Digital & Print Marketing – A marriage made in heaven? (Web pages using converted printed marketing)

A recent poll of marketing professionals revealed that a mix of advertising is a surefire way of getting a company’s branding and message across to a wider digital and traditional print loving audience. In the poll, over 80% of marketeers volunteered a response that showed that brand trust was a highly prized criterion and a big KPI in the marketing spend as it had been proved across many sectors that trust was a big factor in a customer’s decision to purchase.

In our rush to digital advertising where algorithms play a big part in who gets noticed, has the age-old adage “good advertising is an investment NOT a cost” been lost in some marketing spending decisions? It’s clear that web pages using converted printed marketing materials, through the inclusion of URLs or even QR codes improve audience saturation as both mediums are available to the reader.

Web pages using converted printed marketing

(Example of QR code printed marketing we have done for our customer)

There is a good body of evidence that although we seem to be wedded to instant news on our smartphones, we do like to pick up a printed paper or magazine and absorb ourselves in the detail rather than flick through the screen images. Constant pop-up ads and notes are a real pain to most online users who are just trying to consume their interest, and the increase in “Ad Free” paid-for content is a sign of the consumers' loath of forced advertising.

By contrast, the reader of printed material can have the luxury of stopping off at the ad or not and the result is that readers of printed material are more likely to take note of the targeted ads as opposed to their digital counterparts (38% versus 25%). Let's face it timing is still everything, and direct mail campaigns and direct mail advertising has shifted to acknowledge these findings.

Perhaps the straw in the wind for those marketers that feel print marketing has been outmoded by pure digital is an interesting statistic by Forbes in 2020 which reported that we spent nearly 7 hours a day consuming digital content including work-related information. However, when the opportunity comes to ditch the tech, 72% of us prefer to relax and read printed material over an electronic version.

In the marketers’ eyes, it’s also becoming clearer in the race for audience attention that a mixture of digital and print marketing is the way forward. This is borne out by the fact that over half of our well-known brands have adopted this mixed approach leading to feedback from their audience that trust and recommendation of the brand are increased. This is further endorsed by the 2021 Trust Barometer, an annual international survey developed by Edelman Trust Management Inc that measures the levels of trust in the information being published in various sectors and reported an increase of global trust in companies using a mixed marketing message to 61% up 2% on the year. On the trust front, the other dangerous statistic of a digital only marketing strategy is that in a recent You Gov survey, only 1 in 10 people trusted commercial content on Social Media channels. This is one reason that the interest in print marketing materials is increasing and goes a long way to explaining why branding is almost twice as strong in print than in digital (37% versus 20%).

This is great news for marketers and companies looking to increase their brand image and awareness as trust in printed marketing material (43%) outperforms social advertising (10%) and web advertising (18%) however a blend of these, underpinned by the print medium that carries the highest level of trust builds a marketing and content rich strategy that sees audience participation on all fronts (You Gov 2021 Global Survey).

Add in the power of adding QR codes that direct an audience to web pages using converted printed marketing advertisements on brochures, flyers, banners and even the empty back of a business card can lift a live client video or testimonial from an item in the audience’s hand and deliver it digitally to their smartphone.

The debate that digital has killed off the conventional print is a bit like the song from The Buggles, “video killed the radio star”, in that radio (including advertising) has a very strong following and so does print. In comparison, customers have been found to respond more positively when trying or selecting a new business for the first time based on personalised or simply printed direct mail that creates a greater level of trust in the communication in comparison to a digitally pushed advertisement. It’s clear that in 2022, traditional printed marketing materials have an increasing part to play in this digital world we live in.