Do we still need print marketing?

Unsurprisingly, the last 12 months have seen a huge increase in our dependence upon digital and virtual methods of communication – but where does that leave the printed word?

Perhaps contraversially, I think it makes print even more powerful than it was before.

Allow me to explain. How many emails have ended up in your junk folder today? How many adverts have you scrolled past on Facebook? Who doesn’t love being able to avoid the ad breaks of live TV by watching your favourite programmes on demand? How many of us can honestly say that we don’t suffer from ‘Zoom fatigue’?

Many businesses have turned to digital methods of communication in the last year, in order to reach customers whom they would otherwise see face-to-face. There’s nothing wrong with that, and in some cases it may be the only means of doing so, but this influx of new digital communication has flooded the market and actually made their messages harder to hear amidst the increasing digital noise.

Bucking the trend

I suggest that companies that buck the digital trend will actually be noticed more. Think about it – what one thing have many of us looked forward to the most in the last year? Post and deliveries. The satisfaction of having something real and tangible land on your doormat or delivered to your front step. We embrace the realm of the physical, because so many of our activities have had to take place on screens and in the virtual world.

Whether you love it or loath it, you can’t ignore physical, printed material that is placed into your hand.

It may seem a bit outmoded, but I believe that there is a strong argument for forward-thinking companies looking backwards to the age of print.

One company that has embraced this way of thinking is mi-heat, a sustainable underfloor heating company who recently asked me to write a new brochure for them. They understood that while video calls and virtual site visits may help people to feel safe, nothing beats having a source of information in their hand to refer to at their leisure.

The medium is (part of) the message

mi-heat wanted brochure copy that would achieve two things for them:

  • Set out their company vision and values – showing what sets them apart from the competition;
  • Provide an overview of their product range – explaining the solutions that they offer, and their respective benefits.

They needed to ensure that the right words were put in front of the right people, words which accurately reflected their brand truth as well as their product and service offerings. They knew that the best way of reaching and engaging their target audience was through print.

Hitting the target

I should stress here that getting your messaging right is only part of the battle – you need to make sure that your messaging reaches the right people.

mi-heat’s brochure works because they use it as follow-up reference material for potential customers that they have already spoken to. Underfloor heating is a specialist technology, and whilst its use is becoming increasingly widespread, and its environmental benefits increasingly recognised, not all homes (or homeowners) are in a position to make it a consideration. If mi-heat had simply posted unaddressed brochures through doors, the chances are that they would have missed the mark.

Much like with targeted social media adverts, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of who to target and why.

The winning formula

The secret to successful marketing is no secret at all, really. You just need the right messaging, the right medium and the right audience.

In other words, you need to put the right words in front of the right people.

If you or your business would like support to discover your winning formula, please get in touch.

Until next time, take care!