I wanted to have a chat about print marketing, as for the past few years, we’ve been seeing a lot of bold comments and statements about print marketing. It’s out of fashion. People don’t do it anymore. You’re wasting your money. You’re wasting marketing budget. Now, the big question, is print marketing dead? No, it’s not dead. It’s very much not dead. It depends entirely on who you are trying to target and what for and what with.
Is print marketing dead if you’re trying to target millennials? Yes, then print marketing is dead because millennials don’t read stuff. I’m one. I don’t pick up flyers on the street. I purposely cross to the other end of the street to walk around the dude that’s handing out flyers. Not many people in that age range respond to these methods anymore. Best way to reach students and millennials and people of the younger generation is through social media – through paid marketing on Google, Facebook and Instagram. So print marketing is dead if you’re targeting the wrong people with the wrong thing.
When Does Print Marketing Apply?
Now is print marketing dead if you’re a corporate event or an exhibition? No, print marketing is the ideal solution if you’re at an exhibition and you are a training provider or you’re a marketing agency for example because you’re speaking to other people in that target group, right? You’re speaking to people that will be wanting flyers to bring back to their CEO, to their managing director, to collect some sort of material when they’re back from the exhibition to decide whether they want to engage with any of the people that they met there. So in that case, yeah, print marketing is very much alive because you’re targeting the right people with the right materials.
Now when I say print marketing, I know a lot of you probably are thinking just a flyer or a brochure and that’s not true. Print marketing is literally anything that is printed. So even if you think about massive pull up banners, event stand design etc. That’s still print marketing. It’s not something that you hand out and you send people away with, but the fact of the matter is you print it, therefore it is print marketing. So mugs for example, that’s technically pretty marketing even though it’s the sort of gimmicky and promotional material. But if you had a mug with your company logo on it, that’s effectively print marketing, no matter whether you just use it in meetings and for guests, or whether you actually give it out as freebies.
But again, if you’re trying to target students or millennials with something that’s printed, something that you physically have to touch and take away and then put it in their bedroom, they’re probably not going to respond to that because we are all online. We’re in the digital world. We look at ads, we respond to things that appeal to us in terms of videos and memes and things like that. People that are in a corporate world, for example, and this is where most of what I’m talking about is aimed at if you’re targeting the B2B audience, print marketing is very much still alive.
So like I mentioned with the example of the exhibition banners, there’s plenty of banners and things that we print for people’s presentations and things like that because it’s still nice to have and spread the awareness. It doesn’t necessarily have to directly correlate to a return on investment, but what it does is it instills the brand awareness of that brand or of that business at that presentation, at that exhibition and allows people to remember it. Let me ask you this, when was the last time you went to an exhibition and you remember one stand in particular because it had a beautiful, encapsulated printed design and nice desks with custom logos printed on the front of it, banners and flyers and mugs and pens. They all have the same congruent logo on them, congruent branding. You probably do remember those, right? A few pop into your head as I say that, but you probably have no recollection of the ones that turned up with one banner and one type of business cards, one type of flyer and they all look different and they weren’t very nicely done. The congruency (or lack of) comes into play in a very big way, especially in exhibitions and presentations.
Now you’re not really necessarily going to attract people by giving out one flyer. It’s not going to make a huge difference. But what it will do is on the mass, people are walking around with your bags and things like that, a lot of that stuff is going to matter on the bigger scale of things.
So answer is print marketing is not that whatsoever. It is dead if you’re trying to target the wrong people with the wrong materials much like if you tried to target 65 and 70 year olds for filling up an old people’s home with Facebook and Instagram ads. 70 year old people are not on Instagram, right? You can target their daughters and their sons because that’s where they hang out, but you’re not going to target 70 year olds specifically, directly via Facebook or LinkedIn because they’re not there. So why would you want to target students or why would you want to target millennials with flyers when that’s not what they’re looking for?
Now, why not go one step further and actually couple print marketing with digital marketing? And let me give you an example. Competitions, you can do a lot of competitions with QR codes these days. I know it’s 2019, almost 2020, and the hype around QR codes is long gone, but you can still use them effectively. If you give someone a business card, you can have a QR code on the back that when people scan through, takes them to a landing page of your service or takes them through to a free download / any other lead magnet.
I see plenty of times at exhibitions, presentations and big shows where people are given brochures and leaflets with a QR code to scan. Obviously it’s a lead generation tactic, but you put your name and your email in and you’re entered into some sort of competition or a newsletter. The fact of the matter is they entered that funnel via print marketing because it’s something that was printed and handed out to you physically. But what it does off the back of that, is it ditches that print element at the start, the flyer did its job, it can now go in the bin. What you are left with however, is a digital database / email list of potential customers.
Three Top Tips For Print Marketing
I’m going to leave you with three cool tips for print marketing to execute at your next presentation, exhibition or show.
1 – Instagram Cut Outs
Now these are quite quirky things, so if you don’t know what they are, it’s basically if you post a picture on Instagram, as you can imagine you’ve got the user name at the top, the number of likes below, number of comments and obviously your picture in the middle.
What Instagram cutout is, is basically a cardboard cutout that people hold up with a hole in the middle and they put their face in front of. Usually it has a hashtag of the company or of the event underneath it. And what you can encourage people to do is to use that hashtag, take a picture of themselves inside that little Instagram cutout and post it on Instagram for you to then be able to go through that hashtag after the event, pick a winner or try and engage with these people. Because if they engage with you on that level, chances are they could be your potential customers. You can do the same with Twitter and Facebook, but it is mostly seen as a nice gimmicky element to add to your event strategy on Instagram.
2 – Flags
This another really cool printed piece of marketing, especially if you’re running a venue. I know one of our clients really love the use of feather flags, because they have a real problem with getting people from the car park to the actual entrance of the venue. What they do, is they had some feather flags printed and they put simple instructions on them. “Reception this way” “Car park A this way”. It’s not directly resulting in any return on investment, but what it does is when people come to check out the venue, they don’t get lost. They don’t fear that their guests are going to get lost when they book the venue for an event, and it’s a nice quirky way for people to actually remember the logo, remember the colour scheme and remember the name.
3 – DON’T Experiment With Business Card Sizes…
Third and final point, do not print business cards that are outside of the standard UK or US sizes and shapes. And I cannot stress this enough. I get too many business card that are square or it’s the size of one of those Tesco Clubcards that you can attach to your keys. If it doesn’t fit in a little business card folder, I’m not keeping it. It’s going straight in the bin. I’m sorry, I know they’re creative, I know they can seem quite cool. But from my experience, I cannot stand business cards that are not congruent in size to everyone else’s business cards. It might be an OCD thing, I don’t know, but logistically, it makes no sense for me to keep one square business card in a separate drawer just because it doesn’t fit in my business card wallet that I’ve gotten from other events from other people.
Don’t be one of those people that will get their business card thrown it away because it’s a non-standard size. You can have a business card be memorable without making it a different size. Making a different size won’t make it memorable, it will just make people be angry and throw it away or forget it because it doesn’t fit in their pocket. There are other ways to make a business card stand out: put a calendar on the back, like I said, put a QR code on there, maybe leave a little area on the back with some blank space to write some notes for people if they remember you and you’ve had a certain conversation.
If there’s any questions that you would like to ask in regards to print marketing, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to chat!