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How print collateral can complement your digital marketing

Print collateral remains an important part of your marketing mix, and even works to support your digital strategy. Here’s how.

Like fondue, legwarmers, and sun tanning, print content is often put into the category of things that we enjoyed in the past but are probably not planning to revisit any time soon.

I mean, it’s the digital age, right? Why would any business include into their marketing mix something that costs more than digital, takes longer to produce, and will ultimately end up in the recycling tub?

Yet, the world’s most successful brands, even those known digital giants, continue to invest in print collateral.

That’s because there is still value in producing print collateral, and there are some clever ways it can be used to complement digital marketing activity.

What is print collateral?

Print collateral is any type of printed marketing that exists offline, and can include magazines, brochures, flyers, invitations, and posters.

It remains an important part of generating leads and converting them to sales because print collateral fills a gap unable to be reached by digital, and actually supports digital strategy.

Here’s how:

1. Print creates a seamless online and in-store experience

Over the past 12 months we’ve all become very familiar with QR codes – those codes you find on flyers, menus, and labels that you scan with your smartphone.

While our public health response teams use QR codes for contract tracing, did you know that businesses and brands are increasingly using QR codes on print materials as a way to market to online and in-store customers?

People often scan codes to unlock sales, offers and special promotions.

Similarly, QR codes are increasingly used to provide customers and leads, even event attendees, with more information about a product or service.

Brands use QR codes to direct leads to their social media platforms, where they’re swept up in the brand experience. Social media QR codes can send users to like pages, check-in to a location, view offerings, and leave a review on the page.

QR codes allow the buying experience to continue beyond the sale, re-targeting the consumer via new offers and sales, and enable brands to run A/B testing to better understand the responses of their customers.

How print collateral can complement your digital marketing
How print collateral can complement your digital marketing
How print collateral can complement your digital marketing

2. Print supports digital activity

Even the world’s biggest digital brands use print media as an integral part of their marketing strategy. They understand that in addition to driving consumers to online competitions, landing pages and social media, print content can add value to digital assets in a way that cannot be achieved online alone.

For example, Airbnb’s business model is based on the digital ‘share’ economy and, as such, lacks significant branding opportunities. The company uses print media, in the form of their magazine Pineapple, to bridge that gap. Pineapple takes the form of a traditional travel guide, and elevates Airbnb to the status of traditional travel businesses.

Closer to home, while Camberwell shopping precinct has a strong online presence, its print magazine creates branding usually associated with advertising in costly, high-end magazines. Camberwell shopping precinct’s lifestyle print publication The Camberwell Citizen creates a direct link to the local area, celebrating the people, shopkeepers, and culture of its direct community.

Publications like The Camberwell Citizen are particularly valuable because, unlike a pop-up advertisement or social media post, they don’t disappear immediately. Magazines and newspapers sit on coffee tables and waiting rooms and get passed around between friends, for weeks or even months after their publication date.

3. Print drives traffic from print to online, and vice versa

Targeted calls to action on printed collateral can drive audiences to digital destinations.

Competitions, giveaways, sales, and promotions can segue leads from being eyes on a brochure or magazine to online customers heading to the online checkout in minutes.

Similarly, if your aim is to drive people to an event or store, printed materials can act like an invitation – stuck on the fridge, propped up on your desk – and are harder to dismiss than email reminders or pop-ups.

4. Print increases brand awareness and audience reach

Businesses that combine print and digital as part of their marketing mix reach a greater number of potential customers.

Exposure of your brand across several mediums increases its recognition and trust, and feeds into every stage of the buying cycle.

Marketing strategies are most effective when they combine a mix of print and online components – the key is creating the best content and timings for the two, as well as points of intersection.

Need help combining your print and digital marketing?

Developing a sound strategy for your marketing plan should include a mix of activities, such as combining print collateral and digital marketing.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, and we can help grow your business with a marketing strategy that amplifies and complements your service and product offering.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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