There is a rumor going around that printed marketing materials are all but tossed on the ash-heap of promotional history. The foundation for the rumor is based on two misconceptions: first that print marketing doesn’t work, and second that it does not lend itself to customization and personalization. Let’s take a closer look.
To paraphrase the famous Mark Twain quote, “The reports of the death of paper have been greatly exaggerated.”
Print Marketing Doesn’t Work
Based on two independent surveys, a whopping 73% of consumers stated their preference for printed mail communications over email, and to read the printed word rather than a computer monitor.
Print Marketing Cannot be Customized and Personalized
Nothing is further from the truth! Current print technology does not demand “one size fits all”. For example, which has more impact: an ordinary email … or a greeting card personalized with your customer’s name, your choice of pictures, a message in your handwriting … complete with your signature? Plus, include a video message for added dramatic effect. All of this and more is available and amazingly affordable with print marketing.
So, why lock yourself out of the power of print marketing when you can effectively use it to both augment and enhance your efforts in the digital marketing world? No reason to! You’ll rise above the noise level of “look at me” and truly enjoy market attention by differentiating your offering from the competition.
The following are two “myths” – excerpts from an excellent article written by Vladimir Gendelman, founder and CEO of Company Folders Inc., entitled:
Six Common Print Marketing Myths Debunked
You know how these things get started: One person hears a rumor, then tells two people, who in turn tell two people, and so on. Print marketing is especially susceptible to the rumor mill.
A host of inaccurate myths surrounds the print industry, leaving many with the wrong impression—that print isn’t eco-friendly or effective… and other misconceptions.
However, misinformation can lead to missed opportunities and a weaker marketing presence for your brand. Protect yourself from the harmful myths by learning the truth behind the power of print.
Myth 2 of 6. Ineffective
Many people write off print marketing as old-fashioned and ineffective in a digital marketplace; however, the industry is still thriving and customers are still responding positively.
According to an International Communications Research survey, 73% of consumers said they preferred to receive printed mail announcements rather than email announcements from the brands that they like. Meanwhile, another survey commissioned by Two Sides showed that 70% of Americans said they prefer to read things on printed paper over a digital screen, and 67% said they liked the feel of print media over other mediums.
Think of it this way: On the Internet, there is an unlimited amount of content to distract the audience from your brand; meanwhile, with direct mail marketing, there is a smaller pool of competition and thus you have a greater chance of connecting with the audience long enough to make a conversion.
The most effective marketing strategy is the one that covers all your bases with both printed and digital media. Add QR codes and URLs to your print media to steer the audience toward your website or social media page. According to a study, 67% of online searches are caused by offline communications—which means a strong print presence can actually lead to more online conversions and sales.
Myth 4 of 6. Can’t Be Personalized
The appeal of digital media is how quickly it can be altered. With a few keystrokes, you can completely personalize your marketing materials with the customer’s name or other information, creating a stronger connection to the audience. However, the same level of customization is available with your print marketing materials with a variety of different techniques.
Variable printing is like the print marketing version of the find-and-replace function in a word document. It makes it possible so that the entire design stays the same, but one part of that design changes, such as a customer’s name, a city name, and so on.
When you personalize with print, it’s more impressive than on the Web; after all, consider the amount of personalized emails you have sitting in your spam box. Your audience knows that sending personalized emails is not difficult, but they’ll be captivated by personalized print media because they’ll believe it was expensive and difficult to have customized, which makes the customer feel more special.
According to Nielsen Research, nearly 90% of consumers say they want to receive print marketing collateral related to promotions and sales. Like the old saying goes… the customer is always right.
A smart marketing plan is all-inclusive, focusing on both printed and digital communications equally to achieve maximum result. That means you can’t afford to get tripped up by false information about the print industry when nearly half of your marketing strategy is at stake.