We live in the age of digital-everything, but that doesn’t mean print is dead. Quite the contrary, a recent FedEx survey, “85 percent of consumers said they are more likely to shop with a small business that has custom/professionally printed materials, such as business cards, signs, flyers or banners.”
Print marketing can still be used as a valuable marketing tool, especially as the volume of digital content increases and we get closer to reaching a point of saturation. Now more than ever, business owners must embrace cross-channel marketing and the following reasons explain why print remains as a valuable component of any marketing ecosystem.
Print is More Enjoyable
According to a 2017 survey, 73 percent of people feel that reading a printed book or magazine is more enjoyable than reading on an electronic device. What’s more, 71 percent believe that reading printed newspapers provide a deeper understanding than digital news. Which makes sense, after staring at screens all day, consumers are looking for ways to unplug.
“With all of [our] devices, we reach the point of monitor fatigue,” says Daniel Dejan of Sappi, who has compiled neuroscientific research on the effects of print marketing. Sappi explains that this is an actual, physiological symptom from looking at devices all day.
He says, “The brain reaches a point of saturation. And when it does, it can no longer take in any more. So when you reach that point of digital information overload—whether you realize it or not—even younger demographics will seek out printed materials.”
Printed Staples Have a Place in Professional Settings
In the professional workplace, there are still tangible must-have staples such as business cards, brochures, or sales sheets. These items are expected in many business interactions, plus, they’re portable and allow you to communicate your brand story quickly and easily.
Business cards, for example, are still a staple in business. In a recent Forbes article, sixteen experts were asked if the business card was officially dead and eleven of them agreed that business cards hold various levels of value in professional networking.
“For the initial connection, a business card is still the easiest and best way to exchange contact information at events, conferences and other networking opportunities,” says Leila Lewis of Be Inspired PR, in the Forbes article.
These printed materials elevate your brand and give potential clients something to take home—literally—ensuring that you stay top of mind between meeting and sending your follow-up email.
Print Can Be Personalized
Recent research has shown that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. Consumers crave individualized experiences, which can be provided using print materials, like personalized direct mail postcards.
What’s more, compared to other forms of direct mail like letters, postcards are even more likely to be seen because they don’t have to be opened, explains the guide, How to Make a Postcard: A Simple Guide for Business Owners.
Without the clutter of social media, you’re more likely to get your message seen and give your customer a personalized experience at the same time. To reap the benefits of this personal experience, the same postcard guide suggests using a strong call the action, something critical both online and offline. They explain:
“The best calls-to-action use power words like save, 100%, act now, free, and guaranteed, and they’re short, specific, and easy to understand. If possible, you can also add a sense of urgency by including an expiration date or time-sensitive offer.”
Print Enhances Packaging
Even for online businesses, like e-commerce stores, print can add to overall customer experience and satisfaction. Shopify recommends providing customers with branded packaging with thoughtful shipping and packaging material: “Its purpose is to provide additional value for your customer and your business by way of creating a positive first impression of your product—ideally, one that’s both memorable and shareable.”
Shopify points to the success of Dollar Shave Club, a company that includes a printed newsletter in their packages, among other materials. They explain, “Because of the nature of their product, this printed content serves as great bathroom reading material that deepens the brand’s relationship with customers.”
Consider the many ways print can compliment your brand and business to drive impact, brand awareness and ROI.
Print Marketing Is Alive and Well
There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy and in our online world, print and digital can work together to help you reach your targeted audience and achieve your business goals. Print materials provide a physical touchstone and personalized experience and is also the preferred method of communication for those on digital overload. Use this marketing medium as a component to your overall cross-channel marketing to reach your audience effectively.