It’s easy to believe that technology is taking over. Everywhere we go there are television screens, smartphones, tablet computers, touchscreens and wireless internet connections. A lot of today’s companies are beginning to forget that online isn’t the only place to find customers. And with nearly 40% of online searchers making a purchase after having been influenced by an offline channel, focussing entirely on the internet is excluding almost half your potential.
In this week’s post, we’re examining on the important place that print media should still have in your marketing mix. There are three main reasons why offline marketing is important:
Let’s take a look at each of these in a bit more detail.
Offline marketing is a particularly effective way of improving your brand awareness. It’s easy to underestimate how useful print media can be, until you stop and think about the huge coverage you can get from it. Billboards, leaflets, brochures, posters in bus shelters and on the side of buildings, business cards and vouchers are just some of the ways you can connect with your target market.
Print marketing allows you to build your brand, and get you noticed by your target market.
21.9 million adults in the UK were motivated to take action because of direct mail they received. Of those adults, 6.2 went on the internet to order, while 7.3m visited a store in person to place an order.
People often equate online with being more successful than offline, however this isn’t always true. The best open rate for email marketing is less than 17% (for an email list with more than 1,000 subscribers). Compare that to direct mail, which last year was opened by 91% of recipients.
With direct marketing, you can fully utilise packaging and design in order to get people interested. Direct marketing is also a tactile way of communicating with your customers, giving them something they can actually interact with.
Big companies haven’t dismissed print marketing in the slightest. A report in early 2013 from Econsultancy revealed that while more companies than last year are intending to increase their digital marketing (7 out of 10), the number of companies who aim to raise their traditional marketing budget has also risen to 20% (a 4% increase on last year).
The same report, which was sponsored by Responsys, found that the average proportion of marketing budgets to be spent on digital has actually dropped one percentage point, down to 35%.
People often think online marketing is easier to track, so you are always aware of your return on investment (ROI). However, this seems to be changing. 50% of client-side marketers say they can measure ROI from their online marketing, but this figure is actually a decrease from 55% last year. Conversely, more marketers are able to track the ROI of print material than last year, with a 3% rise from 44% to 47%.
It seems that, while businesses are unlikely to do dramatic U-turns, they are perhaps moving back towards print and away from digital. Finding the perfect balance between online and offline is critical, and if you start working on that now, you’ll be one step ahead.
The statistics clearly show that, while online may have distracted marketers, traditional print marketing is so effective that companies are beginning to backtrack slightly. Print media puts your brand in front of a huge amount of people, increases your brand reputation, and motivates your customers to action.
Online is still incredibly strong, but until you supplement your online marketing with print media, the statistics clearly show you are missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers and sales.