Why the Digital Era Isn’t the End for Print Marketing

Digital marketing continues to grow in this new age of online transactions and endless social media streams. Whether it’s seeing a targeted advert among your Google searches or an engaging competition for you to take part in on Instagram, we’ve all become familiar with these new methods of persuasion.

However, if you’re looking for ways to market your brand, don’t pitch all your tents within the digital landscape. There’s still success to be found among other promotional techniques. One method, print marketing, still has a large amount of influence among consumers. In fact, their use can have significant benefits over their digital alternatives.

Here, we explore why print products still have a role to play in your marketing strategy.

A key advantage of digital marketing, particularly on the front of paid advertisements on social media, is the ability to target consumer identities. This means that your business can focus its time, attention, and money on promoting its products to only people that have the potential to buy them. For example, a seller of wedding suits would be able to target male customers that are engaged, understanding that they are more likely to buy from them.

However, while the focusing abilities of digital marketing can be useful, your advert may go unnoticed thanks to competition and the number of adverts that appear alongside your promotion. This is referred to as ‘banner blindness’.

Banner blindness is where customers may consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like content on social media. Essentially, we’ve become so aware of adverts online that we have trained ourselves to look past them.

According to one study, 86 per cent of consumers suffer from banner blindness. This should be taken into account when launching your digital campaign. Find out your advert reach, and then consider that only 14 per cent of people will actually take notice of it.

In this respect, print marketing has significant advantages. The use of direct mail, for example, drives higher engagement rates. In one survey, 75 per cent of direct mail receivers were able to recall the brands that had sent them print products. This shows that consumers have a more profound mental connection with direct mail as opposed to viewing content online.

Businesses should consider how the engagement of digital media compares to print media, understand the investment of both, and why print advertising like direct mail can contribute more to their business.

Trust is key

Digital advertising relies on concepts of data sharing and how your private information is managed. Recently, this has become a subject for scrutiny by the public and technology companies. Apple’s new privacy update aims to clarify what data is shared by private apps and companies. Meanwhile, Netflix’s The Social Dilemma highlighted the expansive profiles that tech companies can build around our public information and searches.

The effect of this reflects a low level of trust in social media and adverts on these platforms. Only 42 per cent of people trust adverts online. This compares to the trust instilled with printed adverts. 61 per cent of consumers say they trust adverts printed in newspapers.

The reasons for this vary. But print products and newspapers are usually recognised as established and familiar. People understand that print is an investment, and therefore businesses that use this method are well-founded and trustworthy. Paper speaks louder than pixels.

Make a statement, not a whisper

Good marketing has a strong message. While digital marketing can be a useful tool for creating loud campaigns, there are still limits to what we can do in the virtual world. In this respect, there are no limits to physical and print campaigns.

The use of billboards, for example, is just another example of increasing innovation in marketing. No longer are print campaigns based around posters. Billboards are now interactive, intelligent, and can generate more conversation than any digital ad.

Advertising its limited drama series, Dracula, the BBC used a billboard as a canvas for shadow art. Wooden stakes were planted into the board, in almost a sporadic fashion. During the day, the billboard appeared intriguing at best. By night-time, spotlights were able to cast a shadow from the stakes’ placement to reveal the image of Dracula himself. This was an intelligent campaign because it relied on the eeriness of nighttime to reveal the monster.

Likewise, chocolate biscuit company Kit-Kat left its billboard half complete, with only part of the poster pasted on a wall, leaving a ladder in its wake. The brand was able to rely on its longstanding motto: ‘Take a Break’. The billboard implies that those creating the poster have taken a break during their work.

In essence, these print campaigns have started a conversation, rather than just a blatant advertisement of a product. Print campaigns continue to prove themselves as the best method for creative advertising, something which is difficult in the saturated sphere of the online world.

Print products have a longstanding tradition within the marketing industry. But while the digital world has dominated conversations around promotional methods in the past decade, it’s unsurprising that businesses are returning to this persuasive and effective advertising technique. Your business should never have to choose between both digital and print. Combined, effective print marketing along with intelligent digital publications can lead your business to success.

Sources

http://www.adotas.com/2013/03/study-86-of-consumers-suffer-from-banner-blindness/

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2020/01/02/bbc-erects-immersive-dracula-billboards-with-bloody-stakes-and-haunting-shadows

https://www.adweek.com/creativity/kitkats-half-finished-billboard-cleverly-pays-its-iconic-tagline-160781/

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