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Contemporary marketing practices tend to use an array of print and digital promotional material, from online blogs to sports arena billboards. Some marketers feel that digital technology has made printed, physical marketing materials obsolete. They are expensive to produce, more complicated to disseminate, and it is harder to measure the results. Yet others firmly believe that keeping physical, printed material as a part of a multilayered marketing strategy is very beneficial.
Since 2000, digital technology has increasingly dominated advertising and marketing communication. It has in many ways overshadowed and made irrelevant the old-fashioned offset printer. Traditional, old school marketing placed advertising in newspapers, magazines, brochures, and on billboards to promote products. Newer strategies focused on e-books, email, and social media.
However, the digital revolution has also affected the printing process. We now have the option of digital printing, on demand and typically done within a short timeframe. Digital printing gives you the option of designing your own advertising using digital printing software, then printing it out in the office (desktop publishing). Many companies will print these materials for you in better quality or larger quantities, with greater flexibility, as you can more precisely choose the look and the number of the prints you want. Variable printing allows for variety within a single order, you can decide upon and change the material design in process, allowing greater personalization. Because of globalized technology, if you need to disperse material in a different geographical area, you may create a digital order for a company in the vicinity. As digital technology grows, so does printing methodology; once considered more expensive than online advertising, printed material has become more cost-competitive. There is a demand for less paper production, which encourages companies to promote online, yet there is also a move towards using recycled materials to reduce this issue.
According to some recent studies, physical, printed material can have its own advantages over digital online advertising. Researchers from Temple University and NYU, with backing from the Advertising Research Foundation, conducted research using neuroscience to reveal people’s reactions to digital vs. print media. Canada’s True Impact also did a similar research study, sponsored by Canada Post. The findings from this research, seen as a whole, demonstrate that direct mail is easier to remember, easier to process, more persuasive, and better to inspire action.
Modern promotional printing incorporates untraditional methods in order to appeal to the modern buyer’s demand for useful advertising. Some brands are very successful promoting themselves using everyday objects. People often buy such items when they like and identify with a brand, becoming brand ambassadors in the process. People buy Starbucks mugs, Trader Joe’s bags, university t-shirts, vacation destination bags, or Red Cross or World Wildlife Federation merchandise to express their own personal identity.
Print often leads to digital engagement, made easier when you print QR codes and website URLs onto the material. The mix of social media and print gives you more channels, and more opportunities.
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