Print and Digital — Not an Either/Or Tool

Reprinted from Ricoh Business Booster.

Print and digital marketing are not in competition

Print and digital are not in opposition to one another; rather they complement and strengthen each other. Print drives website traffic, increases brand awareness and offers an enhanced interactive experience. Digital offers instant communication convenience and can reinforce a printed piece when used strategically. Advances in digital technology have not only made a wide range of printing options accessible and affordable, but have made it possible to personalize prints on an individual level.

Print enhances digital for retailers

Personalized direct mail and paper catalogs offer a way to stand out in the marketplace. The NAPCO study “Personalization and Digital Printing: Retail Marketers’ Secret Weapon” found that retailers who use digital print to send customers relevant offers experience increased customer engagement and brand awareness.

The report adds, “Print and online marketing channels are complementary” and recommends that marketers “segment customer data (purchase history, browser history, abandoned carts, engagement with other marketing channels, etc.) so that it can be used as part of a personalized digital printing campaign.”

The NAPCO report also quotes Jaime Garcia, a marketing manager at HBC Financial: “When we do mailings, we see a definitive uptick in loans as well as an uptick in digital activity — for example, visits to the website. We can clearly measure the response when we do print mailings.”

Noted in the same NAPCO report, “consumers respond to direct mail” and the following statistics reported back up this claim:

  • 85% regularly read their direct mail immediately, the same day or at a later time
  • 50% are introduced to new brands through direct mail
  • 49% acknowledge direct mail is important to relationship building with a brand
  • 45% acknowledge that receiving direct mail feels more important than receiving an email

Personalization drives engagement

Digital printing makes catalogs more affordable than ever — now is an ideal time to give them a try. With the flexibility and high speed of digital print, a direct mail piece or catalog can reach mailboxes in a matter of days. At a time when most other brands are relying on digital marketing, print will get you noticed.

The power of personalization in print cannot be underestimated. Catalogs that feature custom offers based on a particular consumer’s interests or purchase history consistently drive higher sales than non-personalized mailings. According to the NAPCO whitepaper “Media Mix,” eighty percent of enterprise companies use personalization in their direct mail marketing. “The Modern Marketers Guide to Customer Retention Using Direct Mail,” Lob and Comperemedia, 2022, states that “Fifty-two percent of consumers expect direct mail to be personalized.”

Event marketing is going strong.

Events are back and people are eager to interact in-person. Tradeshows, conferences and even smaller events demand and benefit from signage. Personalized items like table cards also offer event attendees personal attention. Direct mail pieces with custom messaging enhance the overall event experience. Print helps with event marketing in a big way. Wide format is typically used to create wayfinding signage and banners that feature brand storylines. Branded packaging for attendee giveaways leverages print and offers attendees a memorable piece with shelf-life. There are many opportunities at events to impress with print, leave an impression and keep your brand top of mind.

Reach audiences with display graphics.

When trying to capture the attention of consumers, Out-of-home (OOH) signage like banners, posters, window displays, and full-size billboards are sure to help brands make an impact on the purchasing habits of a targeted market. OOH signage continues to have an effective national and local reach to consumers. According to recent research from The Business Research Company, 96% of advertisers are satisfied or very satisfied with the ROI of their OOH marketing campaigns. And, OOH revenue tracking by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) reports that OOH was up 25.7% through the third quarter of 2022, with a historical YTD high set in 2019 at $6.4 billion.

According to NAPCO’s report “The Power of Print in the Media Mix,” overall OOH spending increased in 2022:

  • 79% of the top 100 OOH advertisers increased their OOH spend from Q3 2021
  • Nearly one-third (32%) of the top 100 OOH advertisers more than doubled their spending during the same time period

Got swag?

Consider repurposing your event gear.

Many marketers now also find themselves with an excess pile of swag after a conference. Retool your designs to create an eye-catching piece of mail that will add variety to someone’s day. Offer swag as an incentive for action, or just mail it to your contacts to strengthen your relationship and keep your brand in their sight.

Want to augment reality?

Provide something new — augmented reality. Augmented reality (AR) offers a way to mix things up. AR entails adding a trigger, visible or not, onto printed materials; when consumers hold their mobile devices up to a printed piece, more content is revealed. “Augmenting Print: How AR Can Help Print Providers Succeed,” by Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends gives a detailed explanation and examples of how AR is being used to engage consumers while simultaneously collecting useful data. The article explains, “Instead of a static document that simply relays information from the brand to the consumer, it can be a portal of interaction and continued engagement.” Consider using AR to give your contacts a memorable experience that will build brand loyalty — it’s also proven to be a popular tool in educational settings.

Reprinted from Ricoh Business Booster.