Mix it up
Digital is more attractive than print by way of time and money. You can create almost instant digital promotional material and distribute fairly cheaply, reaching a large audience very quickly. The risk is that hardly anyone will take an interest as the messaging, design and channel is often very similar to what everyone else is doing and, quite sensibly, people switch off (delete). I would suggest a piece of print alongside the digital – sent to a select group of people that we especially want to reach out to. When print is included in multichannel marketing, the overall results are proven to be more successful than with digital alone.
To gain advantage over your competitors you need to try and reach into the hearts and minds of your audience. You may have a special service you wish to talk about, a white paper to share or a new geographic location to announce but in addition to this you should always be telling your story and pointing out what makes you different from the competition. Print will help you do this as well as enhance your brand positioning in the following ways:
Print has existed for thousands of years and is a natural medium for storytelling. The added engagement of a well-designed piece of print ensures a level of emotional connection from the reader that is much harder to capture using digital.
Supporting your digital communication with print ensures a higher level of authenticity. Your message is likely to be more believed because you have taken the time and effort to give them something that is real.
Print delivers a greater sense of permanence and therefore trust. Being believed is an incredibly powerful brand asset.
We may no longer need expansive brochures as our websites deliver up-to-date information on our company and services, but a small piece of print to leave behind in a meeting is still proving very useful. A reminder or something to pass onto a colleague perhaps with all the (above mentioned) brand building benefits to maximise your changes of creating the right first impression.
Essential to the effectiveness of print is great content and design. It is important to take advantage of the unique qualities of print and experiment with the tactile opportunities; the paper, the inks, the finishes, the cut. That way, your investment will be a wise one as you may be the only business on a shortlist to offer something beyond pixels and it might just put a smile on the face of the recipient.