June 17, 2017

Printed media still has its place in your marketing.


Traditional media in the form of printed sales literature, newspapers, magazines and other tactile items are more important than ever if you want your customer to touch, see and feel your brand.

According to the Spring 2016 edition of VoPP Mag (Value of Paper and Print), an Australasian publication dedicated to balancing marketing channel discussions in a multi-media world:

  • 60% of people trust ads in newspapers
  • 58% of people trust ads in magazines
  • Over 40% of luxury purchased by Millenials (aged 20-early 30s) are triggered by a print magazine

However, the marketplace has changed. The key is a multi-device, multi-channel strategy.

You’ve heard of the term multi-tasking. This has now shifted in the marketing world to multi-media tasking, with 87% of all adults now multi-media tasking each week. “Print is certainly one of those media with 81% of adults spending more time reading a print magazine than their online versions”, shares VoPP.

‘Printing, digital and face to face marketing – it’s all important and everything must work together’

If you only choose to use print and no other marketing channel, then you are treading on shaky ground. In the past, you could print and hand out some brochures at a networking event, advertise in a printed industry publication, or do a direct mail out with an order form and wait for the orders to come in or for the phone to ring off the hook.

Nowadays, printing must be used in conjunction with other marketing channels, and for it to work effectively it must be different and stand out.

So how do you make print stand out? Here are some ideas.

Ikea created a colouring book of their most repetitive patterns of their most popular products, such as wardrobes and kitchen utensils targeted to the littlest and most important members of the Ikea household, who need to be kept entertained whilst mum and dad shop themselves silly.

Facebook, the global juggernaut of social media, commissioned a range of print projects to show off it’s creative side to ad agencies including a beautiful deck of 52 illustrated playing cards, which showcased it’s marketing insights to creatives and agency heads.

The Australian Government commissioned research agency GfK to find the world’s ugliest colour – a muddied brown awfulness to help make cigarette packets as unappealing as possible. This colour will be printed on plain cigarette packaging to try to deter smokers. Yuk.

These are all left of field ideas, but quite simply you can make your print stand out by using great design and quality print finishes and textures. Choose your thickness of paper wisely dependent on the application and speak to your designer and print manager for their recommendations.

Essentially you want to think about the problem you are trying to solve and how best you can use print to communicate your message. With the advent of digital marketing, the tangible marketing item has become less present, so imagine the surprise when your clients or prospects receive something they can see, feel and experience. Print can be very effective if used well.

So we’ve established that printing is important. However digital is also important. Oh and people want to deal with people, so face to face is important too.

And everything must work together.

Before you go and rock in a corner thinking how the hell can I do it all?

Hang five.

Only do what works

Firstly, it’s important to only do the marketing activity that works for your business. And you find this out through market research, understanding where your customer ‘lives’, how they want to be communicated to and what has worked in the past.

Set clear measurable objectives at the beginning of every marketing activity and review them during and after to ascertain was it a success or failure, and why. Use these learnings to make new plans and the cycle continues.

Write a plan & follow it

Structure is everything. Without structure, you are doing a bit of this, and a bit of that, and not really doing anything at all well. Your plan should include the items that work (refer above) and new activities you are testing and importantly support your overall business and marketing goals.

It will include every activity you need to do including print, digital, face to face and more, chunked down by weeks and months. This way you know what you should be doing now, what’s looming in the next few weeks and what is coming up ahead that you need to start planning for.

Include printing as part of your activities

It’s very easy to focus all your efforts just on digital marketing in today’s current age – whether it be social media posts and advertising, pay per click advertising, mobile phone SMS marketing, SEO, email marketing, affiliate marketing and similar.

Don’t forget to include printing activities that can support and ‘enhance’ your digital efforts. For example, you might wish to run an online campaign, and send out targeted direct mail with a cover letter to key prospects to further promote a message you wish to get across. Or perhaps you can send a personally designed invitation in the mail to attend a product launch or event if you are attending an expo and have some passes for them (who doesn’t love getting a personal invite!).

Other possible print activities might include developing a:

Outsource it

You have the option. Do it all yourself in-house, do part of it yourself (or your team members) and outsource the rest, or just outsource the whole thing.

We have clients who come to us to do ad hoc work as and when they need it, we have clients who want us to take care of certain aspects such as marketing planning, branding, graphic design, print management or copywriting, and then we have clients who just want us to manage it all for them.

The important thing to remember with your marketing, whether it’s printed, digital or whatever it may be – it needs to be done consistently and you need to be involved, regardless if you outsource it.

So please don’t write a plan and shelve it. If you can’t manage to get part or all of it done, reach out for help and ensure your online and offline marketing is working like a well-oiled machine, even if you’re not the one doing it.

“Words once they are printed, have a life of their own”
Carol Burnett.


If you would like to know how we can ensure print is integrated into your marketing plans, or for assistance with any aspect of your marketing activities, be sure to get in touch with our team on +613 9944 0845 or

Or you can ask us for more information on our monthly graphic design and marketing support ProPackages here.

Creatively Yours, Rosie & Anthony @ ideapro

P.S – Did you enjoy reading about how print is still very much alive in business marketing? We would love to hear what you think in the comments below.

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