Despite the fact that we seem to live so much of our lives online, we are still physical beings living in a physical world. Regardless of how attached are to social media we still crave physical communication. For that reason alone, printed marketing materials are still important in today’s digitally saturated environment. Let’s take a look at some of the many reasons that even the simplest of printed marketing communications like direct mail are highly effective in an organization’s outreach strategy.
Printed marketing communications offer a great magnitude of exposure and create lasting impact. Their physical form has staying power that allows the audience to interact with them anytime. A publication or even a brochure left on a table has reach well beyond the individual to whom it was sent. This kind of pass-along can be very effective as it occurs in a natural and casual manner driven by genuine interest on the part of the individual.
Because of its maturity as a strategy and the vast amount of data that is collected on people and organizations in their physical environments, printed marketing communications can be directed to highly targeted audiences. Variable printing, personalization and mail automation technologies enable even massive direct mail campaigns to be customized and targeted with pinpoint accuracy. This allows outreach and engagement with an audience at a highly effective, personal level without the often creepy feeling that highly personal social media outreach can have.
Printed marketing communications strengthen a brand by bringing a unified image used across other channels into direct physical contact with the audience. Because print is physical and able to be placed into the hands of prospects and customers it allows for outside of the box creativity such as the inclusion of samples and even multimedia. Printed marketing communication’s physical nature lend it a premium characteristic that can be used to convey quality and luxury. This physical nature can be used to appeal to the senses, like touch, smell, and with some creativity, taste that can not be accessed via other channels. For brands that exist strictly online, print is the perfect way to gain local presence without the need for brick and mortar facilities.
Everyone knows that, thanks to tracking codes, online marketing communication is easy to measure. Print communication is the granddaddy of measurability. Coupons, redemption vouchers and other forms of tracking have proven the effectiveness of printed marketing for generations. Tracking and measurability of print campaigns can be done with automated technology or it can be as simple and low-tech as counting coupons or the number of enquiries made.The effectiveness of a print marketing campaign can be easily measured using simple techniques.
The best thing about print marketing is that it can easily be used in a combination with online tools. Not only is it perfect for reaching audiences not engaged with social media, it can be used to connect the physical and online worlds. Scanning technologies and augmented reality make a direct connection between print and digital. Even simple codes can be used to drive customers and prospects to a website. Print can actually be one of the most effective ways to convert offline customers to online and drive repeat or increased online engagement. Believe it or not, printed marketing communication is used frequently and very effectively by online giants like Google, eBay and Amazon.
While advances in media and marketing technology get all of the glory, classic approaches like print are still going strong. It gives access to audience segments, creates impact and builds awareness that will bring new life into any marketing strategy.