By Derrick Manning
The Internet has created a massive new domain for marketers to reach targets without having to invest a lot in materials. Too often those starting out in marketing, especially those young enough to never know a life without a computer, focus almost exclusively in developing digital strategies for clients with nearly zero attention paid to print advertising. It’s seen as archaic, costly, and ineffectual. But for many brands who wish to help transform into tomorrow’s success stories, print materials are still a strategic way to convey several traits which serve well to draw-in consumers:
Potential clients and consumers are increasingly cynical towards companies that are accessible and visible through digital means alone. We insiders know it’s not easy to design, develop, and manage internet means of connecting clients with their customers. These days, however, enough shoddy self-proclaimed expertise rests on the smoke-and-mirrors of good internet marketing alone that people want to see more before going forward.
Sending out postcards, catalogs, magazines and booklets printed under a shared theme with your client’s online presence is a clever way to define their brand as more established than their digital-only competition. The “old fashioned” element is its brilliance: the brand appears to have been around longer than those based solely on fad forms of reaching customers. An established brand appears more experienced and successful, but newer startups can achieve this image on a budget with cheap printing services online, targeted marketing, and synchronous web-oriented efforts.
Online content is easy to access from anywhere. There’s no questioning its usefulness in reaching potential markets. Any modern marketing strategy with teeth to it is going to incorporate social media, email, and website interface into its attack. But this easy access is a double-edged sword. As partly mentioned in the previous section, the online marketing realm still retains an unreal characteristic about it. Things can be made, changed, edited and altered by the developers and designers so quickly day-to-day that content authenticity is sometimes taken for granted by maker and consumer alike.
Whereas printed material requires a tedious but artful process of vetting the information and applying precision to the language. It’s a one-time-shot deal, even if the printing rates are at a discount. You want to make sure everything is grammatically correct and looks good. And it will because of it. To those who the final product will reach, the well-made and informative material will come as a sight for sore eyes sick of the unreliable reads they encounter online.
Printed material is unfairly looked at as some kind of unimaginative marketing medium where clients can waste their dollars on contributing litter to the streets. In fact, so-called boring brochures and pamphlets are just a few brainstorms away from being material communicating to your clients’ customers a sense of creativity and forward-thinking.
If your client is a clothing label, for example, print a brochure with instructions on how to fold it into a dress-shirt. Design it in such a way that when the shirt is assembled, the brand information is displayed on the front. Recipients who fold paper into a shirt will probably keep the final product, along with the important details printed on it.
Today’s marketers are wise to shift mostly to an online-focus when pitching ideas to their clients. It would be remiss of them, however, to not take advantage of the many ways printed materials can help highlight a client’s positive brand traits. They’re a clever way to convey client experience, confidence, and creativity in conjunction with your digital approach.