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Is Print Dead? Variety is Key to Reaching Your Audience

11.28.2010There has been a question looming over the heads of marketers, advertisers and designers since the onset of new media and online advertising…is print dead?

Do your research and you’ll find 101 answers to this question. My clients and prospects often ask me this question and this is my take…

To plan a successful marketing or advertising campaign you must work backwards from your target audience. Your audience isn’t likely to get information from a single source—internet, newspaper, mailbox or their personal or professional network—they are curious by nature and multi-faceted. Because of this, the best way for a business to reach their target audience is by using a variety of methods.

Say I own a flower shop in San Diego. I would want my marketing strategy to consist of the following: a nice, professional website, with a solid SEO and social media strategy that will allow my customers and prospects to find my shop online. I would also want to send postcards to past customers reminding them of holidays, important birthdays and special offers. It would be in my best interest to do regular advertising in bridal magazines. Last but not least, I want to maintain relationships with referral sources. Therefore, I would make calls and schedule lunches with event coordinators, hotel managers and wedding planners where I can pass out my capabilities brochure, showcasing all my services and latest accomplishments.

Through this multi-pronged approach I’m able to reach all my target audiences and stay top-of-mind the next time they need flowers.

So, as you can see print media still plays a vital role in marketing and advertising. However, there are certain industries and types of businesses that rely on print media more than others. Typically, B2C companies employ more print marketing tactics than to B2B companies.

For small businesses with limited budgets, print media may not always be the best option because it tends to be more expensive and less measurable than online or new media marketing. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea (no matter how small you are) to have one nice sales kit, capabilities brochure or case study that you can use as a leave behind or at trade show. There is a tactile value of print that something on a computer or TV cannot replicate.

Last but not least, if you plan on integrating some print media into your marketing campaign, don’t cheap out on the paper or printing – it just looks tacky.

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