Why Printed Materials Are Still Key Marketing Techniques in a Digital World

Posted on August 27, 2010
At Create-A-Card, we have noticed how often we have to convince our clients that their advertising budget must have a healthy slice delegated for printed materials. Apparently, the success of the Internet has given the impression that it should be able to handle the bulk of the promotional business. We remind them that the print industry has survived the onslaught of radio and television successfully, and is now meeting the challenge of the Internet as a direct competitor for its customers.

A recent study conducted by the California Polytechnic State University entitled “The Reality About the Promise of Printing in the Digital World” discovered that the printing industry is making radical changes to demonstrate how effectively they can compete with digital marketing and concluded that “the results make it clear that print will survive as a medium of choice in advertising, marketing, and communication….” They quoted a 2004 audit by the Magazine Publishers of America who found that “on average subscribers pass along their printed issue to an additional 3.6 industry decision-makers. So even the elite of the IT world recognized and benefit from print. What’s more, specific magazine content can be spotlighted and passed along on a one-to-one basis. A Magazine Publishers of America survey found that 24 percent of readers typically pass an article along to someone else while 23 percent save the article for future reference, and 13 percent visit a related Web site.”

Print media is keeping pace with modern trends by offering on-demand, customer-oriented services, especially in promotions where digital media is inappropriate. By integrating modern computer technology and Internet accessibility, print shops have developed the ability to make the best of both worlds. Clients can now design their own promotional material, add the graphics, include Internet links and even specify paper and ink preferences, usually without ever entering the print shop.

Direct mailing campaigns are an excellent example of a print strategy that still is effective and has verifiable results. These “old-school” techniques continue to bring in the clients because there is still a certain appeal to a piece of mail that was sent to your address with your name on it and has a special offer just for you. All the flashy Internet advertisements you can devise will not replace this kind of personal attention.

Business cards are another aspect of marketing they should always be trusted to a printer. You should avoid the temptation to “make your own” business cards on your personal printer like the plague because it will make you look like an amateur. Once again, print shops have risen to the occasion and offer complete online services that take you step by step through the process so you get just the card you want.

Also keep in mind some of your clients may still not be Internet savvy and won’t appreciate the fancy social networking sites, flash players and PDF links that you have spent so much money on, in fact they might find them downright irritating. They would much prefer to sit down with a hard copy of your report or proposal than squint at a computer screen with no ability to make notations in the margins.

All in all, the print industry is here to stay and maintains its vital role in a well-rounded marketing campaign. Smart business managers realize that they must reach beyond the impersonal digital market to keep that one-on-one connection with their customers that got them in business in the first place. The key is to balance your promotional budget to take full advantage of all the avenues available to connect with customers.

Comments are closed.