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Print Media Still Has An Impact

Let’s talk about “Print Collateral,” a term that includes print media for business marketing such as business cards, letterhead, capability brochures, fliers, postcards, folders, direct mail, signage, and more.

In today’s online oriented world, one could make the case that printed material is less than necessary. They could try to argue that point—but they’re flat out wrong. I am basing this on fairly solid experience, because I’ve been in the SEO business for roughly ten years and I have watched customers pull all of their budget from print marketing materials and dump it into Digital Marketing only to slash a major referral/lead (and revenue) stream.

Here’s a takeaway for you: You cannot rely solely on Digital Marketing as your only strategy. It won’t work. Want proof?

Have you ever received one of those postcards in the mail from Google? Maybe something offering $100 credit to advertise on AdWords? Do you know what Google, Comcast, MSN, Facebook, Intel and eBay all have in common (besides the obvious)? They all order print marketing collateral in the form of direct mail, business cards, forms, brochures, postcards, letterhead, and so on. Why? The short answer is because print media still works, like crazy.

You and I both know that the personal referral—word of mouth—is one of the best ways to build your business. If I’m looking for a house painter, an attorney, or a mechanic, I’m going to ask my friends and colleagues who they recommend. If a friend tells me about a new restaurant, product, or service they’ve tried, I’m more likely to check it out, too.

I’ll concede that referrals can take place entirely over the Internet, especially through Social Media. But when someone takes your business card or brochure, you’re communicating more than just your contact information. The look, feel, and detail of a high-quality printed marketing piece says that you are a professional. You offer quality work, quality service, and can be trusted.

So take a look at your print collateral. What do your business cards communicate? “You can trust me”? Or, “Yeah, I printed these at home on my old ink jet”? If someone asks you for more information about your services, what do you hand them? A sticky note with your web address? Or an attractive capabilities brochure?

Here’s just a few of the reasons print media is still relevant:

Tangibility– A printed piece is a physical thing. It will not just disappear into cyber space at the click of a mouse. It will likely get more of a glance over because of its physical presence. Studies have shown that advertising effectiveness will increase by 70 percent when brands appeal to more than three senses. Being able to have the piece in one’s hand makes the content more real and present.

Credibility- Printed media has a sense of legitimacy. When looking to reach out to a new group of people the key element of building a connection is trust. Credibility is a key to building relationships and revenue. The reputation of print content is that it is the most accurate and trustworthy.  

Consumers give a score of 63% trust to advertising in print compared to 41% for television and 25% for online. Meanwhile, 90% valued direct mail above social media and nine out of 10 trusted advertising in catalogues more than commercial messages found on the internet.

Engagement- Studies show that we retain information better through physical interaction. Direct mail is more of a guarantee to reach an audience than digital content that can be trashed with a click. Other forms of print collateral are also more personal and more of a keepsake. Sure, you can put all of your information on the web (I wouldn’t), but that won’t have the effect of handing them a business card.

Still not convinced? Check the numbers: 96% of business-to-business technology companies still read print magazines. 75% of them on a weekly basis. 61% say that they see print remaining just as important or becoming more important in the coming years.

It’s simply about balancing digital and print media. You must know your target audience and the most effective ways to reach them. In a time when marketing is so competitive it is essential to reach potential consumers in many different ways.

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry.

Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @www.spotcolormarketing.com