Blog: Print Marketing in a Digital Age

In an era defined by digital advancement, it’s easy to appreciate why so many businesses choose to focus the bulk of their marketing efforts on PPC and paid social channels. By 2024, global ad spending across digital channels is expected to hit 65.1% of total ad expenditure, indicating a clear departure from the physical marketing methods that brands have traditionally relied upon.

Despite the undeniable trend towards digital marketing technologies, research into the comparative benefits of digital and physical advertising indicates a general preference by consumers towards the latter. Print marketing has been shown to generate a higher motivation response, higher levels of brand recall, and greater response rates than digital alternatives. And, whilst for many brands, it would be inadvisable to forgo digital advertising entirely, for most, a well-rounded marketing strategy should take advantage of both digital and print channels.

At JMF Group, we’ve spent nearly four decades designing and manufacturing print advertisement media and promotional merchandise of the highest quality. Consequently, we know that there can be no substitute for the tangible nature of physical collateral.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing the enduring benefits of print marketing, as well as how it can be used to complement existing digital strategies.

What Is Print Marketing?

Print marketing is a form of advertising that uses physical collateral – such as magazines, newspapers, and direct mailers – to reach consumers.

A tried-and-true way to communicate with and attract customers, print marketing has long been the advertising method of choice for companies looking to increase sales or boost brand engagement.

Although the format’s popularity has declined in recent years, printing continues to offer reliability, versatility, and low-cost audience interaction.

Print Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

Despite its potential benefits, it’s not difficult to understand why for many businesses, the decision to go towards digital marketing is a rational one.

Digital platforms provide many distinct advantages to modern businesses, including global reach, a lower upfront investment, an effective lead pipeline, and efficient tools for measuring results and optimising techniques.

However, the potential value of printed marketing materials cannot be underestimated. Despite the changing landscape, these opportunities still hold significant importance and can yield substantial benefits.

Response Rate

At 9%, physically printed media yields a significantly greater response rate than the 1% offered by digital platforms and advertising channels.

In the case of direct mail, research has found the household response rate to be as high as 5.1% – significantly greater than email (0.6%), PPC (0.6%), social media (0.4%), and web display (0.2%).

Emotional Response

Print ads generate a 20% higher emotional response than those found online, leading to a greater chance of brand engagement.

This level of response was found to be even greater for print media formats which appeal to senses beyond touch (such as smell and taste), as well as for promotional items that can be used again and again (such as water bottles).

Recall

When it comes to brand recall, print materials are unrivalled.

Print marketing materials and branded items drive significantly higher levels of recall than digital materials (77% vs. 46%), making print the ideal form of marketing for building brand awareness among a target audience.

Simplicity

Research by R.C. Brayshaw found that print ads require 21% less cognitive effort than online ads to consume and process – perhaps this is why 90% of consumers (and 95% of those under 25) prefer the tactile experience of print over the detached consumption of digital.

For brands, this suggests that print media can be used to engage the attention of an audience more quickly, making it an ideal means for triggering a potential customer into action.

The Types of Print Marketing Materials

As you’ve probably gathered, there are countless potential ways to leverage print marketing and promotional products to your business’ advantage.

For maximum impact, your marketing campaign might choose to focus on one or multiple methods to build brand recognition and attract potential customers. Let’s delve into some of the most common print marketing material formats.

Business Cards

A must-have for any business, business cards are one of the most commonly used print marketing materials.

While the primary purpose of a business card is to act as a physical reminder of business details, when designed correctly, it can serve as a mini-billboard, promoting your brand and company name at trade shows, business meetings, conferences, and beyond.

Flyers & Posters

Ideal for themed events, special offers, local promotions, or lead-generation campaigns, flyers and posters are designed to create awareness and drive engagement.

By developing flyers and poster designs that have a cohesive look with your existing branding, these printed materials can offer a clear call-to-action, With the potential for a wide-reaching impact when strategically positioned.

Brochures and Catalogues

An evergreen marketing tool, brochures and catalogues are a fantastic way to give customers an overview of your products or services.

