In a digital world, social media has become an essential marketing tool for building brand awareness, extending reach and connecting with customers. Does this mean we can ditch traditional advertising options or is there still a place for print marketing? Five years on from our previous article, we review the current situation.
Can Print Marketing Compete with Social Media?
Online advertising opportunities have resulted in a decline in demand for print marketing, yet many companies still invest in brochures, flyers and magazine advertising. Why is this still part of their marketing strategy?
One thing that print marketing offers is a tangible touchpoint. Delivering your message into your customer’s hands offers a fantastic opportunity to build engagement, without having to worry about algorithms! Sending loyal customers an event invitation, providing a brochure at an exhibition or delivering a postcard with useful tips provides a connection with substance. It can help your brand to stand out amongst the digital information overload.
How many adverts do you think you see each day? It may surprise you to learn that the average person is exposed to roughly 10,000 advertising messages daily. We are especially bombarded during the time we spend online. There is no way in which we can process all of this information, but fortunately, our brains are effective at filtering. As such, we barely notice many adverts, which is why your answer to that question may have been considerably lower than the reality.
To stand out, an advert has to be highly relevant to us and presented at the right time and in the right place. Even so, unless we take action immediately, it is easy for that marketing moment to be lost as we scroll and get distracted by something new. Have you ever tried to find a social post that you were looking at just moments ago? It just seems to vanish!
In contrast, we receive a low volume of print marketing and, if we see something of interest, we can keep hold of it. That leaflet or letter might sit on the side, catching our attention, prompting discussions and potentially influencing purchasing decisions for days, if not longer.
The Open & Read Rates for Print Marketing
Research from Printweek Q4 2022 supports the case for print marketing. It reveals an increase in the volume of mail that was opened, read and retained by homeowners, with 77% opened, 66% read and 46% retained. Whilst an advert on social media is out of sight in seconds, door drops and direct mail remained in the home for several days or longer.
That isn’t to say print marketing is better than social media advertising. Both have a place in promoting products and services, building connections and providing valuable information. As such, we recommend an integrated approach. A good marketing strategy will consider how best to use both options to achieve specific company goals.
What Print Marketing is Most Likely to be Retained?
If we are going to implement print marketing, we need to know how best to generate a return on our investment. The Printweek research identified the type of marketing that recipients are most likely to keep hold of. These include notifications and reminders, vouchers, coupons and loyalty rewards.
Print marketing is most often used by SMEs to communicate with loyal customers and prospects. As such it can be segmented and personalised. Options might include event listings, discounts on click and collect services, time-limited offers and extended opening times. When planning your print marketing message, consider what would be of value to the recipient and how to incentivise the actions you would like them to take.
If you plan to exhibit at industry events this year, leave a blank space for notes on any marketing material that you have printed. This can be used to add key points from discussions you have with visitors, which act as a prompt at the end of the day. Jot down a product that caught their attention, a link to a relevant article or the direct contact details of the person they’ve spoken with.
Isn’t Social Media Marketing Quicker & Easier than Print?
Yes, you can set up social media profiles and post for free, however, that is unlikely to be an effective marketing strategy. With so much online competition, you need to commit to constant input and engagement or paid advertising to generate results and, like quality print, these require investment.
We suggest that rather than seeking out the cheapest option, you focus on approaches which optimise returns. When a marketing strategy is effective it can more than cover the costs.
Whether online or in print, quality is important. You want to deliver messages that resonate with your target audience and are a positive reflection of your brand. This demands planning, preparation and time allocated to responding to all resulting enquiries. It also needs time to review the data which provides valuable insight that informs future marketing.
This is the reason why large organisations have a marketing department and SMEs engage the services of marketing specialists. Alison Page Marketing offers tailored services to provide exactly what your business needs for active brand promotion. From a small advert in local Hertfordshire Living Magazines to a full marketing strategy and implementation service. How can we help you to get your message across?
Is Print Marketing Still Relevant in 2023?
We strongly believe that there are valid reasons to integrate both social media and print materials into your marketing strategy. Each provides a means of reaching your target audience and, when used effectively, it provides a memorable touchpoint that builds brand awareness and encourages action. As such, print is definitely still relevant in the digital age.