3 reasons why print belongs in your marketing mix

Today’s modern marketer is focused on an omnichannel strategy. Several brands have reached a plateau with their online marketing channels and are embracing the ‘love for print’.

Our clients are using print for new customer acquisition, customer retention, customer reactivation, along with cross-selling amongst brands for those clients that have multi-brand portfolios. They have also used print to drive demand online or to drive in-store traffic. 

At this year’s inaugural Print Event conference, I spoke on an interactive panel in which we discussed the benefits of adding print to your marketing strategy.

Let’s further explore.

Creates visuals that stand out in a crowd 

Print creates an experience that is visually appealing to the eye. Seeing (along with giving, receiving and handling) tangible objects remains a deep and intuitive part of the human experience. Our clients often share with us that print enables them to get more personal with their marketing programs helping to create a 1:You.

The catalog browsing experience is a positive one. In fact, consumers spend 15.5 minutes looking at a catalog and keep it on their coffee tables for several weeks. And, 72% of consumers shared that catalogs make them more interested in a retailer’s products while 84% make a purchase after seeing an item in a catalog. Why?

Because consumers view direct mail as a proactive component of their buyer journey encouraging them to either make a purchase or learn more about the product’s benefits in another channel.

Drives new demand

Print as a channel creates additional demand for your products and services. It’s a channel that educates the consumer on the benefits of these products and services and influences them to further explore your brand in online or mobile channels.

Think of print as an experience. With today’s advanced technologies, marketers have innovated the catalog experience by integrating AR (augmented reality) with their catalogs by adding quick response (QR) codes that activate mobile phone cameras and trigger a ‘digital twin’ of the product. This digital replication is life-like and allows the consumer to preview features they’d see in-store.

For example, the home design brand Houzz leverages AR within their catalog. Consumers who use Houzz’s AR technology are 11x more likely to purchase and 2.7x times more engaged, meaning they stayed on the site longer. So how did Houzz achieve success? By following a four-step process: They discovered the story they wanted to augment, identified the emotions they wanted to generate, created a storyboard of the ideal experience and integrated the AR technology to implement the vision.

Increases ROI

Print is an expensive marketing channel when compared to others currently available; however, clients continue to see the value and increase in ROI from leveraging the direct mail channel. U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold. That's a 1,300% return on their investment.

The response rate to direct mail pieces is much higher at 3.7% compared to 2% for mobile, 1% for email, 1% for social media and 0.2% for internet display. At the end of the day, any emerging marketing channel due to technology will disrupt print, however print will remain an important channel for many of our clients based on the value it brings to their brand.  

So how can you get started?

Create a roadmap for building out the print channel and test each component including targeting, offer, sale, creative and growth potential. And always keep front and center the three pillars of print success – offer, audience and creative.