Part one of a series brought to you by PostNet, your Neighborhood Business Center in Austin.
Daily-deal websites, text messages, social media – the marketing options have exploded as businesses look for new ways to attract customers in an increasingly digital world. But for small businesses, print marketing – from brochures and flyers to direct-mail postcards – still plays a big role because it’s cost-effective and easy to produce. In this report, we’ll look at how you can combine your print marketing with digital marketing efforts to get the most out of both.
Most agree that the reports of print marketing’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. While many people assume that everyone, especially the younger generation, has tuned out things like direct mail, a study by the U.S. Postal Service found that that wasn’t the case. In fact, they said:
• 87% of Gen Y and 86% of Gen X bring in the mail the day it’s delivered.
• 73% of Gen Y and 68% of Gen X survey respondents had used coupons received in the mail.
Marketing Sherpa found similar results when they surveyed B2B marketers. The majority of respondents said direct mail was either very effective or somewhat effective for their organization. While organizations of all sizes liked direct mail, it was especially popular with businesses with less than 100 employees.
However, we’ve all also seen the statistics about the growth of social networks and the mobile web. EMarketer.com reports that in 2011, 65% of U.S. web users will use social networks. And comScore.com reported that 43 million people in the U.S. owned smart phones in an average month from November to January 2010, up 18 percent from the previous six months. So whether you love or hate these technologies, it’s clear that you’ll need to embrace them if you want your small business to thrive. So how do you go about adding them to your marketing mix?
Print vs. Digital
To help you decide which medium is best for your marketing campaign or message, let’s start by taking a look at the benefits of print marketing vs. digital marketing.
Print Marketing and Direct Mail
• It’s tangible. It makes your company look solid and trustworthy.
• It’s difficult to ignore. Everyone still sorts through their mail – there’s no automatic spam filter.
• It’s good for static information, like product specifications or your contact information.
• It’s dynamic. This makes it good for information that you update regularly, like pricing or special offers.
• It’s interactive. Digital marketing, especially social media, makes it possible for consumers to easily give you their feedback and ask questions. That dialogue with customers is extremely important in today’s marketplace – consumers want to interact with the companies they do business with, not just receive advertising.
Next up, we’ll look at some of the new technologies available, and best practices for combining them with your print marketing.