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Is Print Marketing Dead?

Some people may consider print marketing tactics to be as ancient as their predecessor, parietal art displays. In a world that is now digital, the question of whether print marketing is relevant seems to constantly come to mind. It makes many of us ask, “Is print marketing dead?”

When searching for answers on the internet, many companies have their own thoughts on the topic. Catalog-driven companies swear that it’s the most relevant source of communication in existence (naturally). Digital advertising companies swear that print marketing is a complete a waste of money and time (naturally).

So, who is actually telling you the truth and answering the question, “Is print marketing dead or actually relevant for my business?” In answering, we would say that both the magazine and digital marketing companies are actually correct.

How Is This Possible?

When different companies are assessed, they typically have one thing in common: they’re different. There is no “one size fits all” answer to the question, “Is print marketing dead?”, because the world is simply… not that simple.

Target customers are diverse. No one customer will ever be the same. Each company has it’s own unique set of offerings, products, and services that, in return, need to meet the needs of each one of these customers.

So, what’s the best way to communicate with this vast pool of diversity? To answer this question, we need to consider how different business types have successfully marketed their products and services.

Let’s take a look at some business categories and examine if print marketing or digital marketing tactics have worked for them, and why.

Non-Profit: The Powerhouse of Print

Non-profits are notorious for utilizing direct mailings and print marketing. They’re typically the least engaged in updating their operational procedures to reflect the current trends in marketing and communication, but why is that?

Remember, nonprofits typically depend on grants and private funding. They’re held at a higher level of accountability for their spending. If it’s not broken, they typically don’t try to fix it. We’ve all received letters asking for donations, or a bag to donate our clothes and leave on our doorstep. All of these are direct mail efforts that can be costly. The question is then, “Does it really work?”. Our answer would be: absolutely, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

Everydoordirectmail.com actually conducted a study that has shown that 75% of individuals who received physical advertisements were able to recall the advertisement and its content. Opposed to the 44% rate of the same audience who received the ad in digital form. Direct mail also generates an average ROI of 15-17% for most companies, which is pretty impressive.

Before you throw your digital marketing  baby out with the bathwater, consider this for a moment. Direct mail and print marketing have their place and are relevant; however they are not completely balanced without their digital counterpart. Print marketing has been shown to be successful with individuals between the ages of 40 and 65, but what about the rest of the population? Do they matter? What are they valued at within your market sphere? Answering these questions matters before making the decision between choosing print or digital marketing

Millennials, Hipsters, and the Other 40%

We constantly hear the phrase, “Well, that’s a millennial for you…”, but what does that actually mean? Many people either love or loathe the classification of being called a Millennial. In today’s world, the millennial audience is considered the mystery marketing demographic. Millennials are a unique age group that many companies are having a hard time understanding how to market to. They’re on the rise – beginning new successful businesses and startups – accomplishing much more in a shorter amount of time. But how are they doing it?

If you were to ask a Millennial how they achieve success, they would need to answer you first by looking up from their smartphone or tablet. They’re constantly online and primarily marketing through digital media sources and social platforms. They’re 100% all in for digital marketing and may not even know what direct mail is. But, what are they missing?

Let’s hear what Millennial Chelsea Krost has to say about Marketing to Millennials.

Chelsea Krost Keynote Speaker “Marketing To Millennials” Caesars Events Annual Meeting

The Great Divide

There is a huge gap between young and old, print and digital, online and in-person; with regards to selling and marketing goods and services. This great divide has brought great success to many businesses, but it hasn’t necessarily increased and diversified their reach.

In any successful company, utilizing the most diverse and effective strategy is key to developing success within your industry. Regarding the questions,“Is print marketing dead?”, our final answer would be to make sure that you’re incorporating both digital marketing and print marketing in your business. This will allow you to reach your entire customer base effectively and efficiently

Is Print Marketing Dead?

Print marketing has incredible potential to reach audiences at many different levels. Any marketing efforts that you conduct should be measurable and help justify your spend. Some print outlets may not be measurable, so make sure that you’re spending your money where the results are proven first.

Digital marketing should also be added to your mix to provide you with the best tools possible. Hiring a digital marketing agency can be expensive, but if you hire the right one, the extra spend could well be worth the investment. If you’d rather run the show on your own, make sure that you’re optimizing the best software possible.

Print marketing is not dead. It must go hand in hand with digital marketing to effectively market and target who your business wants to reach. Be selective with your vendor and shop around for pricing. Ask the experts to make sure that your print marketing efforts aren’t in vain.

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