Rapidly developing technology, along with the different ways in which we communicate and do business, has led many people to believe that print is a dead medium which is rapidly being replaced by digital communications. However rumours of the death of printing have been grossly exaggerated; printing is as important as it has ever been, and in some areas even more important.
It was back in 1975 when the “paperless office” was first predicted, but it failed to happen. Between 1980 and 2000 the amount of office paper used doubled. This was due in no small part to massive improvements in printer and photocopier technologies. Although the growth in office paper has levelled off since then, it has shown very few signs of diminishing.
If you are advertising a retail business locally, then it is very likely that you will be using printed direct mail. In fact 43% of local retail promotion is through direct mail and over three quarters of small businesses consider the ideal marketing strategy to be a combination of digital communication and print.
Today it is very easy to use “variable printing” to customise each document that you print, for instance with your customer’s name, different images, along with personalised offers and coupons that will allow you to track the customers who make use of them.
It isn’t just the supermarket giants such as Tesco that can use these techniques, anyone can and doing so can be highly effective; much more so than personalised email. Personalised printed media gives your audience a warm feeling that you have taken a little more effort and that you care.
Printed QR codes are a real boon for print marketing. Back in the old, you had to rely on your audience typing a URL into their smartphone or tablet, but with QR codes your printed media will connect your audience directly to your website.
Tip: A good tip is to always include your QR code on your business card.
You can also use QR codes to distribute images, videos and other interactive media.
Print and Social Media
Today we nearly all use social networking for business and social communications. Certainly Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have changed the world as we know it. But if we fail to link our online social presence with our printed media then we are missing a trick.
Certainly no modern entrepreneur should seriously consider NOT including their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn addresses, along with any other social media URL, on their business card.
Printed media provides a direct link to social media and social media reinforces any print media campaign.
Standing out from the crowd
To be successful in any business it is important to stand out from the crowd, and the best way to do that is with printed media. Print media grabs more attention than email and other forms of digital communication.
People trust print more than they trust digital media and that are more likely to be persuaded by it. It also has a longer presence. Those are the reasons why Google uses printed media campaigns.
Doing it right
Print media should be an important part of any balanced marketing campaign, but it is necessary to get it right. It is important to create a print strategy that will highlight your brand and motivate your audience.
Unlike digital media, which tends to be forgiving, with print it is important to be as close as possible to perfect. This means being creative over the print materials that you will use; for instance selecting the right paper, card, and envelopes; selecting the right fonts and colours; and of course well crafted copy.