Print is not dead. While we live in a digital age, print still has a valuable role in marketing campaigns. In a recent MarktingSherpa survey, 82% of consumers indicated they trust print ads when making purchasing decisions, a greater percentage than any other ad medium. A recent study in the UK that measured brain activity in response to direct mail, email and social media found that the promotions received via mail had a 49% longer impact on consumers’ memory than email and a 35% stronger impact than social media. The study also discovered that consumers were most likely to remember a business or message if they saw direct mail first, then a digital ad.
For any marketing campaign to be successful, you need to use a combination of print and digital communications. If a print piece is well-designed for its intended audience, people will open and read it. Printed material provides something tangible for consumers to engage with, tapping into their sense of touch in addition to providing a visual experience. Neuroscience research confirms that print media stimulates a greater emotional response and influences consumers in a positive way, particularly with high-value goods such as fashion and luxury brands.
Print today is more personalized and more engaging than it was 30 years ago. It gives the consumer something to hold onto and read again when they have time. At a time of heightened consumer concern over personal data collection associated with digital marketing and advertising, there is a trust and confidence factor with print materials.
Below are some tips for successful print campaigns:
- Keep it simple. Use a clean design, eye-catching photos or other visuals, attention-grabbing headlines, and minimal text.
- Try to have something unique in the folding or binding of the piece. You want the piece to stand out to the target audience and encourage them to pick it up. Examples include embossing to provide texture and depth, or inside pieces that pop up upon opening.
- Think about stimulating recipients’ senses beyond touch. Depending on what is being promoted, adding glitter to the inside of the piece or possibly aroma (ex: food products) can enhance a recipient’s response and increase the likelihood of a purchase.
- Integrate with digital. Provide a link that sends people to your website to get more information and/or perform the requested action – sign up, make a purchase, etc. Your website gives you an opportunity to engage your customers on a deeper level. For example, HBP provided wide-format signage to the National Zoo for events. The signs featured a QR code that attendees could scan with their phones and learn more about the various animals featured on the posters.
- Think about your subject matter and theme of your project when choosing the materials and design. We recently worked with Terry Virts, Captain of the International Space Station, on a book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Given the historical nature of the piece, the designers chose to use a leather cover, adorned with an illustration of an eagle and stars. Recreating a historical piece works better in print than digital. It gives people something to hold and experience.
We recognize that many people have concerns about the environmental consequences of using print materials and consider digital communications to be more sustainable. At HBP, we use recycled paper products with no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and many other printing companies do as well.
While print marketing has been eclipsed in recent years by digital channels, print is still an integral and valuable tool for customer engagement. The most successful campaigns will combine print and digital communications that resonate with the target audience and lead them to take the desired action.
HBP is a proud AMA Baltimore sponsor. To learn more about HBP, visit their website.