Why Traditional Printing Still Matters in a Digital World

Are You Print-Positive? Five Reasons Why Printed Marketing Still Matters

Memorable Marketing

If you run a business, when did you last receive a brochure in the post?

An actual brochure, addressed to you specifically with a signed covering letter in a proper envelope – with a printed address on it?

Most likely, you will recall it. It would have been of note; unusual, perhaps, in this day and age. And, memorable. Significantly, if the service offered is relevant to your business, or it could be, you may have placed it in your in-tray for future reference. Why? Because while 50-odd marketing emails had pinged in your inbox that day (and you deleted most of them), it’s this single printed marketing piece that stood out.

Further, you may well remember the name of the company that sent it much more than all those names in emails.

Alternatively, perhaps you’ve picked up a leaflet or flyer from your doormat at home.

It’s about cleaning services. Or, from a gardener or someone who can return your oven to its original spick and span state – something you’ve meant to do for ages but still not done. Again, you’ll keep it. The copy is well-written, the paper is good quality, and you like the colours and graphics.

It’s going on your fridge door because, well, you never know.

The Reports of the Death of Printed Marketing Materials…

…have been very much exaggerated. Dramatically so, in fact.

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to assume that print marketing has fallen out of favour. We’re all about websites, social media, PDFs and social media. Yet, given that many of us print things out, something still draws us back to the more traditional side of marketing. We appear to like useful things we can touch and see.

This form of marketing is still very much alive. Radio couldn’t kill print, and neither could television or the internet. It is enduring.

In fact, if you’re looking to break through the communication barrier between you and your prospects, printed marketing materials could be precisely what you need to take your business to the next level, and they could become a vital part of your marketing strategy.

Look around you. Design and print are quite literally everywhere and have many uses. Signage, point of sale marketing, banners, booklets – they educate, entertain, inform and sell.

Here are five compelling reasons why printed marketing still matters, and how it could provide your future customers with a brand experience that can often knock online out of the park.

1. Print is Tangible

Despite modern technological advances and the fact that everyone has a smartphone, print is the only way your audience can physically interact with your advertising. Here, you can make a fantastic, lasting impression – or, with the wrong choice of materials and design, destroy your message stone dead (of which more will be in a later article).

The people you want to sell to will feel the texture of the paper or card, smell it, and fold it.

They may read your brochure or leaflet at leisure, and then pass it to a colleague, a department head or even a family member.

Print marketing is designed to be kept. Physical items like these can stay in offices for months after people receive them. It’s as though they don’t want to throw them away because of the value they represent.

You can use printed materials to reach a wider audience over an extended period.

Worth mentioning, or asking the question: Have you ever met anyone who was impressed by a QR code, or scannable business card? No, us neither.

2. Print Offers Credibility and Reliability

Do you offer premium services, or would you like to charge more for what you offer?

If so, almost nothing says professional, trustworthy and authoritative in the way a quality, beautifully designed, printed brochure does. In an era where content creators can manipulate online data (fake news, anyone?), print marketing instils a strong sense of credibility and trust. It proves that you are investing in your marketing, you respect your business, and by extension, the people who buy from you.

In other words, you could quite literally be upping your game.

In our experience, printed marketing has a more substantial physical presence; it implies permanence and authenticity. Likewise, dependability. These distinctions are nuanced and subtle. Yet, they matter. Print marketing has been around for a long time. And there’s a reason for that.

3. Enhances Brand Recognition

Bringing together the aesthetic quality of colours, images, typography, and texture establishes who you are, what you do, and who you sell to.

So, it makes sense:

If you want your prospects to feel a certain way about your business, printed marketing needs to be on your To Do list. Your brochure, business cards, expo banners, signage, leaflets or flyers could offer that all-important psychological link you’ve been looking for.

Experienced marketers know the substance of a well-recognised brand.

They understand your branding is about the emotional response and the connection you make with your audience when they encounter your brand. By the way, did you know that we’re not only large-format print specialists? We also offer expert branding to support the needs of your business, so do get in touch if this is of interest.

4. Print Marketing is More Engaging

If you have a website, you may also know that you have six seconds to make an impact on average. Fail to grab your web visitor’s attention immediately, and they’re off – back to the search engine results pages, never to darken your internet door again.

It’s a tough call, and not everyone gets it right or knows that this happens. Yes, even with the requisite white space and clever graphics, you’re up against people’s tendency to skim-read. It is what it is.

Print marketing appears to tell a different story.

Generally, you have more opportunities and a better chance.

The look and feel of flipping through a well-crafted catalogue, or the satisfaction of reading a brochure provides a sensory connection that, for the most part, digital media cannot replicate. Print appeals to our senses, and according to research, it’s often more effective in delivering new customers than an online campaign.

Here’s a statistic of note*: When reading printed advertising, 60% of the time spent reading is solely focused on the ad itself, as opposed to just 19% for digital.

5. Stand Out from the Crowd

Back in the day – okay, in the 70s and 80s – printed advertising was everywhere.

Companies bombarded business decision-makers with flyers, brochures, letters and cold calls. Or at least, with a mountain of scatter-gun direct mail on our desks, that’s how it seemed. Advertising in newspapers and magazines was a thing. The only thing, really (excluding ITV). Pre-internet, people did things the hard way.

In the 21st century, with more companies taking their marketing solely online, the old has become new again. Print media is evolving, and it’s getting more sophisticated.

In addition, with more accurate, targeted information and data now at marketers’ fingertips, we can get clever about all this. With segmented data, you can make better decisions about content, consumers and the types of marketing collateral you will need. Equally, you’re more likely to be ultra-strategic about its placement – for instance, in magazines and newspapers, direct mailings, and so on.

There is something infinitely more personal about receiving something by mail, rather than digitally. The result: you’ll make your would-be customers feel noticed and appreciated.

Yes, it’s an investment, but more often than not, your tactics will still be relatively rare. And, incredibly impactful if you get it right.

Xpress Group – What We Think

The print marketing sector is as vibrant as ever.

In our view, print marketing will always be a vital part of any successful marketing presence, and rather than compete with digital, it can be a valuable complement to it. Integrating print and digital can create a multi-channel approach that makes the most of your brand.

This combination can increase your marketing efforts – targeting a broader audience across different touchpoints.

And Finally…

Print marketing has been around for a long time. Care to guess for how long, exactly?

Well, here’s something you maybe didn’t know:

The earliest discovered example of print advertising comes from Thebes in Egypt; an extract of papyrus dated around 300BC. It was written on behalf of a weaver called Hapu, who, unable to find one of his slaves, Shem, created a public notice about it.

Interestingly, at the bottom of the piece, he added a few promotional words about his business: “…Hapu the Weaver, where the best cloth is woven to your desires…”

Never miss an opportunity to promote your business, then. Even when you’ve lost a slave.


*Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-statistics/