Online. Mobile. Social. We have all heard the buzzwords from all of the various mediums with print marketing assumed to be left by the wayside. However, this is way far from the truth. While it has been well publicized that newspaper revenue and circulation numbers are not what they used to be- print marketing is still a very important part of the mix. Direct Mail, Newspaper Circulars, Newspaper ROP, Inserts, Shared Mail, and even the good old Yellow/White pages still are very valuable resources for marketers when attracting new customers. A recent Pitney Bowe’s survey showed that 76% of small business believe that they need a combination of print/digital to succeed.
There are countless examples of print media working with mobile/social as it is hard to flip through a magazine, newspaper, or mail piece without seeing some type of drive to web component- whether a website, hashtag, twitter address, Facebook address, or a QR code- print continues to bring people to the web. As such, print media remains an integral part of the marketing mix. In fact, a recent Nielsen survey stated that slightly over half of the respondents used social media along with print media.
Print continues to be an important medium for customer acquisition. It seems that most of the attention has been going to the online customer- who now has a very crowded email inbox to contend with. On the other hand, there is less print marketing hitting the home- which potentially makes direct mail stand out a bit more. While a person will check their email sporadically or constantly throughout the day there is only one trip to the mailbox daily- with 80% of folks stating that they like to receive mail according to a recent Marketing Management Research group study. In the same study 84% of women liked getting ads and offers in the mail versus 44% of women that liked getting ads and offers online- with the numbers dropping dramatically through other mediums: email (18% liked), apps (8% liked), and social media sites (5% liked). Some of the reasoning favoring print media is that it is more convenient, less obtrusive, easier to find, and easier to share.
There is no doubt that about mobile growth and its potential. However, some shoppers today are disenchanted with the mobile shopping experience according to a Price Waterhouse Cooper Study. 37% of folks in the study say that they have security fears that prevent them from shopping by phone with 33% saying that the screens are too small and 32% of folks not owning smartphones. Perhaps Apple and its new iPhone 6 will help alleviate some of these concerns going forward with larger screens and presumably better security.
Consumers have time and time again stated that they do not want interruptions such as telemarketers, unwelcomed emails sent continuously, pop-up ads, text ads, or crowded social media feeds filled with ads. They want convenience and what makes their lives easier. They use an assortment of media to inform their purchasing decisions. As such, marketers likely need to use an assortment of media to attract new customers and retain them. The best consumer marketing approach is an integrated one- that likely involves print, online, and social components. Yes, print is a part of that mix. Print is not dead- but very much alive.