What’s the experience?
At this point, nearly everyone knows that marketing is everywhere, especially in an age where our work and personal lives are plugged into a screen. You get home from a long day at work, throw YouTube up on your laptop and patiently sit through your two 15-second unskippable ads. If you’re seeing something that you’re interested in, you might make a mental note. If it’s the same ad that you’ve been seeing on YouTube for the past 3 weeks, you might bring it up to a friend if it makes you feel strongly enough. For example, the Tubi Super Bowl advertisement that had the nation looking for their remote.
While digital marketing engages your audience’s visual and auditory senses, print marketing utilizes a person’s tactile sense; it’s a form of marketing that has a tangible presence in the world. Researchers believe that if you’re able to physically touch something, you’re more likely to remember it.
How receptive is your audience?
While digital marketing is still a vital strategy for most companies on the planet, more and more people are growing tired of the barrage of advertisements and pop-ups when they’re online. In 2019, Statista reported that 28.5% of internet-users were using an ad blocker, and various reports indicate that number could be up to 40% today.
It’s an understatement to say that print marketing has been around for a long time. The very first print advertisement can be traced back all the way to 3000 BC, and print as we know it today has been around for hundreds of years. Reportedly, people are more likely to trust print marketing than digital marketing, especially for small business.
Is your campaign successful?
One of the major drawbacks of print is the difficulty of measuring KPIs and your ROI. If you send out 10,000 brochures and you get 5% more sales than last quarter, how much of it was due to the brochures? With digital marketing, it’s easy to track clicks, conversions, and retarget ads. With print though, you might need to get a bit more creative. Using a QR code, creating a new phone number for your print campaign, including a hashtag to get a social media buzz going, or offering a specific coupon code are all ways to measure success.
Who is seeing it?
Knowing your audience is a marketer’s #1 job. Older adults aren’t as engaged with technology, and the younger generation is moving further away from paper every year. If you’re selling an online copywriting course to the next generation of copywriters, you may not want to spend money on printing and distributing brochures for your course. On the other hand, products and services targeted towards certain audiences may be more successful in print. The location of your audience is also a deciding factor. While many large corporations are still utilizing physical marketing, it also makes sense to use Facebook and LinkedIn advertisements to reach as wide of an audience as possible, as quickly as possible.
Which method should I choose?
While digital marketing might make more sense than print in some campaigns (and vice versa), implementing a hybrid strategy will give your campaign the strengths and cover the weaknesses of both methods. If you’re opening the second location of your soon-to-be chain, you may want to distribute flyers to locals, get a spot in the local newspaper, and use social media to generate buzz.
The average buyer needs to be exposed to a brand 7 times before purchase. Even if they’ve already seen it 7 times, you can still increase your brand recognition by engaging in different mediums. Sending a pamphlet with a QR code that leads to your website or social media engages their visual, auditory, and tactile senses which will keep you in their brain for longer. After they scan the code, it’s easy to retarget digital advertisements to remind them that you’re there.