Print marketing is not dead. In fact, it could be the next big opportunity for businesses. Here the seven reasons why…
ONE: Millennials respond to print marketing
Millennials are people born between the early 80s and the early 90s. They are said to be more digitally connected and media savvy than previous generations. They love the internet, smartphones; and they love consuming video content. However, they also love print. That’s according to research by Quad/Graphics which shows that Millennials respond more to printed communications than they do to email.
This is big news for print marketing. The biggest, most lucrative market loves print!
TWO: Its tactile nature gives it a real-world advantage
Printed material is tangible, something you can smell and touch. This tactile nature stimulates the brain, meaning your messages are more likely to be absorbed and the recipient is more likely to remember your brand.
Well, that’s according to a Millward Brown study (in conjunction with the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University) in which participants were exposed to print and digital material while having their brains scanned with fMRI technology.
‘The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, which should help to develop more positive brand associations. The real experience is also internalized, which means the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore should aid motivation.’
The digital material simply didn’t elicit the same response.
So not only does print marketing appeal to millennials, it also appeals to people in general.
THREE: Print marketing can help businesses stand out and get noticed
A lot of online content goes unnoticed. Think of all the marketing emails you never open, all the ads you never click on. Production of digital content is constant and we kind of become blind to it. This makes it hard for businesses to stand out and get attention.
Print marketing can circumvent digital blind spots. It can help your brand be seen in a more meaningful and intimate way. It can bypass all the online noise, reach into the quiet space of a person’s life and grab their attention. A quirky, entertaining and intriguing mailshot that lands on someone’s doormat will likely surprise and delight the recipient, which means they’ll be more open to your messaging. And it will be all the more effective if it’s highly relevant, which is to say if it’s well-targeted.
Though there is a caveat. In order for direct print marketing to work, it can’t scream ‘Junkmail!’ The well-designed campaign will cut through the expectations. One way marketers are achieving this is through multidimensional and multisensory mailshots.
FOUR: Print marketing has a higher trust value than digital marketing
The rise of cybercrime is a massive concern for people nowadays. Internet users are wary of phishing and malware scams, as well as the more ambitious and sophisticated Nigerian scams. With all this digital skullduggery it’s no wonder that people are growing mistrustful of digital marketing.
Print marketing, on the other hand, enjoys a certain amount of baked-in trustability:
- Because of its expense, scammers are less likely to use print tactics
- Picking up a leaflet or brochure doesn’t pose an immediate risk as there are no potentially dodgy links to click or documents to download
- High-quality print is a good indication that the brand is an authentic business
- A recipient of a traditional direct mailshot has time to check out the company and make sure it’s legitimate
All-in-all, print marketing helps form a backbone of trust and authenticity.
FIVE: Better information retention
When surfing online, people tend to have lower attention spans. We skim through marketing copy or get distracted by the countless tabs open in our browser. This may have something to do with our brains. According to neuroscientific research, the part of the brain we use for reading online is different from the part we use to read printed text. When we read print literature, we use the ‘deep-reading’ part of our brain, which allows us to be more immersed and receptive to the material.
Another factor is concentration. Naomi Baron, a linguistics professor, surveyed people at universities around the world, 92% of whom said that print-reading allows them to concentrate and retain information.
So, print marketing has another distinct edge on its digital counterpart. Not only does print media come with fewer distractions, it also helps the reader better absorb the messaging.
You may have to spend more on print, but you may also find you get better quality results.
SIX: Digitisation has created an exploitable gap
Many businesses have abandoned print marketing altogether in favour of cheaper and more accessible digital marketing tactics. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it has created a gap that can potentially be exploited.
Let’s illustrate the point. Imagine you’re a butcher with a stand at a physical marketplace that has a footfall of around a thousand people, and there are four other butchers competing for custom. Now imagine that three of those competitors abandon their stalls for e-commerce, meaning that you and the other butcher have a thousand potential customers all to yourselves.
It’s the same with traditional direct marketing: people are receiving fewer pieces of print collateral these days. Marketers can potentially exploit this gap.
SEVEN: Not everyone uses or cares for the internet
This is perhaps the most left-field reason. The idea of not bothering with the internet may even seem wacky to some of you. But believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who haven’t got time for the internet or don’t value the internet, or they might even be philosophically opposed to digital culture.
Admittedly this market might be relatively small when compared to the number of internet users; however, it still represents a potentially profitable opportunity. Print marketing allows you to connect with these outliers and boost your overall results.