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To print or not to print

 

As the marketing mix gets broader, it brings with it the dilemma of where to spend your money. And one question constantly up for consideration is whether to focus marketing efforts online or still maintain a printed presence. It's something we see a lot at Windsor Jennings. Here are some of the things we advise our clients to consider:  

1)    Longevity – printed matter has a habit of sticking around longer than you would keep something online on your desktop for example. The Direct Mail Association says it is common for brochures to stick around in people’s homes for an average of 5 weeks.

2)    A brochure can give you an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand’s quality which can be harder to convey online. The choice of paper and print finishes (saddle stitching for instance) can immediately give the impression of a quality company or product.

3)    It is still easier to read printed matter than information online, hence the popularity of newspapers in this digital age.

4)    Printed matter conveys trust – a solid document gives the impression of a solid company prepared to invest in their marketing. Which? has reported that one in ten people have been scammed online in the last five years, and this fact means that many don’t entirely trust the information they view on their computer.

5)    Target audience - it's not as straight forward as 'are they online' or not? A teenager wanting to buy computer games, for instance, will obviously look online but may also read PC Gamer magazine for its reviews or go to EGX London expo for inspiration. Often a combined marketing approach is a better way to reach your customers.

6)    Indeed the Direct Mail Association has recently said that 54% of people surveyed said they visit a website in response to printed advertising mail, door drops or inserts. In essence, it is no good having a website if nobody visits it. So if you are going online you need to ensure you have a marketing budget driving visits to your site, whether that's via print or online marketing. 

7)    Digital printing has meant that print costs have come down dramatically. However if your brochure will require multiple changes (for example a catalogue), it is probably worth just having an online document or printing small quantities.

8)    Sustainability – there’s no doubt that producing materials that only exist digitally are far more environmentally friendly than printing. However there are many techniques now (vegetable inks, waterless printing systems, chlorine free paper) that can make your projects much kinder to the environment.  

Posted: 07/08/2014 at 16:10

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