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Print's Not Dead: The Power of Print Media Marketing

| Flourish Monthly

Today, it seems like the whole world is online. It’s easy to forget that things like print media exist! We do our marketing online, we do our networking through social media, we even take meetings over Zoom rather than go to a local coffee shop. Before the pandemic, we used the World Wide Web as a tool. Now, it seems as if we’re using the internet as a crutch. Here’s the good news though: with everyone online, printed branding materials have room to make more of an impact. Something like a postcard has never been obsolete, but that invitation to your business’s event will make more of an impact now that people only get negativity in their mailbox. Let’s talk about how to make printed marketing work with your marketing plan.


First, let’s address the obvious: just like online marketing, what will and won’t work for your marketing will depend on who your customer is and what your goals are. It’s important to know these things before you take the first step in any marketing plan. Without this foundation, you’re throwing time and money away. And we all know how valuable those are, especially as small business owners!

Also let’s talk about the phrase, “Print Media.” When we use that here, we mean any form of marketing that is not digital. We’re not getting specific! Some industries define that phrase differently than others, but we like to use that phrase interchangeably with “Traditional Media” or “Physical Media.” All we mean here is things like brochures, postcards, fliers, business cards, etc.

Print Media is Physical

When you get a wedding invitation in the mail, what do you do with it? We’re guessing you follow the RSVP instructions and browse the registry and all the other incessant steps the couple requests that you take. But then what do you do with it? Most people put the invitation on their fridge. We do this out of habit, but also so we can keep their wedding in mind. Putting the invitation on the fridge helps us remember that we made a commitment to attend 6+ months from now. The same thing applies to a postcard or flier.

Print Media is Real

Have you ever thought about how fake the internet can be? Not just people commenting mean things - things that they’d never say in person - on a social media post. Once your client puts their phone down, that beautiful post on your business page that you spent a lot of time on just disappears. When that client has the materials in front of them, your brochure becomes real. Because there’s a level of sensory input, your potential customer will remember it much more vividly than random pixels on a screen. According to Entrepreneur, even just “the act of physically interacting with the paper of a book stimulates the memory section of your brain more than a screen can.” The whole point of marketing is to get that ideal client to remember you when they need the product or service you offer, right?

It’s Easier to Advertise in Print Media

Everyone does everything they can to avoid ads online. There are countless ad blocker plugins available for every web browser that exists because so many people “hate ads.” In fact, in 2020, an estimated 42.7% of all internet users had an ad block plugin installed. But in print media like magazines, advertisements are a part of the culture. Ads are expected and part of the experience. In fact, magazines have barely seen any decrease in readership over the past eight years. Isn’t that crazy? In 2021, there were 222.2 million magazine readers aged 18 or older in the US, which was an increase of 300 thousand readers from the previous year. This is because magazine readership is made up of a niche, predictable audience. It’s the same concept as whether you should be creating content for Facebook or for Pinterest: if your ideal client is reading magazines, you should be advertising in magazines!

For all you nerdy people out there (this author included), here’s a pro and cons list to print media to help you determine if you should add it to your marketing strategy:

Pros:

  • Sensory experience.
  • Builds credibility.
  • High exposure.
  • Less competitive.
  • Longevity.

Cons:

  • Potentially high cost.
  • Can take weeks to appear in publications.
  • Can’t make changes after print.
  • No fine-tuned audience for targeting.
  • No statistics or analytics to adapt your strategy.

Print media can be an incredibly valuable tool for your marketing plan. It works best when mixed in several media, including digital media. Your potential client having something they can hold in their hands means they’re less likely to experience, “out of sight, out of mind.” The sensory experience also stimulates their brain to remember what they’re holding. What a perfect opportunity to use specific textured materials! Print media is also an easier market to access, with more people turning to the internet for their advertising. So what do you think? Does this make you want to mail a postcard to your clients to wish them a Happy Easter? Sending something physical to your clients to keep you on their brain is an under-valued strategy. If you need help figuring out which medium will work best for your company, we’d love to have a strategy session with you! We’ll talk about what ideas you have and help you apply them to your ideal client. And if you already know what you want but need someone to put it together for you, we can do that too! Reach out to book a consultation, and we’ll get you started toward achieving your marketing goals.


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