Old school print beats digital hands down

Print has staying power.

Marketing professionals have always strived to create something tangible that will have staying power, and nothing else can rival print in this. It’s tangible, physical and real. What now seems like many moons ago, there was a trend around creating ‘sticky’ websites that increase the average time spent on a website. If a website reached the sticky heights of over 5 minutes on site, it had marketing teams jumping for joy*.

Surely this cannot compare with a brochure that can stay around audiences for a significantly longer span of time, often days, weeks or months?

In fact, new research conducted by the DMA into consumers’ attitudes to brands’ printed marketing, called ‘From letterbox to inbox 2013’, found that nearly half those surveyed said they had retained printed items, with 17% saying they did so regularly.

Print is more engaging

We’re all seeking to engage our audiences with our beautifully crafted adverts, blog posts, e-books, free downloads, free tutorials and videos. Print has the power to engage audiences for longer, and according to a Forbes article, “Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15-second visit.”

Print is more credible

There was a time when there were clear indicators of a business’s credibility. A shop on the high street, branded vans seen all around town and thousands spent on advertising. Websites can be set up for very little cost overseas, and they can easily make a company look reputable. It’s much harder to know who to trust now. A professional, well-produced print item evokes trust and credibility. This is borne out by research from the BFIF recently, when it found that 56% of people regard print marketing as the most trustworthy of media channels.

Print is more targeted

Having a beautiful brochure empowers you to go out there and win some business; it gives you something to hang your hat on. For salespeople, it provides a reason to get in the car and visit potential clients. And finally, here’s one more statistic for you to ponder. The DMA research also revealed that 79 per cent of consumers act on direct mail immediately. Supporting that finding was a 10% greater percentage who visited a brand’s website in response to direct mail than responded to an email.

*Obviously, this depends on the type of product or service. Five minutes on a Wikipedia site wouldn’t be so great! And there’s more to it than time on a page alone, as it could mean visitors are finding it hard to find what they are looking for. Plus, conversion points are a better measurement, but that’s a discussion for another day.