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    Why print is still an incredible way to engage an audience

    Much like you probably wouldn’t turn up to a party in Regency breeches (unless it was a historical re-enactment party, obviously) or try to use BlackBerry Messenger to contact your friends, you probably wouldn’t insist on a print-first strategy for your marketing efforts. Right?

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    However, though the likes of newspapers, magazines, flyers and brochures might be falling out of fashion in marketing, they can still effectively engage audiences. Here are several reasons why.

    Print is a target-specific medium

    For advertisers, one of the major selling points of print is how it allows them to reach a large number of people delightfully quickly. Still, utilising print can too easily lead to a scattergun approach, where too few of the messages reach people particularly inclined to heed them.

    In contrast, print can reach exactly those people when they come into face-to-face contact with your business. Consider, for example, how easily you can hand out business cards at an event or leave a pile of appealingly glossy brochures in a waiting room.

    Print stands out more in our digital world

    Paradoxically, the unrelenting rise of digital has given print something of a prestige appeal. Whereas it’s just too easy to ignore – or even delete – an email, an e-book can leave a longer-lasting impression if you print it as a brochure and then mail it out.

    This is pointed out by Brandon Ortiz of Salesforce.org in a Forbes article. He insists: “If you’re trying to target a C-level audience, forget email – their assistant will just hit delete.”

    Direct mail has a surprisingly high ROI

    You might have assumed it to be a long-ago discredited relic of the marketing world – but, on the contrary, direct mail turns out to surpass paid search and online display in ROI.

    The median ROI of direct mail is 29%, says Neil Patel. That compares to 23% with paid search and 16% with online display. Social media marketing is still ahead of direct mail on this measure, but only by one percentage point.

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    You can easily integrate print with digital

    Don’t assume that you have to choose strictly between either print or digital; you can opt for both and leverage the different benefits of both. One way you could do that is by mailing a print card or leaflet with a QR code which the recipient can scan with their smartphone.

    Doing that could, for them, bring up a wealth of digital, online goodies. The rise of augmented reality (AR) could unlock even further exciting possibilities with combining print and digital marketing.

    Printing is more cost-effective than you might think

    The Drum brought together a panel of marketing industry experts for discussion of how the clash between print and digital was panning out. Helen Bazuaye, global editor in chief of IKEA magazine, admitted that print is reputed as “a lot more expensive than a digital alternative.”

    Nonetheless, by printing your own marketing materials, such as with a printer bought from Duplo International, you could help yourself to offset the long-term cost.