Print marketing isn’t dead, it’s alive with colour

July 03, 2018

With studies confirming that the human brain responds more positively to print, marketers need to realise there’s a bright future in printed collateral says Pamela Ghosal, General Manager, Marketing Communications EMEA, OKI Europe Ltd

According to seemingly endless speculation, print is either dead or dying. It’s hard to know which to believe and it largely depends on what you read, but there is plenty of information out there that suggests print is neither dead nor dying but is very much alive. Digital marketing trends have not eliminated print as some would have you believe. They have in fact instead nestled nicely alongside print marketing methods, spawning a highly effective approach to marketing that makes the best of both print and digital.

With printer manufacturers continuing to innovate, businesses in the ‘print for profit’ sector are well positioned to support their customers’ marketing efforts, and should those businesses find potential customers reluctant to explore the possibilities of print, they will be please to know neuroscience is on their side.

Neuroscience has proven that print ads make a better impression than digital ones, with numerous studies indicating that printed content is processed with greater engagement and focus on a brain-chemistry level. The studies also reveal a deeper emotional response from printed content than digital content viewed on-screen.

So printed media clearly has an impact, but how does this translate for businesses that want to see measurable results from their marketing efforts? One study by Cision found that 64 percent of B2B shoppers name print as one of sources of information that they trust the most. Certainly worth bearing in mind when considering how seriously a customer’s marketing efforts will be taken.

Furthermore, customers reportedly find printed marketing materials less annoying than they do online ads, according to one Roper Public Affairs survey. This isn’t the best news for businesses focused on getting the highest possible click-through rates, but with a combined print and digital marketing approach, those businesses could yield stronger results from their marketing efforts.

In fact, printed materials have been found to have a direct impact on business’ digital marketing efforts. According to one USPS study, more than 60 percent of direct mail recipients were influenced to visit a website promoted in the printed content.

While the stats work in their favour, it is up to print businesses in the Graphic Arts sector to expand their service offering and create more marketing value for their customers and traditionally, this has been easier said than done. Now this is easier than ever to achieve with the rise in affordable devices that can print in a dazzling array of vibrant, striking colours including vivid neon and striking whites on a wide range of printable materials.

These printers vastly increase the service offering of any business willing to invest in them. For example, OKI’s own Pro Series range of speciality printers has been developed to increase print for profit through the ability to easily and cost-effectively print vibrant full colour neon and brilliant whites. These can be applied to a wide range of white, dark and transparent marketing projects and materials including transfer media, clear film and colour paper.

As combined digital and print marketing continues to grow in popularity, direct mail campaigns have come to the forefront of direct marketing efforts. For a while it had seemed as through email campaigns had well and truly taken over, however, the statistics once again say otherwise.

OKI’s own Pro9542 Envelope Print System has been developed to add even more value to envelope printing for direct mailers with vibrant colour on colour printing, making it easy and affordable to create envelopes that truly stand out. Data from neuromarketing firm TrueImpact revealed that printed direct mail requires 21 percent less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.

The study also found that of participants asked to cite the name of a brand of whose advertisement they had just seen, recall was higher among 70 percent of participants who were exposed to a direct mailer than a digital ad. Clearly there are big opportunities for print businesses to provide memorable, high quality direct mail materials, yet they must also consider how they can make their own service offering stand out among the offerings of contending businesses competing for the same business.

To maintain a leading edge, print business will do well to keep pace with the innovative devices available to them. Technologies such as LED printing are raising the game in terms of high resolution colour print quality, and with cost-effective options becoming more widely available, it is clear that print is very much alive, as is the ability to print for profit in the age of digital marketing.

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