November 28, 2022

Is there a future for print marketing?

Interested in the future of print marketing? Read this blog for a deeper dive on the pros, cons, and relevant statistics.

Is there a future for print marketing?

As we continue into an increasingly paperless age, it’s easy to assume print marketing is dead. Physical materials, such as brochures and business cards (remember those?), were the norm before the age of email campaigns and social media posts. And while the internet has allowed us to connect with customers quicker, if not done well then messaging becomes lost in a sea of spam emails and poorly targeted digital ads.

On top of that warm, fuzzy, feeling you get when holding a beautifully crafted publication, what are the benefits of print marketing?

1.   Print is the most trusted medium


Consumers consistently rate print as the most trustworthy advertising formats. A Marketing Sherpa survey found that 82% of consumers trust print ads when making a purchase decision. The permanence of print often means a thorough vetting processes is completed to create the most credible product. One that won’t come back to haunt you down the line! Although this should be done for any format, the ability to delete and re-upload a social post makes for an alluring escape route for poorly planned digital campaigns. And with no pop-ups in sight or the need to sign your data away to scroll a website, print makes customers feel safe and can help build brand credibility.


2.   Print does the targeting for you


Digital ads often cast a wide net to find the right customer. However, print marketing, such as magazine ads, gets you in front of an audience already interested in your industry. For example, if a reader subscribes to Legal Marketing World they are (probably) already interested in the legal marketing sector. Businesses in the industry can advertise knowing they already have a captive audience more likely to engage with their brand. There’s also the benefit of the subscription-based models most magazines provide, meaning your brand will be seen regularly and by a loyal community of readers.


3.   Print is the ultimate evergreen content


Information on the internet is fleeting. One day an ad is performing well, the next a swathe of online users have blocked it. Printed materials, on the other hand, linger for days, weeks, months and even years. We’ve all flicked through a 10-year-old Vogue in a doctor’s waiting room. With studies into neuromarketing showing that printed media is considered more desirable and more valuable than its digital counterpart, it’s no wonder the stacks of magazines or takeaway menus from the last house pile up. That kind of content marketing is worth more than its weight in LinkedIn likes.


4.   Print holds readers’ attention better


People reading in a printed format usually spend 20 minutes or more with the publication, compared to less than 5 minutes for online. In a world of ever-decreasing attention spans, none of us should be letting go of precious moments to boost retention and brand awareness.


5.   Print can be sustainable too


For many, ‘digital’ means ‘more sustainable’, and therefore being paperless is better. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Although the energy needed for a single internet search or email is small, over half the global population is using the internet and it quickly adds up (and how many people only do one internet search at a time?). The carbon footprint of the online sphere accounts for approximately 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions. This is set to double by 2025, and doesn’t even include the energy required to power our digital devices. In contrast, paper production only contributes to around 2% of all emissions and by using paper from responsible forestry, you can promote sustainable practises and carbon balancing schemes. For example, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) administers over 200 million hectares of forest, helping to prevent deforestation and preserve valuable ecosystems.

It probably feels odd for a digital marketing agency to critique our namesake. But it’s nota simple case of digital vs print. It’s a case for digital AND print. We should be leveraging the power and trust that comes with print to enhance digital presence. Utilising the targeting nature of magazines and lean into the sustainable practices that can come with print. And with 92% of people driven to taking online activity after receiving direct mail, the simple act of pairing a printed brochure with a QR code becomes a powerful marketing strategy.

Break through the digital clutter. Don’t go paperless.


Looking for a digital marketing partner with extensive experience in designing for both digital and print? Get in touch with us today.


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