Print Marketing: Alive and Kicking!

Marketing is a very important function in any business. Apart from persuading people to buy the company’s products, it also seeks to give them more information about those products, their characteristics, their purposes and how they are used. Responsible and quality marketing also seeks to inform potential customers about the side effects of the product when improperly used. Marketing is also about creating a name for a business, enhancing its reputation and earning a competitive edge over competitors in the market. Quality marketing, therefore, is essential for a business to succeed.

print marketing
Image by Christian Paul

Over recent years, with the emergency of internet technology, marketing formats have evolved tremendously. Some companies seem to have dumped print marketing entirely to focus on online and other non-print options. This trend is being fueled by the fact that most people are now connected to the internet, which means that online marketing offers a very big market potential.

Non-print marketing includes social media marketing on sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as mobile ads for smartphone users of these social networks. While it is true that these types of social media and similar marketing campaigns can reach a very large audience, some still question their effectiveness in actually converting this audience to paying customers. These media postings are becoming so common that many people have learned to simply tune them out and now barely even see them. This can be very costly to a business.

Another common form of internet marketing is email marketing, which involves sending emails to potential customers; pay per click ads on search engine results pages are also widely used today. Again, however, these types of ads do not guarantee purchases and are frequently not even noticed by today’s tech-savvy viewers.

The proliferation of paperless marketing has led many in business to wonder if print marketing is dead. However, this is an extremely misguided assumption; print marketing is alive and well, and it has a vital place in today’s business world. Print marketing can be extremely effective because it is much more directed to its audience. The company only prints for the target audience; this is much more cost effective and, unlike internet marketing, has an improved power to persuade and appeal. Non-print marketing tends to aim at a much broader and more general audience and therefore lacks persuasion power.

Print marketing is very convenient for small scale businesses with a fairly narrow customer base. For example, a service venture like a plumber that only targets individuals in a relatively small geographic area will often see solid results from simple 2″ x 3″ cards that potential clients can take with them, serving as a constant reminder whenever they need that plumber’s services. The plumbing firm can also have posters printed informing potential customers about their services, location, working hours and similar details.

Print marketing can also be very flexible, especially in situations where the market is well known to the business. They are able to monitor the changing consumption patterns and therefore adjust their ad campaign accordingly, whether they are using newspaper or magazine ads, handouts, poster or any other print medium. This is rarely the case with non-print marketing because it generally aims at broadcasting to the masses, with limited specialization capabilities.

In addition, with print marketing, the message of the ad tends to stick better because customers are able to hold onto it and reread it as necessary. Non-print marketing can make it difficult to store information for future reference.

A final benefit of print marketing is that the business is able to create strong bonds with its customers through brand enhancement. This fosters customer loyalty as long term relationships between the business and the customers emerge. This is critical for any business because information flows freely from customers to business and from business to customers; the few brief lines of text included in most non-print ads make building any meaningful relationship difficult, to say the least.

About the Author: Blog post contributed by John Sollars, the owner of StinkyInk – providers of printing materials for home and business. John has extensive experience in the printing industry and enjoys sharing his insights.