The value of print in a digital age

A letter opening to show a hand with a megaphone, signalling announcements

This Black Friday, one of our team members received over 300 e-commerce emails in one weekend. On the other hand, they only received 3 mailers. At times when people may be overloaded, print can help you break through the noise.

Don’t delete your socials just yet, but print marketing may still have its place in your strategy.

The Benefits of Print

Longer Shelf Life:

How many times have you seen an ad on social media ad never been able to find it again? With print, it is harder to get lost in the ether. If a product interests a customer, they can keep the physical ad materials handy. Leave it on the counter, look at it frequently, consider it further, and have all the details to hand when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Tactile:

While consumers have shorter memories than ever, a medium that connects more senses can help your campaign stick. Print engages haptic memory or touch memory which is proven to have the most lasting emotional connection.

Trustworthy:

According to Chili Printing, potential customers are far more likely to trust your company when your marketing is presented via high-quality print. Meanwhile, trust in information on digital platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) is as low as 24% in the UK.

Higher Engagement:

Marketing Tech News said that 79% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately. Compare this to just 45% who say they deal with email straightaway. They also report that targeted direct mail boasts a 4.4% response rate, compared to email’s rate of 0.12%.

Digital’s Strong Points

Scale:

Digital is much easier to scale up for worldwide or even nation-wide campaigns. Even just the data collection needed to mail print materials can be difficult to scale, not to mention the actual distribution.

Cost:

The cost of digital is generally considered to be much lower, though this will depend on your audience and the keywords you are targeting. However, print is innovating to make things more cost-effective and have faster turnarounds, so the argument on cost may not always hold.

Data/ROI:

Tracking metrics on digital campaigns tends to be simpler as nearly every digital platform will provide you with insights. While some innovations in print marketing can provide ways to track conversions, it is more complicated in this respect.

The Myth that Print is Boring

There is an old idea that print is a static and less exciting medium however, that doesn’t always need to be true. It can also incorporate scent (think of the perfume samples in women’s magazines) or the ability to scratch off, bringing in more senses and engagement from the customer.

Augmented Reality:

With advances in Augmented Reality, the worlds of print and digital can also merge a bit more. Triggers for AR can now be much more beautiful than the traditional QR code and drive people to websites and games, to app downloads, or even pop up with more information about a product.

Use of the AR function allows tracking of print conversions, giving more data to the print medium as well. The use of AR is expected to grow in 2021 and finding ways to incorporate it into print campaigns is an opportunity to keep in mind.

Simple isn’t bad

Print doesn’t have to be simple – you can dress it up to be just as eye-catching as a digital ad may be. But sometimes simplicity is a strength. Print is still powerful in a digital age, it’s all about knowing how to deploy it best.

Combine Forces for the Best Effect

While print may not be cost-effective for nation-wide campaign, it can be extremely useful for local brand recognition and for driving foot traffic from nearly target customers.

An integrated marketing communications plan which uses print and digital each to their strength will, in many cases, be an effective strategy. The ‘Rule of Seven’ claims that your customer has to hear a message at least seven times before it sticks. In the digital age where Facebook posts have a life span of 5 hours and Tweets have just 18 minutes, adding a little bit of print to the mix can give you a long-lasting boost in the mind of the consumer.


Need help creating an integrated campaign? fatBuzz offers both print and social media management along with a full range of other marketing services.

Get in touch with us at hello@fatbuzz.com or call us on 0141 427 0727 to enquire today about our marketing services.