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Print Media is still very important in marketing.

The value of print media in marketing

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The value of print media in marketing

Whether it be brochures, posters, flyers or something else, print media still has a lot to offer marketing.

Modern advertising often sees digital channels dominate conversations, but the value of print media remains a steadfast and effective component of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Posters, flyers, brochures, and other printed materials have a unique and enduring appeal that digital media simply cannot replicate.

This blog post delves into the reasons why print media continues to be a vital tool for marketers and how it complements and enhances digital campaigns.

The tangible advantage

One of the most compelling arguments for print media is its tangibility. Unlike digital ads that can be scrolled past or ignored with a click, printed materials engage multiple senses.

The feel of the paper, the visual appeal of high-quality images and text, and even the smell of freshly printed materials create a memorable experience for the consumer. This multisensory engagement fosters a deeper connection with the brand.

Studies have shown that physical materials can lead to better brand recall and recognition. A study by Canada Post and TrueImpact found that direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.

The physical presence of a brochure or flyer can leave a lasting impression, making it an effective tool for brand awareness and retention.

Credibility and trust

Print media carries a perception of credibility and trust that is often lacking in digital formats. The proliferation of online ads, many of which are intrusive or misleading, has led to a certain level of scepticism among consumers. In contrast, printed materials are generally perceived as more legitimate and reliable.

A well-designed brochure or flyer conveys a sense of professionalism and commitment. It signals that the company has invested time and resources into creating something tangible.

This perceived investment can translate into greater trust and credibility in the eyes of the consumer. For businesses aiming to build a strong, trustworthy brand, incorporating print media into their marketing strategy is a wise choice.

Targeted marketing

Print media allows for highly targeted marketing efforts. With the ability to tailor content and design to specific demographics, geographic areas, or customer interests, businesses can create more personalised and effective marketing materials.

Direct mail campaigns, for example, can be customised to reach a particular neighbourhood or even individual households, increasing the likelihood of engagement and response.

Additionally, print media can be strategically placed in locations where target audiences are likely to encounter them.

Posters in community centres, flyers at local events, and brochures in waiting rooms or retail stores can effectively reach potential customers in their everyday environments.

This level of targeting is often more challenging to achieve with digital media, where ads may be easily overlooked or blocked by ad-blocking software.

Longevity and staying power

Digital ads are fleeting by nature. They appear and disappear in an instant, often lost in the constant stream of online content.

In contrast, printed materials have a longer lifespan. A well-placed poster or a creatively designed brochure can remain in a customer’s home or office for weeks, months, or even years, serving as a continuous reminder of the brand.

The staying power of print media means that it can provide ongoing value long after the initial distribution.

Unlike digital ads that require continuous investment to maintain visibility, a single print run can yield long-term benefits. This makes print media a cost-effective option for sustained marketing efforts.

Integrating print and digital

While print media has its own inherent strengths, its true power is unlocked when combined with digital marketing strategies. An integrated approach that leverages the best of both worlds can create a more cohesive and effective marketing campaign.

For example, QR codes on printed materials can bridge the gap between print and digital, directing consumers to websites, online stores, or social media pages.

This not only enhances the interactivity of print media but also provides a way to track engagement and measure the effectiveness of print campaigns.

Personalised URLs (PURLs) and augmented reality (AR) can also add a digital dimension to printed materials, offering interactive experiences that captivate and engage audiences.

Moreover, print media can drive online traffic and social media engagement. A well-designed flyer promoting an event can include social media handles and hashtags, encouraging recipients to share their experiences online.

This cross-channel promotion amplifies the reach of both print and digital efforts, creating a synergistic effect that boosts overall marketing effectiveness.

The environmental consideration

Environmental consciousness has become paramount, so the sustainability of print media is often questioned.

However, advancements in eco-friendly printing technologies and the use of sustainable materials have made it possible to create printed materials with minimal environmental impact. Many printing companies now offer options for recycled paper, soy-based inks, and energy-efficient printing processes.

Moreover, the physical nature of print media means it can be recycled and repurposed, unlike digital ads that consume energy and resources continuously.

By choosing environmentally responsible printing practices, businesses can align their print marketing efforts with their sustainability goals, appealing to eco-conscious consumers while reducing their carbon footprint.

The demographic appeal of print media

Understanding the preferences and behaviours of different demographics is crucial for effective marketing. While digital media has become ubiquitous, certain demographic groups are more likely to engage with print media than their digital counterparts.

Recognising these tendencies allows marketers to tailor their strategies to reach these audiences more effectively.

Older adults and baby boomers

Older adults, particularly the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964), often have a strong preference for print media. This preference stems from several factors:

  1. Habit and familiarity: Baby Boomers grew up in an era where print media was the primary source of information and advertising. They are accustomed to reading newspapers, magazines, and receiving direct mail. The familiarity and comfort with print media make them more receptive to this format.
  2. Trust and credibility: Older adults tend to trust print media more than digital media. They often view printed materials as more reliable and authoritative, which can enhance the effectiveness of marketing messages delivered through these channels.
  3. Digital divide: While many older adults are tech-savvy, there remains a digital divide where some individuals in this age group are less comfortable with digital technology. Print media provides an accessible alternative that does not require navigating digital devices or the internet.
  4. Attention span: Print media often caters to a longer attention span, with readers taking more time to engage with the content. This is particularly true for older adults who may prefer the in-depth and detailed information that printed materials can provide.

