In a digital world, we enjoy easy access to a wealth of materials and experiences, but these electronic offerings no longer feel particularly novel. By comparison, print materials can seem interesting or even sophisticated. From a commercial perspective, these materials function as tangible brand ambassadors, capable of producing a deeply impactful and memorable connection. Done right, print campaigns can deliver an impressive return on investment, attributable to huge improvements in brand awareness and engagement.
Today’s consumers are, simply put, inundated with emails and notifications. When their inboxes are flooded, they are less inclined to respond to any given campaign. Meanwhile, print stands out, particularly when materials are beautifully designed and clearly personalised. With the right materials and visuals, postcards, flyers or brochures can feel downright special.
A blended approach takes this to the next level, producing an impressive level of brand awareness. This is a great strategy for impactful top-of-funnel marketing and can create a powerful impression that holds strong even after other, purely digital marketing campaigns have been forgotten.
Today’s consumers crave authentic connections above all else. While many digital strategies promise to provide this, the tangible nature of print gives it a definite edge. Don’t underestimate the value of touch in the electronic era; it’s why readers so frequently cite a preference for traditional books — and why print-based messaging resonates more deeply. Add personalised elements to the mix, and recipients will no doubt feel compelled to further strengthen their connection.
Simply put, print evokes a different — and more lasting — response. This is evidenced by results from a study that revealed that, because physical ads pack a stronger and more emotional punch than their digital counterparts, customers are more likely to remember them a full week after they are initially viewed. These findings are reinforced by research that suggests that the right retrosplenial cortex, responsible for processing emotional stimuli, lights up when physical mail is observed.
From the logo to the font and, of course, colours and images, printed materials contain a variety of impactful visual elements that resonate with recipients. If these resemble digital designs, they will promote a consistent brand identity that will, in turn, engender trust among consumers. The tone of the print campaign also matters; there should never be any question as to the represented brand's values or vision, which can easily be clarified through elevated print materials.
Print marketing has come a long way in the past few years, and currently, a variety of creative strategies make it easier than ever to integrate multiple mediums to great effect. QR codes, for example, serve as an easy call to action, encouraging leads to take the next step. This is a versatile option that, done right, will convince customers to get involved on social media, sign up for services or even take advantage of exclusive discounts.
Integration can go both ways: Free QR codes and hashtags promote greater online engagement, while digital strategies allow customers or clients to opt in to receive print materials. Data generated via digital solutions can even facilitate more effective print campaigns, as this will reveal which customers are more likely to respond to print — and who needs an extra nudge to produce much-needed conversions. Best of all, these integrated offerings can be outsourced to streamline the full spectrum of commercial printing and digital marketing.
Yes, digital marketing is versatile, but the same can be true of print campaigns. The materials take many forms: invitations, event programs and, of course, standards such as brochures or postcards. Various printing methods also make it easy to differentiate brands: cost-effective digital printing or offset opportunities for exceptional quality and craftsmanship.
This inherent versatility also extends to distribution methods. While print materials are often mailed directly to consumers based on digitally generated data, they can also be distributed during special events or brand activations. Trade shows, packaged orders, point of sale ... the options are endless.
Print is here to stay. Despite the digital takeover, consumers retain a clear appreciation for well-crafted print materials. Embrace this opportunity to develop a deeper and more trusting connection that drives results in all stages of the marketing funnel.