In 2022, it seems like everything has gone digital. On social media alone, more than 3 billion people globally are active users. Not to mention that 88% of the U.S. population over the age of 11 owns a smartphone! That's around 250 million people connected digitally.
Most of us are glued to digital content all day long: websites, emails, blogs (like this one!), and videos just to name a few. With so much content accessible at our fingertips, does print still have a place in the world?
Why print products persevere
Despite the appeal and benefits of digital media, there are still lots of ways that print is more effective.
Convey importance. Because print is a lasting medium and often a bigger investment, its content feels more important. Consider the permanence of wall graphics in an office—the deliberate choices and planning involved signify importance. Similarly, the tactile experience of holding a magazine or printed correspondence shows the recipient that the company is committed to investing in a quality experience. This first touchpoint is the first sign to potential customers of the quality the company wants to be known for.
Play on emotions. Most people like using or viewing print materials for deep-rooted psychological reasons. For one, complex information is better understood in print form. For another, people need to actively engage with print materials, even if it's a sign they are walking by. This leads to better recall of the content than digital formats that can be passively scrolled by. There's also a certain nostalgic aspect to print in today's world, reminding people of simpler times and a certain permanence of things they treasure (like books, collectible magazines, etc.).
Cut through the noise. There is so much digital content available that we're experiencing a collective fatigue. Email is often touted as the cheapest form of advertising for businesses, but 40% of consumers say they have at least 50 unread emails in their inboxes. Even in social media, marketers in all industries are finding so much competition for consumers' attention that it's increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Prove ROI on your efforts. Even with analytics and reporting built into most social media, email, and website platforms, it's often difficult to prove the ROI on those channels. Most companies, even if they have quantitative data, can't show the exact value of their efforts. Print media can be tracked and measured in ways that directly support the return on investment and prove their value. If you’re interested in a trackable direct mail marketing campaign, we’d love to help!
Maximizing the effectiveness of print
We've made the case for keeping print media alive and in your marketing toolkit. So, what are the most effective ways to use print in your marketing mix?
Give the customers what they want. Customers typically operate on the theory of "you get what you pay for." In fact, 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience. Convey your quality through your print marketing, whether it's direct mail, wall graphics, point of purchase displays, or vehicle wraps. Provide an outstanding customer experience at every touch point, and your customers will follow through. A best practice for outstanding customer experience includes segmenting your audience and providing print collateral that speaks to each group specifically.
Monitor and adapt according to data. It's critical that you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns in today's economy. Perform quality tests that can inform and guide your next moves. For example, invest your time in mapping out each customer journey. By understanding the actions they want to take and the paths they will follow, you can deliver what they want, when they want it. Another great test is the A/B test, which can give you concrete data for moving forward in the most effective way.
Stand behind your brand values. 64% of customers say that their commitment to a specific brand is due to shared values. Especially important to Gen Z and Millennials, the things a brand stands for are the basis for decision making among consumers. You can convey your values through the use of certain print materials (including sustainable stock and ink choices) as well as the messaging used.
There you have it—print is very much alive in 2022 and beyond! The original medium remains a critical part of your marketing mix in today's digital age. If you’re interested in a personalized direct mail campaign to target your customers, we’re here to help.