Does traditional print marketing still have a place in our digitally enhanced world? We believe it does, and in this blog we look to explore the arguments for digital marketing and branding, and for keeping up investment in print, before asking - does it have to be a case of one or the other?
The Case for Digital Marketing
One key advantage digital marketing has over print is the ready availability of high quality reporting metrics. When combined with data analysis tools, it is relatively easy to define and collect large streams of performance statistics and demographic data, showing a clear picture of who the campaign has reached, where it reached them, and what they did. Moreover, this can be analysed in real time, so campaigns can be adjusted quickly and on the go.
Digital marketing can also be much faster moving than print, which makes it more agile and responsive. With print campaigns, there can be a lead time while the materials get made. With something like social media marketing, for example, new content can be created with a few clicks of a button. This makes it much easier to keep adapting campaigns as you go, but also to engage directly with audiences - digital media makes it easy to have a dialogue with customers, whether it is responding to comments or simply liking a post.
All of the above advantages combine to make digital marketing much more personal. This is partly down to the ease of direct interaction with customers, but also relies again on good use of data. When data collected about online behaviour reveals an individual’s habits and preferences, marketers are able to tailor their messages accordingly.
The Case for Print
It is often easy to assume that young people growing up in a digital world unanimously prefer to digest information and interact online on their chosen smart device. This is not supported by research - figures suggest that half of millennials are against the idea of print disappearing in favour of digital. Marketers would do well to remember the maxim about giving an audience what they want.
For those who still value print, one of its attractions is that it offers a more tangible form of engagement, you can actually touch, hold and feel something. For some people, the feel and aesthetic of a well put together flier or brochure printed in colour on quality paper stock is itself more attractive than getting an email about an event or offer, and is therefore a reason in itself to engage. There are also many people who prefer to read something printed as opposed to text on a screen.
Following on from this, there is scope to be creative in different ways with print. While digital marketing offers the rich multimedia possibilities of combining video, images, audio and text, you are always restricted to the size and dimensions of screens. Print, for example, is much better suited to producing brochures, posters or clever direct marketing that comes through your letter box, it allows you to be creative with shape and use of space. In a world increasingly dominated by pixels, creative and quality printed materials stand out.
The Best of Both Worlds?
So all things considered, if you are planning your marketing spend for the next 12 months or beyond, where should you be putting your money? As with many things in business, the best solution is to avoid being too black and white in your choices - both digital and print marketing have their benefits, so the wisest decision is to make the best of both.
Digital marketing should form the backbone of any broad marketing and branding strategy. Cost effective, flexible and responsive, brands can no longer afford to miss out on the opportunities to engage with audiences offered in the digital sphere. With readily available metrics and data to help adapt and personalise campaigns, digital allows for an intelligent, focused and efficient approach to marketing and branding with maximises returns.
However, digital is not perfect. Amidst the clamour of the crowds of brands vying for attention online, getting yourself noticed is not always easy. And the options you have for making yourself heard are restricted by the specifications of the platforms and devices. Print offers more creative freedom, and scope for doing things differently to that of your competitors. It has clear advantages in terms of visual presentation, and from the perspective of readability is possibly more suited for lengthier, more detailed content.
If you would like to find out more and discuss your marketing and branding needs, why not get in touch with one of our friendly consultants? Ultimate Creative specialises in brand strategy and marketing project delivery in both digital and print, using all of the means at our disposal to create the biggest impact for your brand. Get in touch or why not download our free helpsheet below: