Does printing have a future in marketing?

Posted on December 1st, 2017 | Tags: Marketing, Printing

Looking back over the last seven years I’ve working here at Copy Express, it’s hard not to see the massive changes in the both the marketing and printing landscape. The rise of smart-phone and tablet computing, the total domination of the internet in all parts of society, and the growth of electronic marketing eating away at the traditional methods. Is there still a place for printed marketing for modern business? I say yes there is and I’ll tell you why.

Yes, the demand for printed marketing material, and printing in area has noticeable shrunk over the last five years. Several of the smaller printing companies that we once competed with are no more, others have been absorbed by the big companies that have reached down into our market space in the search for more business. And yet there is more printing being done than ever. Amazon, the company responsible for popularizing e-books, has now got 17 physical book stores. There are still weekly supermarket mailers arriving in my mailbox, as is material for the big retail chains. As a printing company we’ve seen an upswing in volume of  real estate companies flyers and promotional letters over the last couple of years.  So what has changed?

The core change is how both companies and us as people perceive the value of print. With the internet making it practical for a company to put out electronic ads for a fraction what traditional printing costs are. You also have a deeper penetration because that same ad uploaded to a couple of advertising providers gives them hundreds if not thousands of websites where their advertising is served. Couple that with the use of metrics of each users habits on line means that ads are more accurately targeted to potential customers. To me, all of this results in the average person seeing far more ads now than ten years ago, but in a different way.

Print on the other hand, because of it’s higher cost and actual physical presence now has much more prestige because the company has spent money in having it made and delivered to you. Another effect of the shift in marketing demographics is that now you have less competition in the mailbox, making what you do to stand out more. The use of spam filters, ad blocker and anti-tracker software result in the large amount of that online advertising never being seen by customers, where they ‘have to’ look at it when it’s a bit of paper in their hand. Online material has very limited time and ‘space’ to fit their message in, where you have more ‘real estate’ in a physical to better explain your message on a flyer. There’s longevity too, as electronic ads only last as long as you pay for them to be shown, and if you potential customer doesn’t need your business there and then, then that sale could be gone for good. A printed voucher that has a long promo period and encourages the customer to hold on to it for when it’s needed will be put on that fridge reminding them of your business.  There are several other reason too but we cover it in this blog article Is Mail Dead? in much more detail.

What does this mean to you, the business looking at advertising in the world of smartphones and internet televisions. Digital marketing works best when you need a quick response for a low  monetary cost. The value of that marketing is only effective as long as you pay for it to be served and is quickly forgotten when stopped. Print marketing has much higher monetary cost, and will always have a smaller reach. The value is, that when properly designed, it will still be selling to customers long after the initial distribution and will give your business extra ‘prestige’ because you spent the money to make a physical advertising to them.

Need to know how to setup the ‘One-Two-Punch’ of mixing online with physical marketing? Book a meeting with us at Copy Express and we can discuss with you the most cost effective ways of getting your message out there.