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Is Print Marketing Still Relevant Today?

For many, the digital world has affected practically every aspect of life. And while not everyone lives online, digital devices have really taken over. In the business world, it’s probably even more noticeable, especially with so much digital technology pervading the business environment. It’s no wonder, then, that more and more advertisers and marketers are targeting customers online.  The big question, of course, is whether print marketing is still relevant in today’s landscape.

The truth is, many people are “numbing out” to all of the online ads, offers and sales promotions. Whether it’s email, or shopping, or searching, the ads and offers are continually bombarding the viewer. Its therefore not uncommon while online to “numb out” to anything marketing related. In fact, Internet research shows that many people are actually annoyed by pop-up windows and/or flashing advertising messages. This certainly doesn’t sound like effective marketing sales.

Print marketing materials are tangible – they are held and read – a physical message targeted at a potential customer. It might sound old fashioned, but printed materials “play on the senses”. The advertising message is material, and it has a residual effect, particularly on a customer who could become a customer.  In many cases, printed advertising materials are put to the side for future consideration, unlike an email blast, which is immediately discarded without even opening.

Print marketing, whether a postcard, brochure, or catalogue, has some resilience. A direct mailer, for instance, will likely be perused at least initially, even if it ends up in recycling, because there’s no interest. Interestingly, there remains something special when receiving printed material in the mailbox – it begs attention, and sometimes converts a prospective customer into a real customer. To a great extent, it’s very much psychological – after all, who doesn’t like getting mail.

Oftentimes, marketers achieve added success when print marketing supplements a digital media campaign. For that matter, even radio and television advertising can be complemented by printed marketing pieces. It’s an ideal approach for reinforcing a brand message, supporting an ongoing promotion effort, or bolstering a sales event. They key is to have a very focused message, and to ensure that a specific customer base is precisely targeted so that there’s very little waste.

The beauty of print marketing is customization. A campaign can be easily custom-designed for a specific audience, and likewise targeted for delivery. The more fine tuned, the more likely success can be achieved. And in situations where direct marketing is personally addressed, there’s more likelihood that the prospective customer will pay attention (and make a purchase). The actual experience of personalized direct marketing can have a dramatic effect on the customer.

For the marketer, print marketing materials also offer versatility. A campaign can be formatted in many versions – from a basic postcard, to leaflets and pamphlets, to fancy brochures and complex catalogues. And when it comes to customer response, this is actually simple to measure, whether by customer interest; by the number of redeemed coupons; or asking customers about a specific purchase decision. Clearly, customer response will dictate future changes/improvements.

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