Print Marketing, A Digital Champion


Marketing is an area that used to be all about print. Nowadays, it might seem like this industry has moved its efforts to digital, but print marketing is still very much alive and well. Turns out, print is actually a powerful driver, giving digital the push it needs to succeed.


Being “data-driven” might be the “in”-thing right now, but working with direct marketing has actually been around for a while. It used to be about catalogue marketers and direct mailers, but whatever might be your strategy or resources of choice, even experienced agencies recommend not giving print marketing the boot in favour of digital. In fact, the two actually complement each other.

Optimum Channel Mix

Sure, going only with digital might be cheaper but the impact is also a lot lower. With print, you get what you paid for: high touch, high impact – giving critical messages the attention they deserve. Print can touch a customer multiple times per year or season and it’s a touch that actually drives action, keeping top-of-mind awareness high. Analogue [oder: Printed] direct mail has an average response rate from 4,9% to 9%, while digital channels only have conversation rates of 0,77% to 1,3%. The 2018 DMA Response Rate Report proves that even Millennials, who are said to be fully immerged in the “digital age”, are likely to open and read catalogues when they get them. If done correctly, print can give all marketing efforts a boost. Optimum channel mix simply has to include print marketing! And there are some

Print Success

So, how do you do print marketing correctly? First of all, success looks a little different now than it did in the past. It’s not as linear anymore. Nowadays, a catalogue is no longer a channel but a powerful driver pushing customers online or to a physical store location. Catalogues, just like packaging or other print products, are brand showcases, giving your company the option to tell a brand story – directly or through the use of thematic product spreads. A catalogue is meant to inspire your clientele. Other print campaigns like direct mail need to motivate your consumers to do something immediately, by promoting a special bargain or presenting an especially appealing or exclusive offer. Keeping your target audience engaged is a high priority for every business and it’s easy to achieve with print campaigns. Retargeting postcards, for example, are the perfect layering of attitudinal and psychographic data. Hit the right person, with the right product, at just the right time.

Of course, slicing up revenue for any multichannel campaign can be tricky. The key to form an overall perspective of the whole marketing results is a combination of website analytics layered against catalogue matchback data. The results can look different for every business. Yes, it sounds complicated and initially it will be extra work to assess the situation, but it will be worth it to see where to tweak your expenditure and – of course – to enjoy your successful performances.

Digital’s Hype Man

Finding the optimum marketing mix always takes tests and refinement. Start out with doing market research like industry-relevant benchmark data, analysing customer behaviour or online surveys. With this data, you should be able to map put a strategy that ideally includes seven channels or more. And after that, it is up to you to test, launch, analyse and refined! Cost is a frequent objection here, but initial expenses of additional creative versions are nothing compared to lost sales. Your brand needs to be seen. The quality of a product itself is important and might even be a unique characteristic, setting you apart from the competition, but it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows about it. Use print to boost the results of your optimum channel ecosystem, instead of cutting print to pay for digital measures. Print is digital’s hype man, and that’s why print is not dying out any time soon.

In fact, with modern technology, it is possible to combine digital and print to go even one step further, creating interactive print ads and  AR experiences that will blow away the competition and is sure to impress potential customers.