In an increasingly digital age, it’s easy to appreciate why so many businesses choose to focus the bulk of their marketing efforts on PPC and paid social channels. By 2024, global ad spending across digital channels is expected to hit 65.1% of total ad expenditure, indicating a clear departure from the physical marketing methods that brands have traditionally relied upon.
Despite this favourable trend towards digital marketing technology, much of the research into its comparative benefits indicates that print advertising is prefered by the majority of consumers. Print marketing has been shown to generate a higher motivation response, higher levels of brand recall, and greater response rates than its digital counterparts. And while it would be foolish for most brands to forgo digital marketing entirely, it’s clear that a well-rounded marketing strategy should employ both digital and print channels.
At The Bank, our media planning and media buying experts have extensive experience in the development and implementation of omnichannel advertising campaigns. By investing in our services, your company will benefit from our years of experience and creative thinking, resulting in a bespoke marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience, improves brand perception, and generate sales.
For more detailed information on how we can help your company, call our team today. Alternatively, keep reading for our comprehensive guide to print marketing.
What Is Print Marketing?
Print marketing is a form of advertising that uses physical collateral—such as magazines, newspapers, and direct mailers—to reach consumers.
A tried-and-true way to contact customers new and old, print marketing has long been the advertising method of choice for companies looking to boost their sales and brand engagement. Though the format’s popularity has declined in recent years, printing continues to offer reliability, versatility, and low-cost audience interaction.
Print Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
Despite its potential benefits, it’s not difficult to understand why, for many businesses, the decision to towards digital marketing is a rational one. Digital platforms provide many distinct advantages to modern businesses, including global reach, a lower upfront investment, an effective lead pipeline, and efficient tools for measuring results and optimising techniques.
Nevertheless, the opportunities provided by print ads and printed marketing materials are significant, and, potentially, extremely valuable.
Some of the main benefits of print marketing include:
At 9%, physically printed media yields a significantly greater response rate than the 1% offered by digital platforms and advertising channels. In the case of direct mail, research has found the household response rate to be as high as 5.1%—significantly greater than email (0.6%), PPC (0.6%), social media (0.4%), and web display (0.2%).
Print ads generate a 20% higher emotional response than those found online, leading to a greater chance of brand engagement. This level of response was found to be even greater for those print media formats which appeal to senses beyond touch (such as smell and taste).
When it comes to brand recall, print materials are unrivalled. Print marketing materials drive significantly higher levels of recall than digital materials (77% vs. 46%), making print the ideal form of marketing for building brand awareness among a target audience.
Research by R.C. Brayshaw found that print ads require 21% less cognitive effort than online ads to consume and process. Perhaps this is why 90% of consumers (and 95% of those under 25) prefer the tactile experience of print over the detached consumption of digital.
The Types of Print Marketing Materials
As you may have gathered, there are a huge number of potential ways to leverage print marketing techniques to your business’ advantage. For maximum impact, your marketing campaign might choose to focus on one or multiple methods to build brand recognition and attract potential customers.
Broadly speaking, we can divide print marketing into three categories: print advertising, print media, and direct marketing:
Print advertising involves running branded marketing materials through established print publications and media channels. Print ads typically require a media buyer to facilitate the purchase of ad space.
Two of the most common forms of print advertising are:
Despite significant challenges posed by website-based news outlets, newspapers remain the most trusted platform for displaying advertisements and marketing materials.
With their regular publication, newspapers are the ultimate way to display timely marketing messages. What’s more, with extensive national, local, and freesheet options, newspapers offer a range of cost-effective methods for targeting the right audience in the right location.
For more information, take a look at our dedicated newspaper advertising page.
Magazines continue to be one of the most popular forms of print media, with a huge range of titles devoted to the most diverse set of niches and interests.
Their niche focus gives magazines a level of authority and reputability that is difficult to find in any other medium. Furthermore, as 70% of high-income households consume print media, magazine advertising can be the perfect way to target new customers in this affluent, educated demographic.
Visit our magazine advertising page to view case studies and in-depth information.
Unlike advertising—which takes a mass-message approach to the delivery of brand materials—direct marketing involves the targeting of a specific, pre-identified base of customers.
Email and social media are common digital platforms for direct marketing, but printing and shipping branded materials can be even more effective.
A form of letterbox advertising, direct mail is one of the most effective print marketing techniques. By sending promotional materials to a carefully-curated list of customers and potential customers, businesses are able to effectively drive both engagement and conversion.
