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Is print advertising effective?

The short answer is yes. Read on to find out why print could work for your brand.

Why print is still relevant

If you want to trade, you need to promote. And if you want to promote, you need a well-rounded marketing strategy.

Yet, with so much focus on engaging digital content and promotion, print advertising can be easily overlooked.

But a more measured view can tell a different story. With digital marketing reaching saturation point, printed material offers businesses a distinct way to stand out from the crowd.

Over the past 15 years, printed brochures have experienced something of a renaissance, with response rates from catalogues increasing by 170% between 2004 and 2018.

Woman reading travel brochure

Never too late for a comeback

The multichannel approach is evolving to include printed brochures and their corresponding interactive digital versions. Both traditional brands, such Patagonia and Nordstrom, and online-only retailers, including Amazon, Birchbox and Wayfair, recognise the value of physical catalogues and are investing in print.

Why? Because they can cut through the clutter. With so much digital noise to contend with, customers are taking pleasure from the analogue, tangible nature of printed brochures.

And we’re not just talking about customers of a certain age. Or even about digital laggards who refuse to go online. Research suggests that millennials are increasingly interested in printed brochures and catalogues. If anything, they have become original and fresh in an age of all things digital.

Why print has staying power

Printed marketing is more likely to be remembered. According to neuromarketing firm True Impact, print requires 21% less cognitive effort to read and process compared to digital media. We are also 70% more likely to recall the content of print over that of a digital ad.

And it lasts the distance, too. Research shows that 37% of printed catalogues stay in the home for more than four weeks.

Unlike social media posts that get lost as you scroll, brochures are designed to be kept. Many printed brochures are things of beauty – with the most eye-catching ending up on coffee tables.

Pile of brochures on coffee table

Enhancing the customer experience

Packed full of inspirational images, printed brochures are visually appealing. They take the reader on a journey that creates an emotional connection and can steer them towards a sale or action.

By increasing the vibrancy of a product, print promotions allow the customer to visualise the difference a product can make to their lives and imagine the experiences it will bring. As a result, the customer feels more involved and happier with the purchasing process, which in turn influences decisions and sales. This is particularly true for experiential products and services.

Is print sustainable?

Sustainability is a growing concern for customers. They want to deal with organisations that are actively working to reduce their environmental impact.

Luckily, there are plenty of sustainable print options, such as recyclable paper, water-based inks and biodegradable toner. At Linney, we are a Carbon Balanced Printer offering customers the chance to offset their print emissions. In some cases, this can make print a more eco-friendly option than digital. All our paper also comes from FSC sources – carefully managed European forests that are growing in size equivalent to over 1,500 football pitches every day.

By choosing to work with a Carbon Balanced Printer, you become a greener business, showing your customers you’re putting the planet before profit.

Couple looking at brochure with sales rep

Evolution of print

Print may have fallen since its heyday, but that doesn’t mean it’s not able to change and evolve.

Technology is opening up new opportunities all the time; brands can bring print to life more than ever before. QR codes, virtual reality and artificial reality are all creating omnichannel experiences for customers. These help businesses add value to print productions, drive engagement, build direct relationships with customers, and collect insights into habits and preferences to improve that experience further still.

The divide between digital and print is breaking down – print offers strong brand connections and trust, while digital extends reach and supports branding. Both have earned their place in every well-rounded marketing strategy.

Linney: your full-service provider

If you’re looking to build a sustainable business that stands out from the crowd, find out how Linney’s Carbon Balanced Print services can support your brand’s goals.

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