Why claims of print marketing’s demise have been exaggerated

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When Mark Twain got wind of a newspaper story suggesting he had died, the author famously replied, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” A similar occurrence is taking place with print-based promotions: Online marketers are trumpeting the demise of fliers and other direct-mail marketing strategies, only to have these traditional marketing initiatives suggest that perhaps these death knells may be slightly exaggerated. A raft of recent studies and surveys suggest that, far from being six feet under, print-based marketing is thriving.

Knowing its role

In the past, marketing to a wide audience was simple, as there were only a few national television channels and a loose network of local newspapers. Now, however, consumers spend their time in a million different ways, making it hard for companies to reach them en masse. This may have made marketing more complex, but it has also made it easier for businesses to target customers more specifically and speak to them on a more personal level. In fact, according to Forbes, the growing diversity of marketing channels has created an important niche for print advertising. Your customers may be sprinkled around the world and hard to pin down, but they still regularly check their mailboxes, which means that sending them print-based promotions can help you reach them.

 

Credibility and tangibility

Not only do direct-mail messages reach more consumers than digital marketing materials, they’re also viewed as being more credible with readers. According to the source, the simple fact that print advertising has a physical form that can be touched, handled and saved makes it seem more important and credible to targets.

This means that companies that use direct marketing have a good chance of both reaching a different subset of customers and making a more lasting impression. This is especially true if you treat your customers as individuals, by tailoring your messages to their demographics and tastes. Combining a direct marketing initiative with variable data printing helps businesses extend their reach in a cost-effective and flexible manner.

More favorable opinion

Many people assume that print advertising is important mainly for reaching older customers – who else still reads snail mail, after all? While it is true that direct mail and ads in print are useful ways to reach older generations of consumers, a recent survey conducted by Research Now and funded by K&A BrandResearch suggests that younger consumers – specifically those between the ages of 12 and 17, believe it or not – also prefer offline ads to their online counterparts.

According to the survey, these consumers share offline ads more, have more positive feelings toward them and remember them longer.

If you are hoping to reach a wider base of customers, reap the specific benefits of printed advertisements and increase customer loyalty, you may find that direct marketing helps you achieve your goals.