post tag icon Marketing
08 / 03 / 16

Digital vs Print – Why not both?

As technology becomes ever more ingrained within our daily lives you’d be forgiven for thinking that marketing any form of business should focus upon digital mediums alone. After all, an average of 60% of a professional marketer’s time is now spent on digital marketing (Smart Insights and Ecommerce Expo). 78% of businesses now have dedicated social media teams (iScoop). Furthermore, 71% of such companies are making further plans to increase their budget to move away from traditional mediums, over into digital (Webbiquity), it seems likely that these statistics will only become stronger as time goes by.

With this in mind, we take a look at the current state of play for the digital and print marketing realms, answering what seems to be an ever more relevant question of why, rather than focussing on digital alone, do digital and print work better together?

Is print marketing really dead in the water?

Leaflets, mass mail outs, posters and newspaper adverts – these may, at first, appear to be marketing mediums from the dark ages. They provide no interactivity, are difficult to analyse in terms of ROI and jostle for attention amongst other printed advertisements – whether that be the ones that surround them within the newspaper, or those that lie around them upon the average consumer’s crowded door mat.

Then surely print marketing has had its time?

Well, actually, it hasn’t. Far from it, in fact. For a start there’s been a real resurgence in the medium of direct mail. JBH reports upon Royal Mail’s study, which found numerous reasons for this recent growth, for example:

- 79% of consumers act upon direct mail instantly; this compares to just 45% who act upon the receiving of an email.

- 86% of consumers report feeling connected to a business that has sent direct mail.

- Print marketing garners a 4.4% response rate, whilst email only delivers an average response rate of 0.12%.

As if all of this isn’t enough, it’s worthy to note that the drawbacks traditionally associated with print media can be more than overcome when adopting a dual approach that integrates print marketing with digital. In addition, the same study by Royal Mail found that print advertising works hand in hand with digital mediums, where 54% of consumers receiving printed materials engage in social media and where 43% go on to download something.


So it really does seem that rather than choosing between print and digital marketing, companies should be thinking of innovative ways to merge print and digital together for a more powerful marketing plan.

4 fresh ideas for merging print and digital marketing        

Feature QR codes upon all of your printed materials

QR codes are a simple, affordable and effective way of seamlessly driving your printed materials receiver over to an online destination of your choice. All it takes is a click of a SmartPhone button and your target consumer travels digitally over to where you want them, be this a product page, information source or any other online destination.

Generating QR codes can easily be done through various online platforms or dedicated QR code generator apps, making the process convenient and accessible for businesses of all sizes.

Feature your social links upon your printed materials

Again you make this all the easier for your target market if you include a QR code, web address or even a #hashtag that can take them directly to your social media profiles.

Use innovative print techniques with viral worthy content

Using techniques such as pop up print books, embossing and custom die cutting can all help your printed materials to stand out. Combine this with clever content that effectively engages the reader and you have the perfect combination for a print campaign that spreads like wild fire online.

Want to really stand out? Learn from the best

The most powerful ways in which digital and print work together is shown through case studies from the most innovative of companies, where clearly the merge has worked. Examples of which include Nivea, which included a print ad with a wristband that a child could wear on the beach. A QR code sent the reader to an app that could be downloaded and used to track the wristband wearer.

Another example of which is Kontour Records, who printed an advert with a turntable; through the use of just an iPhone the user could hear the record in question and even manipulate the turntable’s controls.

Therefore, a combination of print and digital marketing proves essential in reinforcing a successful business plan, due to the efficiency in which they cohabit. Harnessing the strengths of both will give you your best chance at being found and growing your customer base.

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Written by Formation Formation