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Print Marketing in 2020: How to Make it Work for You

It's 2020 and an online marketing presence is beginning to become a necessary part of any business big or small. People are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and some even believe the era of print is coming to an end. So how do you know if print marketing is worth budgeting for in this digital age? Well that can depend on how you intend to use it, who you want to target, and what your goals are. Let's look at the benefits of print marketing.

Print Marketing is Not Intrusive

Many types of online marketing like banner ads and pop-ups are designed to interrupt a user while they're trying to absorb information on a website. This type of ad can actually end up frustrating more people than it does getting them to click. Print advertising is often found in places where people have time to kill. Magazines in doctors' offices, billboards by congested highways, and flyers or brochures by the checkout lanes in a grocery store all catch the eye of someone willing to pick them up and read them.

Print Marketing is a Sensory Experience

We, as humans, love to be able to feel, hear, see, and smell the world around us in order to fully connect with it. That's why physical copies of books made $22.6 billion in sales in 2019 vs only $2.04 billion for ebooks in 2019. People still love the sensory experience of holding a book and decorating their homes with their collections.

So how can we translate this into attractive print marketing? By making creative use of the senses you can't in online marketing. Use interactive images or interesting paper textures. Some businesses can even make use of smell. Even a normal looking print ad in a magazine has the benefit of that glossy paper feeling and the ability to pick it up and reread it multiple times.

Print Marketing Feels Refreshing

The average person encounters roughly 6000 to 10,000 ads every day. Especially online, consumers can often feel bombarded by ads everywhere they look. This constant stream of advertising can often train people's eyes to simply scan over them without even really taking notice of them. This is often called 'digital ad blindness' and it can cause a lot of online marketing to lose engagement.

But print marketing isn't in the corner of your computer screen or another block on your Facebook newsfeed. It's a direct mail piece personalized to attract your local clientele or a bright flyer that consumers can grab a copy of to digest when they get home. The fact that print marketing is rare (at least in comparison to online marketing) can take consumers by surprise and make them feel like your business has taken extra time and care to send them something personal and tangible.

Print Marketing Creates Credibility

The accessibility of the internet is great for reaching your audience. Unfortunately, that same accessibility also means that customers are inundated with spammers (and scammers). Anyone can send an email or claim to have a legitimate business online, which can cause a great deal of skepticism in regards to online advertising. But when a company designs an ad in a magazine or takes the time to print and mail personalized messages to their potential customers, it automatically builds a foundation of trust.

How Do You Know Print Marketing Is Right For You?

If you think all of the benefits listed above sound great but are still wondering if it applies to your business, it's always important to consider your audience. Many small businesses can take advantage of the personalized touch of print advertising because their target audience is local. It can be easier to distribute flyers in your neighborhood than trying to push your website through SEO rankings to become visible (especially if your business is in a heavily populated area with lots of competition).

Older audiences also tend to appreciate print media more than teenagers or young adults (not to say that it can't be effective for younger audiences under the right conditions), and it's worth noting that 10% of Americans don't use the internet. As I mention in most of my blog posts, research is crucial when making any decision about advertising.

Print marketing can be a highly valuable tool for gaining new customers, and used in conjunction with online marketing it can increase the credibility of your brand. Strategically planning a great print campaign can be just as worthwhile as an online one, so don't write it off yet!


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