Why it pays to get it in black and white

Why it pays to get it in black and white

Remember the age when cookies meant a tasty treat best enjoyed dunked in tea? Or when a banner was something you took to a sporting event or a protest rally? Or even the golden age when people consumed the predominance of their news and marketing information in printed format? You see, believe it or not – tongue firmly planted in the cheek – before the internet, content was consumed from printed copy, magazines, newspapers, and for video, via a television.

So, does that mean that with the invasion of internet domains, tablets and smartphones and the proliferation of online media that the golden age of print media is dead, or on the endangered species list? Or is it that we’ve been so overrun with digital stimuli in this day and age that the soothing benefits of absorbing print content has just regressed to the back of our brains? Not really according to researchers.

Despite the enormous migration to electronic media, neuroscience research shows that paper-based content and ads offer special advantages in connecting with our brains. In research conducted by Temple University, it was found that paper advertising activated the ventral striatum (look it up) area of the brain more than digital media. A previous study of successful ad campaigns and marketing material found that the ventral striatum was an indicator of desire and valuation.

So why isn’t print media dying, or even dead?

Media in printed form is alive. All hail print media. But with modern day scepticism rife, along with burgeoning online media channels, you could be forgiven for thinking that the resilience of print media can only be attributed to marketers trying to steer us in the direction that they want us to go. But that’s certainly not the case.

Hard to believe we know, but the fact of the matter is that print still excites people. It grabs attention in a way that online media wishes it could. Most people believe that online uses smoke and mirrors to dazzle us, whilst others have always kept their faith in print media. Believing that when something is printed it’s truthful, or more than that, it’s as real as our very existence on this planet. And that has a lot to do with the fact that print is tangible. It’s right there in black and white and can’t really be manipulated.

It costs 7 times more to acquire a customer than retain them

Sure you’ve heard that before somewhere. So you will appreciate that one of the most important reasons to consider print media for your content strategy is and always will be because it really focusses on customer retention. 64% of B2B marketers create original content for customer retention and loyalty goals.

Historically, the reason why custom print magazines and newsletters were developed by brands was for customer retention purposes.1 In a recent CMI webinar, Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of Annuitas Group, stated that one of the biggest problems marketers have with their content is that they forget to nurture customers after the purchase decision was made. It’s not just about hooking them, it’s about keeping them.

Print enhances power and purpose to your marketing message

In many ways, print is the ideal marketing medium: it’s accessed easily, is engaging, versatile and creative.

For newspapers, they become part of their readers’ day as they educate and inform with credibility and trust, while consumer and customer magazines create engagement through entertaining content.

Direct mail uses its ability to gain access to people’s homes and lives to deliver a targeted sales message, while door drops have an enviable reach and ROI.

And last but not least, catalogues provide inspiration for customers before leading them online to make the purchase.

On their own, each channel fulfils a vital marketing role. When combined with other media, they are a highly effective force for any campaign, for any brand.

So there you have it. Print marketing is far from dead. Ignore it, and you risk alienating and eroding a high percentage of your loyal customer base. However, like online media, you can’t be doing the same as everyone else. You must come up with an effective print marketing strategy that best reflects your brand and piques the interest of your audience.

Now that you understand the thinking, how about you understand the doing?  Max Media International is a company with extensive expertise in consumer and B2B engagement. Using the most effective offline and online content and consumer experiences, they can grow your business locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. And you can take that to print!


  1. Seven Reasons to Consider Print for Your ‘Non-Traditional’ Content Strategy, Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
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