The Value of Print

What is the value of print? There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not print is dead and the question of which is better; print advertisements or digital advertisements? Truth is, it’s not a question of which but more a question of when… When is digital advertising beneficial and when is print advertising beneficial?

In this blog, we want to show you the true value of print, when you should use it, and how to get the best ROI. Before we get into that, we’ve covered off some of the myths surrounding print and digital marketing.


Myth Busting

“I have a young target audience, so I don’t need print” – Well actually that’s where you’re wrong. According to MarketingProfs, 92% of 18-23-year-olds find it easier to read printed content than digital.

“Email marketing performs better than print” – In fact, the response rate to direct-mail
marketing was 37% higher than for email in the last report from MarketingProfs.

“Everyone uses the internet to find information now” – That’s not so true. Although they will most likely search for your product or brand, the report from MarketingProfs shows that consumers trust print ads 34% more than search engine ads for making purchasing decisions.


Targeted advertising to specific audiences

If your business is restricted/specific to geographical areas then print can be a great way to focus your advertising and spend where it matters. After all the internet is called the World Wide Web for
a reason and if you own a takeaway that will only deliver within a 5-mile radius then reaching people outside of that proximity won’t add any value to your business. However, ensuring that every house within that 5-mile radius is aware of your business and has a menu could increase your brand awareness and revenue almost immediately.

Another example might be a medical payment plan or some form of a medicinal product. In this case, your targeted audience may be of an older generation which means they’re less likely to be scrolling the internet or have a Facebook page. Not only that, but senior citizens are known to be more likely to read long-page copy. So why not advertise to them with a leaflet in the waiting room of the pharmacy or doctor’s office? This way you’re reaching them directly where they’re most likely to want to read the information you have to offer.

Print is particularly useful when your target audience are members of a group or an association. Members of these associations will often read their publications to learn more about upcoming events and classes. They are usually distributed at member meetings and the readers have a lot of trust in these publications and are interested in what they have to say. This presents a great opportunity for printed advertisements.

Print - Targeted Advertising


Provide consumers with something tangible

The best businesses will often use a mixture of digital and print advertisements within their campaigns to get the best response and ROI from both online and physical readers. However, in a world where people are becoming more oblivious to digital advertising, publications hold a certain prestige that you can’t get elsewhere. Not only does this tangible platform resonate well with luxury consumers and clients but in certain industries, you may find that it performs much better. For example, you might find that construction workers would prefer to have a technical booklet rather
than a technical CD. This way they can read it on-site when required and they won’t need to visit the office.


Modern print

Investing in print advertisements doesn’t mean you have to put your ad in the paper. The world has moved on! Thanks to smart technology and advances in AR and image recognition, you could offer something that immediately sets you apart from your competitors. Whether it’s as simple as putting a QR code on your print or something more intricate. Glacial and Motorola have both got some great examples of this. Glacial made a full-page ad with salt particles which reduce the freezing point of water. This meant that readers could soak the ad in water, wrap it around a bottle and put it in the freezer for a quick cold beer. Whereas Motorola went a completely different way about things. They teamed up with Wired to create a clever print ad that allowed you to change the colour of the phone on the page by pressing buttons.

Print Ad - Glacial
Being memorable

Unlike digital advertisements that get forgotten about, print is still there. This is why print often has a much higher ROI than digital. For example, most of us have probably received a Domino’s leaflet at some point. Chances are, every time you see that leaflet, you want to order Domino’s, don’t you? That’s the trick to print that you just don’t quite get from digital advertising.

When those publications live in doctors’ offices or other public spaces, they get a longer shelf life and will be seen by more people. Whereas online, you are relying on people to know who you are and already have your business on their mind.

Memorable Print


More sustainable than you might think

The world has become much more environmentally conscious than it used to be, and rightfully so, but what does this mean for print? Well, contrary to what you might believe, paper isn’t as harmful as you would imagine. Love Paper is a global campaign promoting the sustainable and attractive attributes of print and paper and is supported by many industries. According to Two Sides:

  • European forests, which provide wood for making paper, have been growing by over 1,500 football pitches every day.
  • 72% of paper and paper packaging is recycled into new products; one of the highest recycling rates of any material in Europe.
  • 60% of the energy used to produce paper and paper packaging in Europe comes from renewable sources.

Sustainable Print


In conclusion, we would always advise that you find a complementary balance between print and digital for a multidimensional approach that will gain you the highest ROI but here are the main factors to take from this.

  • Young people still read magazines and publications.
  • Print doesn’t have to be strictly traditional, adding digital elements and the opportunity to learn more or sign up online is the modern way forward.
  • 65% of people are visual learners, make sure you add some visual elements to attract those people and engage with them
  • Print doesn’t have to be damaging to the environment and there are plenty of ways to make sure that it isn’t.
  • Digital ads can be forgotten in an instant, but print stands the test of time.

If you want advice on how to put the best marketing campaign together and include print advertisements, or you need help with making your print engaging then please get in touch.

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