Print vs. digital: which channel is relevant for your customer?

The rapid growth of digital marketing has given rise to the question of whether print marketing is still valuable. For small businesses with restricted marketing and advertising budgets the expectation to use multiple marketing channels can make it difficult to decide which will best suit the needs of your business.

To understand which channel may be best for your customer base, here are some of the benefits of print and digital marketing.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

1. Broad Reach

Once you have successfully defined your target market, digital marketing is a very useful tool to ensure you reach them. Websites are an easy way for customers to access your brand and find out more information about your products. Customers from any geography can access your brand without multiple storefronts.

Similarly, remarketing is a technique where ads follow users around the internet based upon previous search preferences. For example, if a customer is looking to buy a couch and searches furniture websites, they may find they see more ads for couches and furniture stores. This is an easy way for your brand to have exposure over large physical distances and allows you to reach your customer when they are interested in your product, increasing the chance of sales.

2. Interactivity

Digital marketing allows two-way communication between customers and brands. Customers can comment on social media pages and ask questions via chatbots on your website. While social media channels like Facebook, allows users to ‘share’ information they find interesting or they can ‘retweet’ to their network on Twitter. Thus, your customers are interacting with your marketing campaign and spreading it organically.

Digital marketing is also adaptable, so if you receive customer feedback that would enable you to enhance your campaign, digital allows this to be achieved quickly and easily.

Benefits of Print Marketing

1. Grabs the customer’s attention cuts through the clutter

Given the sheer amount of digital information now available, print messages have become a novelty. Print grabs your customer’s attention and cuts through the digital clutter. Customers are more likely to pay attention to print messages as they are slower moving than digital messages. Also when viewing an ad online, you can get easily distracted as something else of interest pops up that grabs the interest of a customer.

With information at our fingertips, consumer’s are far more likely to act on ideas when they have the capability (ie using a smartphone to look up information and move away from an ad), whereas print forces the customer to read the message through before taking action and moving on.

2. Print creates tangibility to your marketing campaign

An online ad can only be seen. But a printed brochure, postcard or business card can be touched and the quality of the printed piece is a great reflection of the quality of the business.

Tangibility though print allows your customer to physically connect with your brand. Research has found that 92 per cent of printed, direct mail messages are opened. When a potential customer takes your printed materials home, they take the time to read them in a relaxed environment thus better absorbing your message. Having a tangible marketing campaign means that your message isn’t just one of the many messages customers receive each day that is easily ignored.

While some argue print is dying or dead due to reducing print circulation, the truth is, in many cases, the publications’ readership now consists of the most engaged readers, which is a desirable trait. Similarly, digital has an immediacy that allows your marketing campaign to adapt to changes in the industry environment.

Karin Ingram, Marketing Manager, Kwik Kopy

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