It is common is misconception that print for advertising, is slowly on its way out. After all, now that social media exists, why would you ever need to print a leaflet? Well, if you ask the marketers – that’s simply not the case, and recent world events make print more relevant than ever.
Replacing often cumbersome, manual processes with streamlined digital ones is undoubtedly the right way to go for many business processes. Email replaced fax a long time ago and tools like Teams and Slack look set to replace email, but print as a part of carrying out day to day tasks remains the favoured way of working for 68% of people. Where digitisation is desired document sharing platforms help to store and share work securely.
Does digital reign supreme?
But does digitising the workplace mean that print will eventually be no longer necessary? Probably not. Aside from many businesses needing to use their printers to carry out their services, one other key area of business that will always rely on print is marketing.
It’s true that digital marketing has transformed the way companies reach and interact with customers and it allows for greater agility. Once upon a time, it was even considered that digital marketing would completely replace traditional marketing (in particular print) which can often be considered as time consuming and expensive.
However, it’s clear that digital marketing alone is not enough to reach and convert every customer. And in actual fact, both traditional and digital marketing play an equally vital role in the customer journey.
The power of print
Print has an edge over digital. Quite literally.
Research has proven that physical advertising such as leaflets, direct mailers, and flyers have a far longer-lasting impact than digital advertising. This is unsurprising given how busy the digital landscape is. Physical print can cut through the noise.
It has been found that people spend more time looking at physical advertising than online. The beauty of print is that it truly offers a unique experience, it is tangible therefore it is more immersive than a stand-alone digital advert online.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should immediately tear up your digital campaign plans. Digital advertising has its own advantages. Video content, for example, is a great way to entertain as well as educate and is one of the fasting growing forms of content marketing.
Including both print and digital as part of your overall strategy is the key to success.
The art of the simple letter
One thing that really does deliver is direct mailings (pun intended!). Personal in nature, direct mail is one of the most responsive forms of marketing. An effective mailing campaign can be anything from a fancy colourful newsletter with multiple inserts to a much simpler letter printed using the office printer.
Mailings work well because of the level of personalisation. And because people spend more time looking at printed materials, you have the luxury of being able to add detailed information something you can rarely do with digital advertising.
Office printers (have not) left the building
With print adding real value to marketers everywhere it is encouraging to see a bright future lies ahead. Print is not going anywhere but how we use it and the technology that goes along with it will continue to evolve. Integrating print and digital is where the real excitement is – barcodes on leaflets that you scan with your phone to complete the journey digitally is all within reach.
Even your office printer has more potential than you realise. It can offer so much more than a mere instrument to keep the business operations going. As the office scanner, it’s a gateway to getting documents in to your document management system, as a printer it supports valuable and memorable customer communications – a true route to reach more of your customers at a low cost.
Office printer or marketing machine?
As a marketing tool it can provide much needed back up to the print jobs which your outsource to the local print-house. Not every campaign needs an A5 leaflet, not every communication needs to be a glossy print. A colour A3 printer with a finisher can provide A5 or A4 folded and stapled documents, ideal for quickly packaging up information in to a marketing tool.
Take estate agencies, who sell a premium product to a generation which is often more comfortable with a printed brochure – the ability to quickly print a brochure whilst someone is in store is priceless, the potential buyer gets “a thing” to take away, even though the real product is intangible until the sale is complete.
Restaurants, as they re-open menus will need to be disposable and cheap to produce, unless the establishment in question is buying £700 iPads for each table and cleaning them down completely between visits – self printing is the best way to handle this in our new way of life.
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