Finding the right balance: digital and print marketing

If you believe some of the marketing press, print is dead. Or is it? As a vital element of the marketer’s toolbox, print is very much alive and well. The real question is, how to get the right balance between print and digital marketing to get more bang for your buck.

Each business is unique
Every business has different needs, objectives and ambitions, so assessing these is the first step. For example, if the bulk of your business is undertaken digitally, some printed business cards and promotional items may suffice. If, on the other hand, your business operates by interacting with customers in the ‘real world’, your print demands will be greater.

Go to your audience
Before you make any decisions, you need to understand how your audience currently interacts with your brand. Rather than waiting for your target market to come to you, you need to go to them. It’s generally perceived that younger audiences engage with content online, while the older generation are enticed through more traditional marketing channels. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

Research by KPMG last year revealed that Baby Boomers (born 1946–1965) spend the most time online, while millennials (born 1982–2011) spend the least. The key to successful targeting is understanding your audience and creating the perfect balance of digital and print to meet their needs.

Strengthen the conversation

By finding the right balance between mediums, brands can forge a more personal connection with their target market. For example, Macmillan Books’ MyKindaBook, which is aimed at young adults, connects largely through social media and its website. However, Macmillan also incorporates print marketing into its campaigns, sending printed copies of the YA books and branded items like bookmarks to its customers. In addition, the company delivers printed press releases to ‘bookstagrammers’ and ‘booktubers’, encouraging these influencers to talk about their books and create a buzz about them online.

Assess your goals

As well as understanding your audience, you also need to consider your business goals. Do you plan to go global? Or are you more focused on local customers? If you’re thinking on a global scale, then digital is going to be your priority. Reaching a local audience often depends on print. For example, leaflets, posters and banners are a great way to show a community what your product or service has to offer.

Money talks

Of course, the route you take will often come down to budget. If you don’t have a huge amount to spend, then digital will appeal. You can create a social media presence and blog posts for free. You can also advertise on Facebook or set up a Google AdWords campaign without significantly denting your finances.

But, when it comes to marketing through digital media, the trick for small businesses is not to spread yourself too thin. Focus on the one or two channels most suited to your business. And never disregard print. Many see it as the pricier option. While that can be the case, weigh it up against the fact that 82% of people trust ads in printed mediums over those they see online.

However you approach the print-digital marketing mix, always do your research and never be afraid to experiment and learn as you go.

Every brand needs to take a joined up marketing approach to establish broader, deeper connections, conversations, and, ultimately, conversions. If you are interested in finding out more about how to achieve the right balance of digital and print marketing, get in touch with the team at Adare today:


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