Whatever happened to old fashioned junk mail? It may not have disappeared completely, but most people have noticed that the daily drop of direct mail through the letterbox is not what it used to be. Online marketing clearly has many advantages – it is cheap, flexible, instantaneous and doesn’t jam under the door when you’re leaving for work in the morning – but is it time to look again at the benefits of print media?
Print is Not Dead
The world of online marketing has become increasingly frenetic and crowded as competitors join the mad scramble to vie for customer attention. By contrast, the world of printed media has regained its cool and appeal. Concentrating all your marketing efforts on the internet could mean you are missing out on the new creative ideas and advances in printing technology which would enable you to steal a march on competitors.
Keep it Real
Print marketing brings a sense of authenticity and substance to your branding in a way that online adverts and marketing find difficult to replicate. Most people have become very adept at mentally filtering out all those tiresome pop-ups, banner ads and torrents of spam, whereas quality print material is more likely to draw attention and create an impression.
Make it Personal
Distinctive branding and logo design will set your printed material ahead of the competition and strengthen your identity. It’s also worth considering the option of variable data printing (VDP): this allows you to customise your materials by varying certain elements such as the image on a business card. VDP is great news for small businesses as it allows a flexibility and freedom to experiment without committing to the expense of a huge print run. Personalised printing gives a fresh, unique look to your printed media, and adds that special touch which is so often lacking in the world today.
Aim for a Target Audience
Many speciality magazines have healthy circulation figures, so it’s worth considering taking an advertising slot, or contributing a longer piece such as a feature article. Magazines, brochures and catalogues tend to have a long life, as customers hold onto them and pass them on to friends to read – you can be confident that your efforts won’t simply be deleted with the click of a mouse.
Push the envelope
Print media can give you the chance to be playful. Technology has spawned a whole range of promotional products – magnets, stickers, coasters, shopping bags, mouse mats, t-shirts – if can have a logo printed on it, it can be turned into a promotional item. Small branded gifts can be a very cost effective and practical way to leave a lasting impression on your customers.
Integrate your Marketing Campaigns
Using print media can boost your profile, but this may be the first time some of your customers have heard of you. Make sure they have all the information they need to find you online and make contact. Print material can also be a useful tool for spreading the word about website promotions and social media campaigns. Take advantage of both print and online media – maximise your marketing potential.
by Diarmuid Scollard