Why print marketing remains a powerful tool for small businesses

Direct marketing expert David Beasley makes the case for embracing print into your marketing mix for multiple benefits that digital can't provide.

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Print marketing is an integral part of a business’s marketing strategy, either as standalone campaigns or as part of a marketing mix involving digital aspects. There are many benefits to using printed materials that you may not have even considered, including the tangibility, the flexibility with digital printing, and the credibility it can bring to the brand.

1. Tangibility and Credibility

A significant advantage that print marketing has over other marketing activity is that of tangibility. Digital marketing methods can often be overlooked or easily forgotten, whereas printed materials such as flyers and direct mail drops have a physical presence that it is harder to dismiss. People can touch, hold, and even keep them for future reference with items such as menus and brochures. This tactile experience creates a lasting impression and enhances credibility, with more than half of people saying they view printed marketing as the most trustworthy marketing type.

In an age of online scams and elements of questionable news, the printed medium creates a physical piece of work that businesses can use to strengthen their brand image and establish long-lasting relationships with their target audience.

2. Enhanced Brand Recall

Print marketing has been proven to improve brand recall. Studies have shown that individuals who interact with print materials have a higher level of engagement and information retention compared to digital counterparts. Whether it’s a well-designed business card or a striking billboard, print ads make a lasting impact on the minds of consumers. This increased recall can lead to better brand recognition and customer loyalty over time.

3. Targeted Reach

Printed marketing offers effective targeting options. With print media, you can select specific publications or niche magazines that cater to your target audience. This approach ensures that your message reaches the right people. For instance, if you have a luxury travel agency, advertising in a high-end lifestyle magazine will help you reach affluent individuals interested in travel, increasing the likelihood of conversions. The personalisation of printed materials can play a key role here, enabling unique materials to be rolled out.

Brands are able to dissect marketing contact lists to tweak offers on the printed materials to suit new, existing or lapsed customers – just as they can with a digital message.

4. Less Clutter

Digital platforms are filled with advertisements, banners, pop-ups, and sponsored content, leading to banner blindness among internet users. In contrast, print marketing provides a breath of fresh air by offering less cluttered environments.

The lack of other advertisements in print media means that your message is more likely to receive undivided attention from the reader, and by cleverly positioning your printed strategy, you can captivate readers and create a lasting impact.

5. Increased Engagement

Print marketing has the power to captivate audiences and drive engagement. Online ads that can be skipped or ignored with a click, and over 40% of people actually have some kind of ad blocker installed. On the other hand, print materials demand a reader’s attention; print media allows for creative design elements, vivid imagery, and tactile experiences that can’t be replicated in the digital realm.

Incorporating interactive elements such as QR codes or augmented reality can further enhance engagement, enabling consumers to bridge the gap between print and digital worlds. After somewhat of a resurgence in recent years, 36.4% of smartphone users scan at least one QR code per week, showing their relevance and effectiveness within the marketing world. This also shows the ability of print marketing to blend and combine with digital marketing tactics.

Final thoughts

Print marketing might not be the new kid on the block, but it certainly has not lost its charm or effectiveness. With its tangibility, credibility, targeted reach, and ability to captivate and engage audiences, print marketing remains a potent tool for marketers. What’s more, digital printing allows businesses to produce marketing materials at scale, quickly, and at a competitive price without compromising on quality. By integrating print strategies into their overall marketing campaigns, businesses can tap into the unique benefits of print and enhance their brand presence in a digital-dominated world.

So, the next time you plan your marketing efforts, consider the power of print and the untapped potential it holds.

David Beasley - Director at Washington Direct Mail

Washington Direct Mail Delivering has been delivering world class mail and print solutions since 1983.

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