Print as a promotional and educational marketing tool – more marketable than ever

In 2015, small businesses and Associations have a golden opportunity to stand out and differentiate brands through creative marketing and print – especially with the Internet as a competitor for marketing spend.

Bambi MagazineBack in 2013 (yes, light years ago in online terms), Joe Poluzzi, influencer and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, wrote an article on the power of print, titled, ‘Why are Marketers Blind to the Power of Print?’

In this article he bases his opinion on Content Marketing Institute research that says only one in three marketers use the printed channel as part of their content marketing strategies. We all know that marketers and marketing strategies need to be where customers are at, but they are so focussed on digital channels that they have forgotten one key fact: we as consumers are not only online.

We need real world experiences for our audience and potential audiences – and that is not only available in the online spectrum.

Translated into a brand opportunity then, wouldn’t print marketing be the ideal channel to market your brand to stand out from the field?

We think so. Not just because we are print management experts, but we have seen the rise of the internet as a communication medium at the same time as plying our trade. And we know that print has its advantages, especially to audiences and agencies trying to connect to them.

Here are the eight reasons that Joe says you should consider print as your promotional channel:

  1. It grabs attention: a trade magazine is already channel focused by way of direct mailing to its customer, but as a tangible item (sitting in a Dentist’s waiting room, for example), more attention is paid to each piece in isolation.
  2. Customer retention: with internet bombardment constantly trying to grab attention and convert behaviour, the historic reason why magazines and newsletters were developed (customer retention) is now more important than ever – to inform and entertain is as important as conversion.
  3. Audience development: direct to the customer via mailing list, the distribution factor is simple when compared to investment via non-validated addresses, or lead-generation activity before that. Now we are not the experts in marketing here, but Joe does seem to have a point in terms of streamlined audience development being an organically managed thing through mailing lists…
  4. No advertisers: print isn’t dead, it just isn’t being supported by advertisers in the way it used to, because internet advertising is the current focus. However, if we are talking about a brand using print channels to promote their own services or information, then it would make sense to customise and plan out selected advertising or pagination, right? No reliance on advertisers means less pages possibly, but more flexibility in how your project might look.
  5. Old is new again: Looking to connect with audiences in a unique way? Like the rise of vinyl in the music industry, historical forms of communication such as print magazines are seen as authentic – and trustworthy – forms of communication.
  6. Information is still information in print: Google isn’t real information, it is posts by unvalidated sources (well, mostly). Therefore, print is more trustworthy as it is usually accredited, validated and peer-reviewed.
  7. Print is exciting: Print is still credible and for that reason, it is easier to get people to do interviews for printed magazines than online blogs. Joe says: “We’ve seen this firsthand with our magazine, Chief Content Officer. Contributors love being featured on the website, but they crave having their article in the printed magazine. It’s amazing how different the perception is of the print versus online channel when it comes to editorial contribution. This goes as well for consumers.”
  8. Print = relaxation: People are choosing to unplug and when relaxing on a beach vacation, a book is still the first choice for good holiday vibes. Joe suggests:

For example, our entire family does “electronics-free Saturday.” This means no computer, no iPhone, no Xbox, no email, no Facebook. We’ve been doing this since January of 2012, and although it’s been challenging, it’s also been an amazing experience for our family. We are better human beings for it. I cannot recommend this enough for families with or without children.

So if you are a small business, creative agency or Association and need help planning your next newsletter, please consider printing it. Coleface can definately help with the print part but we would also love to read it!

If you liked this post, please share it and click on the FOLLOW buttons to get more! If you love printing, get the latest email updates by subscribing here. Sydney print management experts Coleface Print Management and Production provide advice and support for our clients on all aspects of printing and production such as digital, large format and offset printing, point of sale, packaging and mail management. Written by @Olsonwells.

Photocredit: BambiMag