By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Though the advent of the internet still causes many to predict doom for the world of print, marketers in recent years have proven such a prophecy to be what we might call, well, “fake news.”
Rather, marketers have found that print marketing with its variety of tools — direct mail among them — attracts new customers, increases repeat sales and enhances a company’s relationship with current customers. And print can add even more value when combined with other marketing strategies, such as IP address targeting.
Here we offer five reasons why your business should consider print to be a key part of its marketing plan:
1) You Can Reach Local or Niche Markets More Directly
If you’re a small business marketer serving a local audience, particularly, you should consider ads in local newspapers, city guides and magazines. People subscribe to these products because they focus on local news and events — and subscribers represent about 90 percent of these publications’ circulations.
Already advertising in local publications? Then you’ve already delved into a cornerstone of what’s becoming more of a subscription-based economy in the digital advertising world, as well (think subscriptions to such popular brands as Netflix, Home Chef, ipsy, Dollar Shave Club and the like).
2) Print Readers Are More Engaged
Digital readers might spend two or three minutes at a time on their devices, but research has shown that readers of established, branded magazines spend an average of 25 minutes at a time scanning the printed pages before them.
Why such increased time engagement? Because magazines are targeted to readers who have decided to spend money for content that’s more pertinent to their worlds and interests. These readers also find comfort in knowing that they’re not being tracked by some sort of search engine and that their reading will not be suddenly interrupted by pop-up ads.
3) Direct Mail, Particularly, Remains a Key Marketing Force
Whether it’s a tempting coupon offer for credit-card holders of a major department store or an insurance company promising lower monthly premiums, direct mail is a marketing option with a customer base that encompasses anybody with a mailbox.
In addition to coupons, direct mail marketing also can come in such forms as postcards, special offers, advertising circulars, free newspapers and catalogs.
Consider these statistics compiled by the National Association of Advertisers: More than 121 billion pieces of mail were received by U.S. households in 2017; about 42 percent of mail recipients read catalogs that are sent to them; and, 30 percent of people polled in one recent study said a catalog sent them online to shop (for millennials and Gen-Xers, that rate was 38 percent).
4) Adding Print to Programmatic Delivers Results
More marketers are using print as one of several ingredients in their marketing mix, finding that a business can target the audience it wants more effectively when a programmatic strategy, such as geo-targeting, also is added to the arsenal.
Especially with the aid of a marketing consultant, your company can focus its print marketing attention on: managed campaigns, be they direct mail, newspapers or magazines; managed digital, direct-mail campaigns, through the use of IP address targeting; attaining not only a local reach, but regional and national reaches as well; and, performance analysis and reporting.
5) Print Supplies a Sensory Experience That Digital Can’t Emulate
Yes, newspaper readership has suffered steady declines since 2000, but, there still were circulations of 31 million weekday subscribers and 34 million Sunday subscribers in the United States in 2017, according to the Pew Research Center for Journalism and Media.
A bulk of these readers are looking for local news, and many of them take time to inspect alluring ads as they turn their daily pages of newsprint.
Alas, there are still plenty of people who get an emotional lift from picking up a newspaper from their porch each morning and then perusing its contents — as the aroma of ink, newsprint and the day’s first cup of coffee all combine to hoist their daily adrenaline.