4 Reasons Print is Still Valuable to Small Businesses

There is much debate over whether print marketing is dead or not as some argue that because we have entered the age of the digital, it has made print obsolete.

Print ad

However, there is plenty to suggest print is still extremely important and valuable in today’s business market. Mark Ritson, professor of marketing at Melbourne Business School says marketers are rejecting traditional media ‘at their peril’, and points out that 60 per cent of people still trust print advertisements.

Regardless of debates on the longevity of print, many businesses can still benefit from investing in it now. Especially small businesses and startups. Here are four reasons why print marketing can be more effective that digital marketing and why businesses should continue to invest in print.

Print is more engaging

A printed advertisement forces a consumer to engage with physical copy. Unlike online ads which are quickly clicked off or closed, printed ads remain present, allowing for second glances in a non-invasive fashion. According to a Nielsen study, more than half of shoppers surveyed still used direct mail or newspaper advertising to make a decision to purchase. By comparison email marketing was at 37% and store websites just 27%, showing how much of an influence print advertising still has.

There is also a much greater chance that printed advertisements will circulate amongst more people – especially if they are printed in a magazine or newspaper. This is because, often, people will read them secondhand, meaning they generate a longer lasting effect. For example, you often find multitudes of magazines at receptions, waiting rooms, lobbies, etc. that people will pick up for a browse.

More trustworthy

Print marketing is more widely trusted, as research shows that only 42% of customers trust online banner ads, while 60-61% of customers trust ads in newspapers or magazines. With the constant pop-ups of web advertisements, it can be hard to know when an ad is genuine or if it is a scam or virus.

Users will avoid ads they think are scams; something we are tuned to ignore online. There is less fear of this with print advertising as print has to be paid for and although can be relatively cheap, it’s significantly less likely that someone will pay for a scam print ad. This means people are more likely to accept a printed advertisement as the real thing with merits and values as inferred by the design.

Can reach people in a different way/ It can target people in everyday situations

With print marketing, you have the opportunity to target people as they go about their daily lives.

Printing advertisements and putting them on public transport, escalators, road crossings, etc. requires little effort on your part but can lead to major benefits. It allows you to reach a large scale of people in situations where your advertisement is less likely to be ignored, because people are not focusing on anything other than their surroundings. This is true of bus advertising in particular, as research shows that 86% of consumers can spontaneously talk in detail about a specific bus advert they have seen, showing how much we subconsciously take in.

This means there is a higher chance of your ad randomly being seen by someone who will find it relevant than it does if it is just on the web.

Less print competition

You can use the fact that many businesses believe print marketing is dead to your advantage. An International Communications Research found that 73% of consumers actually prefer mail over other advertising methods and according to Research by Mail Print, 40% try new businesses after receiving direct mail. If more and more businesses are relying solely on online marketing for their advertising, this will leave the print sphere more open and with less competition.

If you’re a small business or a start-up, using print marketing can be a really useful way to get yourself out there. Global eCommerce Solutions company Pitney Bowes found that 76 per cent of small businesses use both print marketing and digital marketing as this combined strategy usually offers the best return on investment and gets the best response rates.

To start up a company with only online platforms pitches you against all the competition that has already established itself online so using both digital and print marketing will give you more of a fighting chance. It allows you to make your brand more personable as well as increase your outreach as your advertisements will be available on more platforms than other businesses and so are likely to reach and be trusted by more people.


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