Local communities and small towns

Residents of small towns and local communities often engage more with print media. This can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Local relevance: Print media, such as local newspapers, community newsletters, and flyers, often contain information that is directly relevant to the community. Residents are more likely to read and engage with these materials because they provide news, events, and advertisements that impact their daily lives.
  2. Limited digital access: In some rural areas, internet access may be limited or unreliable. Print media serves as a vital source of information and advertising in these regions, ensuring that residents stay informed and connected.
  3. Community focus: Print media in small towns often fosters a sense of community. Local businesses frequently use print advertising to reach their customers, and community events are promoted through posters and flyers. This creates a stronger bond between the business and the local population.

High-income and professional demographics

High-income and professional demographics also show a notable engagement with print media. The reasons for this include:

  1. Luxury and quality perception: High-quality printed materials, such as glossy magazines, brochures, and direct mail, are often perceived as luxurious and high-value. These demographics appreciate the quality and craftsmanship that goes into well-produced print media, which can enhance their perception of the brand.
  2. Professional settings: In professional environments, print media like trade magazines, business cards, and brochures are commonplace. Professionals often engage with these materials during their daily routines, whether in the office, at conferences, or during meetings.
  3. Distraction-free reading: High-income professionals frequently seek distraction-free reading experiences. Print media offers a break from the constant notifications and distractions of digital devices, allowing for more focused and uninterrupted engagement with the content.

Parents and families

Parents and families, especially those with young children, often favour print media for various reasons:

  1. Educational value: Parents frequently seek out printed materials like books, educational flyers, and brochures for their children. These materials are viewed as valuable educational tools that can aid in learning and development.
  2. Screen time management: Many parents are concerned about the amount of screen time their children are exposed to. Print media provides an alternative that does not contribute to screen fatigue, offering a healthier balance of media consumption.
  3. Shared experiences: Print media can facilitate shared experiences within the family. Reading a book together, looking at brochures for planning family activities, or browsing a catalogue for holiday shopping can be enjoyable and bonding activities.

Cultural and ethnic communities

Certain cultural and ethnic communities also show a strong engagement with print media:

  1. Language preferences: Print media can cater to specific language preferences that digital media may not always address. Ethnic newspapers, magazines, and flyers in native languages help bridge communication gaps and provide valuable information to these communities.
  2. Community outreach: Printed materials are often used effectively in community outreach efforts, providing information on local services, events, and resources that are culturally relevant. This targeted approach resonates well with cultural and ethnic communities.

Cultural traditions: Some cultures have strong traditions of reading print media. Newspapers and magazines are integral parts of daily life, and this cultural habit translates into continued engagement with printed materials.

Case studies: Print media success stories

To illustrate the enduring value of print media, let’s explore a few case studies of successful print marketing campaigns:

1. IKEA’s catalogue:

IKEA’s annual catalogue is a prime example of effective print marketing. Despite the rise of digital platforms, the catalogue remains a cornerstone of IKEA’s marketing strategy. It provides a tactile, immersive experience that digital catalogues cannot match. Customers can browse through pages, fold corners, and mark items of interest. The catalogue drives in-store visits and online sales, demonstrating the lasting impact of well-executed print media.

2. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign:

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign incorporated personalised labels on bottles, but it also extended to print media with posters, billboards, and point-of-sale displays. The print components of the campaign created a buzz and complemented the digital and social media efforts, resulting in increased brand engagement and sales. This campaign highlights the power of integrating print and digital strategies for maximum impact.

3. Local business flyers:

Small businesses often rely on print media to reach their local communities. A neighbourhood pizzeria, for instance, might use flyers to advertise weekly specials or new menu items. These flyers can be distributed door-to-door, placed on community bulletin boards, or included in local newspapers. The tangible nature of the flyer encourages local residents to take notice, fostering a sense of community and loyalty that digital ads might not achieve.

Practical tips for effective print marketing

To maximise the impact of print media, consider the following practical tips:

  1. Design matters: Invest in high-quality design to make your printed materials visually appealing. Use professional designers if necessary to ensure that your brochures, flyers, and posters stand out and reflect your brand’s identity.
  2. Clear messaging: Keep your messaging concise and focused. Ensure that the main message or call-to-action is immediately clear to the reader. Avoid clutter and make good use of white space to enhance readability.
  3. Quality materials: Choose high-quality paper and printing techniques. The tactile experience of your print materials should convey quality and professionalism.
  4. Targeted distribution: Distribute your print materials strategically to reach your target audience. Consider partnering with local businesses or community organisations for distribution opportunities.
  5. Track and measure: Incorporate tracking mechanisms such as QR codes, unique URLs, or promotional codes to measure the effectiveness of your print campaigns. Analyse the data to refine your strategies and improve future efforts.


Despite the dominance of digital media in today’s marketing landscape, the value of print media remains undeniable. Posters, flyers, brochures, and other printed materials offer a tangible, credible, and targeted way to connect with consumers.

They provide a lasting presence that digital ads often lack and can be seamlessly integrated with digital strategies for a holistic marketing approach.

By leveraging the unique strengths of print media and combining them with innovative digital techniques, marketers can create powerful, multi-channel campaigns that resonate with audiences and drive results.

In the end, print media is not just a relic of the past but a vibrant and effective tool for the present and future of marketing.

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