Originally Published: February 22, 2015 6 a.m.
Question: All I hear any more is that print marketing is no longer relevant. In fact, I recently had another business owner tell me that anything but social media marketing is dead. Can SCORE shed some light on the viability of print marketing?
Answer: Before you decide what venues to use for your marketing, it's important to understand the demographics of your target market. Are you selling to young people on the go? What about parents juggling work and family? Is your market an older group, maybe nearing retirement? These are the first questions to answer. Once you determine your target market, you can then plan your advertising strategy.
According to an article inForbes.com, "While many businesses have completely migrated their advertising efforts to the web because of its cost effectiveness, exposure potential and convenience, print still maintains its stance as a powerful and necessary component of an ad campaign."
One of the primary reasons for the power that print marketing carries is that an ad in any type of publication can remain in houses or offices for weeks, months and even years. Print is tangible and it also carries a large degree of authority.
Carrie Ann Apap, a certified medical and clinical hypnotherapist www.PrescottHypnosis.com declares print marketing is a major part of her advertising campaign.
"I believe in a broad spectrum advertising strategy," emphasizes Apap, "making sure to reach audiences of all ages and across the board. Print advertising is vitally important to my strategy. I advertise in the local paper on the same page on a regular weekly basis as well as through direct mail, yellow pages, and local magazines. I also advertise on radio. All my sources lead my clients to my website and social media presence.
"When people come in to see me they will often indicate that several sources brought them. My criterion is that my advertising has to bring in three times what I put into its cost. I track that advertising and act accordingly. I also make sure I give any new ads enough time to be recognized by the specific audience I am targeting for that publication. Having a well-developed formula for my specific service helps tremendously. Print advertising consistently performs for me."
According to the Forbes article the reasons why print is still a viable advertising source are:
Tangibility - A print piece is a physical thing. Internet ads can disappear into cyber space instantaneously.
Credibility - There is something about print that gives a sense of legitimacy. The saturation of ads on the web can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses is enough make people leery of clicking. There is no imminent danger in a print ad.
Branding -Your ads should have a consistent aesthetic in terms of fonts, colors and types of images to establish brand recognition.
Target Marketing - Placing ads in publications such as specialty magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target online.
More Engaging - Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15-second visit.
QR Codes - Placing QR codes on printed pieces is an excellent way to bridge the gap between print and web.
As Carrie Ann Apap does, the smart way to market your business is to reach every corner of your target demographic; this should not exclude print. Finding the right balance among the various media will ensure a steady flow of revenue and an increase in sales and new customers.
For more help with your marketing, be sure to contact your SCORE mentor. Sign up today for the Business Planning Workshop; 5 Wednesdays, Apr 1-Apr 29. Only $90 for two people from the same business at Yavapai College. Call 928-778-7438 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.