Monday, April 13, 2015

Why Traditional Printing is still Important to Your Business


We all fall in love with the latest and greatest technology, tools and digital marketing processes. If you Google "the death of Television" you'll find over 228 million links to articles on this topic.

But, TV is alive and kicking even in this digital soaked age and there are interesting parallels with print.

I don't think print as a medium or advertising vehicle is dead. Far from it, print as an au contraire marketing strategy can be cool.

Handing a potential client something with an eye-catching image on excellent paper stock may in fact outlive any/all manner of digital "contact" including email, text or yet another social share.

Print gives you a Tactile way to Engage Consumers

In my work with clients I tell them print is still around for good reason. Print is tactile and it gives the recipient something to feel, touch, experience and even treasure, if you are using the medium properly.

Today, people are screen distracted -
they are staring into screens on a 24/7 basis and print pulls them away and if done properly, can be compelling and really help to make your business stand out in the recipient's mind.

The web in it's always on digital personality is to a certain extent a victim of it's own limitations as a broadcast engagement medium, as Marshall McLuhan made clear back in the 70's.

And, yes, retro is "in" as a cultural imperative and
driving strategic and tactical marketing: see all things "Mad Men" coming back into style, including cool graphics and using print as an effective storytelling medium.


Eight Ways to Differentiate Your Brand with Print

It still garners attention as an offset to digital "media" and messages. Note the drop off publications you receive as a consumer and a business owner. Less means there is more opportunity for your brand to stand out using print.

See the Mad Men cultural reference above: everything old is new again and print is leading the charge. Use print creatively (odd sizes, juxtaposed colors, fonts on steroids, etc.) to make an immediate impression for your business. Print, like TV is seeing a resurgence in a many markets.

Print forces the recipients to disconnect and unplug from the constant digital drumbeat and if you integrate calls to action with the medium, which can be, digital BTW, you are leveraging both mediums simultaneously: digital and print.

A printed hand out if well done gives you an opportunity to share long form informative content with your market and unlike digital, its inherent "shelf life" is virtually unlimited. Don't be boring with print: takes risks with your content and know standing out is critical to getting some brand resonance.

Print has no magical qualities; you're still fighting a distraction battle with "digital natives." But, you have a fighting chance to stand out. #gobig #goirregular

Print media still has high perceived value by many. Tell a customer or strategic partner you are going to mention them in some form of printed marketing materials and you'll get almost immediate interest and/or excitement via the other party. Clearly, there is a perceived value with print, unlike digital.

Use your mail list to create free publication that goes out to your entire list. Saving you a fee of $2-4. per subscriber cost you would be paying for list purchase or advertising. And, leverage your print costs further by charging third parties fees to advertise in the publication, which will help you offset your fixed costs or production and printing.

Think of print as a semi-permanent high value reference guide that answers questions
your customers want to ask. Print is a malleable medium and will again deliver high perceived value if you think about it as a delivery mechanism that informs and engages the recipient in a unique manner.

Contrary to what many think, millennials do engage with print ads
and in some cases a staid print ad can deliver better ROI than digital.

Every marketing strategy has a burdened cost and print is no different. But, print is making resurgence with many businesses and it can and should be an integral part of your overall content marketing mix.

Related Posts and Bon Mots on Marketing Strategy

"How Content Heroes and Heroines are Made Not Born"

"What I Learned About Social Media from Andy Warhol"

"Why so Many Web Site Designs are Lipstick on a Pig"

"Content is Everywhere and Anything"

"Ten Steps to an Effective Content Strategy"

"How to Win Your Darwinian Digital Battles"

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