No-one is disputing that we are living in a digital world. In fact, digital advertising and marketing has grown up quickly and now ranks as one of the most trusted forms of advertising for Australian consumers. I’m old enough to remember that this wasn’t always the case – and it wasn’t that long ago. Let’s do a quick review of the landscape courtesy of the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report:
- – In 2007, less than 1 in 5 Australians trusted banner ads online. Today it has almost doubled to 1 in 3.
- – Trust in branded websites has grown from half of Australians in 2007 to almost 3 in 5 today.
- – Search engine advertisements remain steady with 1 in 3 Australians trusting them.
- – The most trusted source of information on a brand, product or service are other consumers, with 4 in 5 Australians trusting recommendations from someone they already know.
Is print surviving in a digital world? According to the Nielsen Report the majority of consumers still very much trust and react to traditional forms of advertising. So while digital advertising and marketing are obviously crucial to any firm’s marketing communications strategy, there still remains room for hard-copy printed executions as part of a professional services firm’s marketing mix.
Here are our top five reasons why print continues to survive in a digital world:
1. Impact: Print is engaging, versatile and personal. It is sensory and emotive – textures, coatings, varnishes, embossing, foiling and a multitude of paper stocks and weights – can all be deployed to evoke emotion or provoke a response. Rarely can electronic media compete with print in this arena. So when deciding on the medium, think about the message and the emotional response you want to create.
2. Cost: In years gone by major print jobs had to be performed on large, expensive offset printing presses. Today digital printing technologies have advanced and offer quality printing that can be cheaper and mechanically simpler to produce than standard offset printing methods. Digital printing offers a shorter turnaround on jobs, every print is the same and more accurate, there are reduced set-up costs and provides a lower per unit cost for small print runs.
3. Exclusivity: Less printed materials being produced provides an opportunity for your firm to stand out. As more and more businesses compete online for attention, there is an opportunity to reach prospective clients with unique and well-produced direct mail or marketing collateral. Luxury brands rely on print to create impact and exclusivity.
4. Not just ink on paper: Expand your horizons, print is more than just ink on paper. Print marketing also includes merchandise and promotional items. Most firms invest in some form of promotional advertising. Consider items that are going to build a strong impression and improve brand awareness.
5. Consider your readership and their habits: More and more, publications are moving online and there are some fantastic platforms to support the delivery of interactive online publications. But before you move everything online, think about how your clients consume information and their reading habits. Professional service’s selling propositions are sophisticated offers that must present value-based differentiated solutions that support rational buying decisions. Complex differences must be articulated and the messages delivered through well-conceived and compelling communication strategies. Print marketing is ideal for communicating complex information.