an arrangement of different Print Advertising sitting on a table showing the print services offered by Dogwood Media Solutions

When crafting your marketing strategy, many wonder “What is the role of print advertising in a digital world?” While there is no question that the power of marketing lies in digital today, there are occasions where print advertising may be worthwhile. Let’s explore why. 

Customers Recall Print Easily and Have an Emotional Connection

Print advertising activates a different part of the brain than digital advertising making it more memorable. A study from Penn State found that when exposed to a printed ad vs a digital ad, people were able to recall significantly more information from a print ad than a digital ad. Print advertising increases brand awareness. When print and digital are combined, you have a higher chance of increasing brand awareness and future conversions. 

Print can also evoke strong emotions. Think of how precious family photos are to you. This same emotional connection to a photograph is activated with printed advertising. If the printed advertisement is personalized with someone’s name, the emotion is even more powerful. One study by the USPS, found that if a direct mailer was personalized, response rates increased by 50%. Incorporating print media. even if only once in a while. can strengthen the connection with your customers. Holiday cards, personalized birthday cards, or special sales are great ways to incorporate a printed touch. 

Printed Advertising can be Targeted and Tracked

Print advertising is no longer a “spray and pray” method (you spray out your advertisements then pray you see results.) There are ways print advertisements can be targeted and tracked like digital advertisements. Mailing lists can be compiled based on location, marital status, children in the household, those who bought from your competitor, those who enjoy dining out, and more. Many of the same targeting demographics from digital marketing can be applied to print advertising. 

The key to great targeting in print advertising is knowing your target audience

Print Advertising can also be tracked to see results much like digital marketing. Notice that 4 of the 7 tips to tracking include a conversion of that printed ad to digital. It seems that no matter how someone learns of your business, your digital presence matters. 

Tips to Track Print Advertising: 

  • Include a QR code
  • Create a landing page specific to the promotion with the URL printed
  • Have your employees ask directly when interacting with customers
  • Include a specific coupon on coupon code
  • Use a specific phone number to track incoming calls
  • Monitor your analytics and compare traffic and conversions to pre- and post print advertisement

The downfall to print advertising vs digital advertising in regard to tracking is that while you may know exactly who receives your printed ad, you can only estimate the action taken by the customer after receiving it. Aside from the actions mentioned above, you are not sure who tossed your ad immediately into the trash. Digital ads on the contrary, can be tracked in an indepth manner, telling you exactly how long someone spent on your website and what actions were taken immediately after. 

Print Advertising Increases Your Touch Points with Your Audience.

Touch points are interactions that occur between businesses and customers before a sale is made.On average, businesses need 8 touches before the customer makes a decision. Yes, this number varies depending on your business field and their buyer’s journey. Print advertising can be another touch point in the sales process. 

Print advertising increases brand recognition particularly when you are consistent with your ad placements. The rise of small business support and the fact that consumers appreciate their local news and happenings can mean that print advertising on a local level can be rewarding to a business owner. 

While print advertising may be another touch, it cannot and should not be the sole party for customer contact. Businesses must have a strong web presence in today’s world in order to be successful. 

Digital Marketing Allows for Easy Flow into Print Advertising

Good graphic design and branding are cruxes to digital marketing. Since these pillars are already in place, if and when you decide to incorporate print in your marketing or fill in-office needs such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, banners, or signage, the graphic design transition is relatively simple. Print advertising should flow seamlessly into the branding you already have it place thus being simpler to execute. 

Print Advertising, Digital Advertising, or Both?

Yes our world is digital now and its digital fingerprint will only continue to expand in the future. To succeed in the digital world you must incorporate digital marketing. Print advertising has lessened over the years but is not out for the count just yet. Should you dedicate a large sum of your budget to print advertising? We don’t recommend that. Could there be a time to incorporate print marketing into your existing digital marketing strategy? Perhaps… it deserves a good hard look at demographics and return on investment. 

If you would like help crafting a digital marketing strategy, print advertising strategy, graphic design, or any other marketing service, our crew at Dogwood Media Solutions is ready and able to help. Contact us today and let’s get a conversation started. 

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