One of the key advantages of print is its ability to give customers a tangible experience of a brand. A physical brochure can be the perfect way to present more detailed information in an engaging way, accompanied by high-resolution images and full-color logo/brand creative that leaves a lasting impression.

Banners and Signs

A simple yet extremely effective form of print marketing, banners and signs are a great way to raise awareness of your business in high-traffic areas.

Whether you want to promote a grand opening, a product launch, or an end-of-season sale, banners and signs are an elegant and affordable way to make a big impact.

Point-of-Sale (POS)

From shelf strips and danglers to wobblers, door hangers and rack cards, POS materials are designed to grab the attention of passersby in retail settings.

These items can be used to build brand visibility, encourage shopper loyalty, or increase sales conversions, making them an indispensable part of any retailer’s overall marketing strategy.

Direct Mail

A form of letterbox advertising, direct mail is one of the most effective print marketing techniques. By sending promotional materials to a carefully-curated list of customers and potential customers, businesses are able to effectively drive both engagement and conversion.

For the greatest impact, a direct mail campaign needs to be highly targeted and offer material that is personalised and relevant to the recipient. It also needs to be accompanied by a strong call-to-action, to ensure that the most is made from every impression.

Developing a Successful Print Marketing Campaign

Print marketing offers numerous advantages as a promotional tool. However, like any advertising method, it comes with its fair share of potential pitfalls.

To ensure your marketing efforts yield fruitful results, here are some key factors to consider and address.

Audience

Print advertising can be used to target markets of all shapes and sizes. However, to be effective, you must gain a clear understanding of the market that is specific to your business, its values, its products, and its services.

Which print marketing materials will your customers find engaging? Which locations should you use to reach them? What kind of message will resonate with them to drive engagement and conversion?

Message

What do you hope to gain from your print advertising campaign?

If your goal is to generate brand awareness, focus on creating visuals that will create a lasting impression in the minds of your target audience. If your goal is to drive sales, focus on conveying messages and calls-to-action that will encourage people to take action.

When it comes to print, effective marketing materials start with a clear understanding of your message and its relevance to the audience.

Design

Whether you’re producing a brochure, a business card, a banner, or a brand stand, you must ensure that every piece of print collateral is aesthetically consistent with your other marketing materials.

You don’t just want the printed piece to make your brand stand out – you want it to engage your potential customers while showing them the quality of your products and services.

Print Quality

Particularly important for direct mail, brochures, and business cards is the quality of the print piece itself.

Remember, your clients will be holding your materials in their hands – a low-quality product may signify a low-quality service. In the case of flyers, a cheap-looking item will often go in the bin without even a second glance.

Don’t be afraid to ask your printers some tough questions:

  • Do they use a traditional printing press or digital printing technology?
  • Is their paper stock sustainable and renewable, or do they use other materials that are not eco-friendly?
  • What special finishes can they offer?
  • How quickly can they create and deliver your order?
  • Can they send you an example of their past work (brochures, business cards, etc.)?

Budget

Regardless of the type of business, financial considerations are undeniably crucial. As previously mentioned, online advertisements have gained popularity, in part due to their lower investment requirements. Conversely, the printing industry is known for its high expenses; whether you’re producing flyers, brochures, or mass-produced newspapers, the manufacturing and shipping costs can be significant.

Although online advertising may seem tempting, the benefits of print marketing are substantial. It’s crucial, however, to have a clear understanding of your budget and the likelihood of your ad or printed materials generating sales, leads, or new customers.

JMF Group: A Full-Service Approach to Your Printed Marketing Materials

At JMF, we fully believe in the power of print marketing. We’ve seen first-hand the amazing results that a well-executed campaign can generate – whether it’s increased brand awareness, more foot traffic, or higher sales.

Despite the surge in digital advertising, we hold a firm belief that print marketing materials will continue to occupy a crucial position in the strategies of numerous brands and businesses. And with our customer-first approach to design, print, and marketing, we will continue to provide our clients with solutions that align with their objectives.

If you think your business might benefit from our print materials and marketing services, give us a call today. We can’t wait to get to work!

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