In an age where it’s rare to get caught without a smartphone in your hand, it’s natural to ask the question, “is print marketing dead?”


The answer might surprise you.


In short, no, print marketing is not dead. Many statistics show that after a slight decrease in popularity with the introduction of digital media, print marketing is surging back into mainstream marketing practices.


As it turns out, many people actually prefer the physical sensation of a piece of marketing material like a brochure, menu, or direct mail ad. Adding more sensory elements to the advertising experience (like touch or even smell) can improve brand recall by customers.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the statistics that show why print marketing is still an effective strategy and a few ways you can use print marketing to your business’s advantage.

What is Print Marketing?


Print marketing is a strategy used by both small and large businesses to get in front of their customers using physically printed materials. A wide range of print marketing solutions exist, including:

      • Direct mail
      • Postcards
      • Trade magazines
      • Brochures
      • Posters
      • Banners
      • Window vinyls
      • Business cards
      • Physical newsletters
      • Local business signage
      • Much more!

Many businesses opt to use print and digital marketing together to ensure the best chance of attracting the attention of their ideal customers. This is known as multi-channel marketing.

To learn more about multi-channel marketing, check out ION’s Chain ReactION Marketing service. It uses extensive data analysis to determine the best way to reach your customers, then targets them through multiple marketing channels.

Why Print Marketing is Still Effective


To better understand exactly why print marketing is still effective in the digital age, let’s take a look at some of its most noticeable advantages.

Advantages of Print Marketing 


Among the top advantages for using print marketing strategies for your business are that it’s physical, personal, and highly targetable. Combined, these three elements help to increase conversion rates and generate new customers.


Let’s take a closer look.


It’s Physical 


Print marketing materials like direct mail provide a unique opportunity for businesses to enhance the sensory experience felt by the customer when taking in their brand’s message.


For example, have you noticed that certain smells trigger your brain to recall specific memories, often from an event that occurred many years ago?


According to an article published by Psychology Today, this curious phenomenon is because smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts in the nose and then has a direct connection to two areas of the brain that are implicated in emotion and memory.


Armed with this information, companies are beginning to use smells and other physical sensations in their print marketing campaigns.


Here are a few examples of how this strategy could be successful:

      • A bakery using the smell of fresh-baked bread to trigger fond childhood memories, making the prospect more likely to visit their store.
      • A retail store using scented postcards to advertise their new line of soaps or perfumes. 
      • A landscaping company infusing the smell of freshly cut grass into a direct mail ad.

The use of multiple sensations in marketing is something that cannot be replicated by digital media.


It’s Personal


Print marketing also provides a unique opportunity to establish a highly personal connection between your brand and your customers.


For example, companies can address each recipient by name, something that is sure to grab the reader’s attention.


Interestingly, despite the misconception that digital marketing is the only way to reach a younger audience, the personal connection provided by print marketing is something that’s highly appreciated by millennials and Gen Zers.


It’s Highly Targetable 


There are also a number of strategies that can be used to effectively target your print marketing campaigns towards a specific audience.


This helps to cut costs and increase the ROI on every dollar you spend on print marketing.


Canada Post even has a specific tool called the Precision Targeter that allows you to target a direct audience for your mail campaigns. According to Canada Post, the Precision Targeter allows you to:

      • Choose from 14 different demographic categories based on things like age, type of residency, and walking distance from your business.
      • Use interactive maps to target specific neighbourhoods or regions. 
      • Adjust routes based on the type of campaign you’re running.

With features like these, it becomes extremely easy to optimize your campaigns and maximize response rates.

What The Data Is Telling Us


There is an abundance of data that suggests print is still an extremely effective marketing strategy:


      • Direct mail brings in 78% of donations for nonprofits. (DMR)
      • 47% of people visit a store in response to direct mail (Canada Post)
      • 92% of 18-23-year-olds find it easier to read print over digital media. (MarketingProfs)
      • Since 2004, direct mail marketing response rates have increased by 14%, while email response rates have dropped 57% (DMR)
      • 56% of all consumers trust print marketing more than any other advertising method. (Allbusiness)

With each subsequent generation spending more time on their smartphones, some of this data might seem contrary to what you would expect.


However, it appears that there is an increasing number of young people who are seeing the value of consuming print content instead of (or at least, in addition to) digital media.

In fact, 61% of Gen Zers believe their peers would benefit from unplugging more.

How To Use Print Marketing to Your Advantage


There are a number of ways you can use print marketing strategies to help promote your business.


Here are just a few ways that print is used to get results:


Trade shows – print eye-catching signage, pamphlets, and other materials for your booth at your next trade show.


Non-profit Campaigns – informational flyers, pamphlets, and direct mail pieces are proven to be some of the best ways for non-profit organizations to generate donations.


Physical Storefronts – create vivid, attention-grabbing signage for your storefront to inform onlookers of a sale or promotion.


Networking Events – few things help portray a professional image for your brand as effectively as sleek, custom-designed business cards for yourself and your employees.


Direct Mail – create highly targeted direct mail campaigns to put your brand in front of those who are most likely to engage with your advertisements and do business with you.


Looking for printing services in Edmonton?


ION has been helping Edmonton business owners with their printing needs from our local facility for more than four decades. Whether you need business cards, window vinyls, packaging, or any other print project, we take pride in being a solutions-focused company. Not sure where to start? We can help!


Contact us today to learn more about how our Edmonton printing services can help your business!


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