may not be to exhaust all resources on Internet-based platforms but, rather, to distribute them between print and digital channels. For example, paper materials are still a powerful tool for pursuing shoppers, sometimes even more so than digital ones. A Nielsen study revealed that the majority of consumers said print and mail media was the main channel they used to get information and make buying decisions.
But it isn't just business-to-customer relationships that are influenced by paper. An annual report released last year by the Content Marketing Institute found that print and offline promotions were the second-largest type of paid advertisements in B2B interactions, just 9 percent behind search engine marketing.
Combining paper ads with digital marketing
For most companies, using only paper advertisements would be a mistake. A digital presence is certainly needed in today's rapidly digitalized environment. However, it is important that marketers understand the advantageous effect combining the two mediums can have on the success of their business.
Furthermore, there are certain strategies that can be used to get the most out of a combined marketing strategy, some of which were recently highlighted by Chris Holloway in an article for Business 2 Community.
- Understand which channels consumers are using. When deciding between a digital or print advertising campaign, it is crucial that businesses take the time to consider which platform their target audience is accessing most frequently, as well as how that channel is being used. For example, are customers using the Internet to actually purchase products, or are they simply researching and comparing items, then buying them in-store? Examining the purchasing behavior of consumers can help give marketing professionals a clearer picture of how the ad campaigns should be tailored.
- Use barcodes. By incorporating Quick Response, or QR, labels and other types of barcoding technology into printed materials, companies can monitor when the campaign is being accessed. This technique can also lead to increased digital activity.
- Connect with customers through social media. Social networks are the ideal platform for reaching a wide audience without spending a fortune. Digital marketing campaigns can be shared through these platforms, but printed materials can be promoted on them as well.
- Combine strategies and solutions. Although the processes of creating and distributing electronic and paper ads may be vastly different, there are many ways to use the data and information obtained by one to improve the other.
Although using the Internet is gaining popularity for a wide range of business functions, it is essential that marketers today realize the risk of completely abandoning paper materials. By partnering with an innovative print solutions provider, companies can take their advertising efforts to the next level.