To Print or not to Print?
To Print or not to Print?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that print is a dying industry.

We can all hark back to the days when direct mail became the scourge of marketing. Customers were overwhelmed by the amount of ‘junk mail’ they received through their letterboxes or in newspapers and magazines, giving direct mail a bad name. When digital arrived, print production suffered across a spectrum of industries. Even now, our local newsagent emails us with our receipts (usually for milk to keep our coffee intake up!). As communications moved online, the letters market fell (volumes were 5% lower in 2017 than in 2016). However this decline has been offset by growth in the parcels market as people do more online shopping; 12% more parcels were sent in 2017 than in the previous year*.  

We’re all for sustainability and we seek to work with like-minded suppliers to ensure we’re doing our best for the environment, but we still encourage clients to use print material as part of their overall marketing strategy. Like high-waisted trousers, print production is making a comeback. Look around, print is everywhere. It’s now just managed and produced differently. And it’s just as effective a channel as online.

In our digital driven age, it’s all about the visual. But what about touch? Print is tangible - 60% of consumers make a brand their first choice when it engages their senses.

There’s an element of satisfaction to be had about holding a printed item. It can be a soft touch laminate business card or a foil embossed brochure – it’s the tactileness of the piece that makes it. The quality of the paper and image fundamental, as well as the durability and portability. You can’t put a website on your coffee table!  You strive to get the full attention of your customers and creating print that needs read does just that.

 

So what’s changed?

The advances in digital printing have been momentous over the last 10 years. The choice of finishes, colours, paper stocks have given us the chance to create some fantastic, targeted pieces. There is no longer a pressure to mass-produce print. It’s available in small or large numbers and can be created in almost any format. We’ve recently laser engraved business cards for Andrew Brookes Tailoring which is a great alternative to conventional printing. There are no creative limits, which is ideal for us as designers, and for our clients.

A print run can be personalised, giving customers that ‘feel-good’ factor that a brand knows them and has taken the time to create a bespoke piece for them. A personalised print piece has great stand out in an increasingly digitally driven environment. It’s recently been reported that 61% of consumers feel more positive about a brand when marketing messages are personalised.

Using print to drive customers to your online offering is no bad thing – in fact, the mix of both mediums makes for a highly effective campaign.

 

Mix it up

At the outset of any marketing campaign, thought must be given to all available channels. Integrating print and other mediums whether it’s TV, outdoor media or online increases profile and in turn, should increase brand engagement.  

The decline in direct mail advertising spend slowed to 2% in 2017, to £1.8bn, or 8% of the advertising market. Many businesses may not use direct mail but instead are using QR codes to let customers access their digital content thereby increasing the effectiveness of print media as well as enhancing the customer experience.

Selecting the right media and allocating budget based on the objectives of your campaign isn’t always easy but with the right approach it can be very successful.

 

Let’s get branding

It takes 5 to 7 brand impressions for consumers to remember your company logo and branding. Guess what? We can help with that! (a shameless sales pitch we know!) Giving your brand the impact it needs should be top of your agenda. The printing industry is key to this and offers huge benefits to businesses that are looking to strengthen and reinforce brand awareness as well as gain influence with customers. Come in for a chat and we can share some of our recent print campaigns with you. We may even share our biscuit stash as well!

*Source – Ofcom.org.uk