printing and marketing

Don’t believe the hype you hear about print being dead and that all of your advertising dollars should be directed into cyberspace, which is over crowded with folks thinking digital is the new normal. The problem with that philosophy is that you are competing with folks who can outspend, out hype and out plan you with their latest SEO tricks. If you are not within the first three pages of Google, the fact is; you simply don’t exist.

If the herd is going one way, than it is time to be a “contrarian” and examine what the benefits are by going in the other direction with at least a portion of your marketing dollars. Fact: You do not need to be on page one to get your message out with commercial offset printing! You simply have to create a compelling piece and distribute it.
According to the results for 2012, with 2013-16 staying pretty much flat are as follows:

  • Print Spending: 38.8 Billion Dollars
  • Online Ad Spending: 39.5 Billion Dollars
  • TV Ad Spending: 64.8 Billion Dollars

This amount of revenue spent on printing does not imply the death knell to the industry. Magazine printing, book printing and catalog printing sales have all flattened out and not appreciably dropping with respect to how they compete with their digital counterparts. In fact, according to L.L. Bean, from their website, “In 2012, L.L.Bean produced over 50 separate catalog titles that were distributed to customers in all 50 US states and over 160 countries. In 2012, over 10.5 million customer contacts were received, with over 127,000 contacts received on a single day.” They in fact learned a couple of years prior that when they cut back on their print catalogs it resulted in a major cut in sales. Upon increasing their catalog printing runs sales soared. In the magazine industry Newsweek and several others found out the hard way that they could not produce a successful online version of their magazines.

OK, Now that we have established some key statistics how do you benefit? The benefit is, do you play on an overcrowded playing field or do you wisely “rifle” your marketing dollars where they may do you the most good. Here are some of the ways you can take advantage of quality printing and by quality I mean what you deliver, assuming your printing company can follow. This means great images and quality copy that describes the benefits of your services to your customers. They need to know why they should buy your magazine, book or product and how they will benefit once doing so.

Go Local: Local businesses are an important avenue to address and it does not take major print revenue in order to do so. Coupon magazines, Brochures, posters and even postcards are inexpensive printing media that can delivery your message via direct mail or drop shipping lots to retail vendors.

Use Direct Mail Marketing: While the internet has proven to be illusive to most and hit and miss at best, direct mail marketing with your printed message has over decades proven to be a reliable source of marketing that you can always count on to provide you with a standard return on your investment. The average for the industry is 2% which seems small, but if your item is priced right, your copy compelling and with images that are “eye candy” you can boost that mightily.

A Great Lifespan: A catalog or a magazine can be shared many times and read time and again over a lengthy period vs. a web page or blog that may only be read once and if found.

Print is the new “diversion”: As more and more people, feeling tethered to their computer or phone texting need to get away from the harsh glare of the screen, they are relaxing with a magazine or book that is made of paper with ink. The odds are now clear that as others have left the playing field you can run your touchdown.

Google Not Needed: You can find your customer before your customer can find you. There is no need to do a web search, where the odds of you popping up on the first few pages are slight, when you can place your magazine or brochure right into the hands of your customer.

Branding and You: Even with a reasonably successful online presence print also provides a valuable tool in order to help establish your brand. It is a great tactic to cross promote and get your message out to not just those you may not reach online, but to help push your brand to even those you may. L.L. Bean, Zappos and others have found out that they sell more online with the help of the printed catalog version.

There are many other reasons for sure why you could benefit from utilizing print in addition to your digital efforts and hopefully the above is some food for thought for you.


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