For the greatest impact, a direct mail campaign needs to be highly targeted, and offer material that is personalised and relevant to the recipient.
Brochures and Catalogues
An evergreen marketing tool, brochures and catalogues are a fantastic way to give customers an overview of your products or services.
One of the key advantages of print marketing is that it allows businesses to give their customers a tangible experience of their brand—brochures and catalogues are the perfect way to do this, as they provide businesses with the space to really show off their design skills, company values, and USPs.
Although there is a great deal of crossover between these three categories, in this context, we define print media as any form of printed marketing collateral that is created for direct distribution by the business in question.
These printed materials are simple to manufacture, but require a discerning eye and professional design to maintain consistency and offer the best customer experience.
A must-have for any business, large or small, business cards are one of the most commonly used print marketing materials.
While their primary purpose is to act as a physical reminder of your company details, if designed correctly, business cards can also double up as a mini-billboard, promoting your brand at whichever locations they end up.
Banners and Signs
A simple, yet extremely effective form of print marketing, banners and signs are a great way to raise awareness of your business in high-traffic areas.
Whether it’s a grand opening, a sale, or a promotional event, banners and signs are an affordable way to make a big impact.
Take a look at our dedicated advertising signage page for more information.
Developing a Successful Print Marketing Campaign
As a form of marketing, print has numerous advantages. However, like all forms of advertising, there are several potential pitfalls.
Here are some things to consider for ensuring your marketing efforts aren’t in vain.
Print advertising can be used to target markets of all shapes and sizes. However, to be effective, you must gain a clear understanding of the market that is specific to your business, its values, its products, and its services.
An obvious example, but if you run a progressive brand, will your newest customer appreciate seeing your logo in a right-leaning tabloid newspaper? Similarly, for companies who take pride in their green credentials, is a set of brochures printed on non-recycled paper the best way to spread its message?
What do you hope to gain from your print advertising campaign?
If your goal is to generate brand awareness, an ad in a glossy upmarket magazine might be the best way to get your message out there. On the other hand, if you’re looking to generate sales or boost traffic to your business’ website or online store, flyers or direct mail might give you the best opportunity to reach the widest section of consumers.
Your business’ message is integral to the printing campaign you will ultimately create, and your grasp on it will greatly impact the campaign’s overall success.
No matter whether you’re proceeding down the print advertising, direct mail, or print media route, it’s vital to ensure your design work is up to scratch. You don’t just want the printed piece to make your brand stand out—you want it to engage your potential customers while showing them the quality of your products and services.
At The Bank, our marketers work with a network of professional creatives to ensure all design materials are consistent with the imagery and values of the brands they work with.
Particularly important for direct mail, brochures, and business cards is the quality of the print piece itself. Remember, your clients will be holding your materials in their hands—a low-quality product may be a sign of a low-quality service. In the case of flyers, a cheap-looking item will often go in the bin without even a second glance.
Don’t be afraid to ask your printers some tough questions:
- Do they use a traditional printing press or digital printing technology?
- Is their paper stock sustainable and renewable, or do they use other materials that are not eco-friendly?
- What special finishes can they offer?
- How quickly can they create and deliver your order?
- Can they send you an example of their past work (brochures, business cards, etc.)?
No matter the nature of your business, money is undoubtedly a key consideration. As we mentioned earlier, online ads have increased in popularity partly because of the lower investment required. And it’s true: printing is not a cheap business. Whether you’re looking at flyers, brochures, or mass-produced newspapers, the costs associated with manufacturing and shipping are often huge.
While this might make you want to run back to online advertising, the rewards associated with print marketing are significant. It’s just important that you get a clear handle on what you can afford to spend, and how likely it is that your ad or printed collateral will generate sales, leads, or new customers.
The Bank: A Comprehensive Print Marketing Solution
At The Bank, we fully believe in the power of print marketing. We’ve seen firsthand the amazing results that a well-executed campaign can generate—whether it’s increased brand awareness, more foot traffic, or higher sales.
We also believe in the power of customer-focused campaign development, which is why we work closely with every one of our clients to ensure the strategies we create and deploy are tailor-made to their specific needs and requirements.
As our client, we will work with you to develop a strategy that will target the right customer in the right way. We’ll help with all aspects of design, and will assist in finding a reputable printing studio that can meet your demands. Additionally, our media buying team will make sure your print advertisements are placed in the most effective publications, no matter your budget.
To discover how we can help your brand, contact our team today—we can’t wait to get to work!