Print Isn’t Dead But Print Alone Is

With digital marketing the dominant force, is print marketing done for?

I’m Daniel DiGriz with MadPipe, and this is the MadPipe Mailbag. Now, each week MadPipe is opening mail with your marketing questions. Today we have a question from Pam in New Providence and the question is; is print marketing dead?

Great question, Pam; so first off, print marketing is far from dead, but is has evolved. We need to know how that’s happened. First, print marketing, by itself – just handing out fliers etc. – that has a very low conversion rate. It always did – maybe 1% on a great day; now that’s next to nothing. Just ask the guys who are trying to get you to take their cards outside the New York City subway. In conjunction with events though or network marketing, print can be very powerful. When you put something in somebody’s hand and it’s related to what they’re doing at the time – to an activity they’re engaged in – now we’re talking. So, no door knocking.

Also, print should really integrate with the rest of your digital strategy. For example, social media links and icons and things like that on your actual print documents. It works, as long as the links are really short. You don’t want some mile long link that somebody has to type in. Also, fewer than ever people are about the immediate sales, so you want your print items not to just work if they happen to be ready to decide right now. That’s another reason to include social information, so they can stay in your orbit, follow you and be ready for the sale later.

Also, it’s helpful to make the paper product something useful – so not just a flier, not just the standard brochure or business card. You could do something like printed chocolates; there are all kinds of ideas to give somebody something useful. Not just a keychain, but something that they’re actually going to use. You can also make it very personal, so a gift item; even a nicely printed card or something like that. If it’s very, very personal it can often make a difference.

Last thing I would say is you can make it disruptive. So if you want to know what disruptive looks like, ride on the New York City subway you’ll see those signs and they’re up there and they’re often great; it’s printed material and some of the messages in those are really radical. So sometimes all it takes to be disruptive is say something that other people aren’t’ saying in print.


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About once / month, corporate storyteller and digital ecologist® Daniel DiGriz weaves together interesting business stories, analytics, & examples for organizations committed to achieving their goals.

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