Is print advertising dead?

Digital technologies, the internet, and the dominance of social media have led many to question whether or not print advertising is still relevant in today’s world. Can print compete with these other popular, instant, forms of communication?

Though the attractive potential for greater exposure at lower costs have lured many brands and businesses to shift all of their marketing efforts over to digital platforms, print advertising is still a viable and incredibly valuable form of marketing in every industry, but particularly the industrial ones.

Why? Because engineers still subscribe to physical magazines, newspapers, and trade publications and they trust their content over social media or other digital platforms. According to a recent Nielsen poll, approximately 80% of all US households still turn to traditional printed sources for information they can trust.

That may sound surprising since we all seem to be so hyper-connected via the internet. So what makes print still such a powerhouse of credibility and worth investing your marketing dollars in?

Familiarity = trust

Print has been around so long, is incredibly familiar, and seems more trustworthy and legitimate. Typically people view it as credible marketing that is reserved for large established corporations as part of bigger marketing campaigns. Meaning a print ad is automatically viewed with more trust. Digital PPC marketing is so scalable that anyone with a few dollars can put an ad out there. The web is also so full of spam and scammers that many people are wary of online ads or digital platforms. Potential customers, especially engineers, are less likely to take digital ads seriously.

It boosts your company’s branding

Print helps strengthen your company’s overall brand. It gives a tangible and more permanent visual display of your logo, message, products, services, and more. Print marketing helps you form relationships with your target audience by giving you the ability to speak effectively to them about their problems and pain-points.

It lasts longer and is easier to recall later

Engagement, recall, and retention are vital to all of your marketing efforts. Internet ads change about as quickly as you can click your mouse. Digital ads disappear so quickly that the message usually doesn’t stick in the customer’s mind long enough to leave an impression. Printed publications tend to stick around in the home or office (or bathroom) for months after being delivered. The perceived permanence of printed materials helps leave a better impression on the reader for a longer period of time. Plus, every time the engineer flips past the ad, your message has more opportunities for engagement and impact on them. That gives your ad a lot more chances to be seen, re-seen, and remembered. All of which boosts your brand recognition and makes your message much more effective.

Better audience engagement

Even though you will hear that there is high levels of engagement on the internet, people are much more engaged when reading printed materials than internet-based materials. When it is on the web, people tend to skim the text and move on quickly. They multitask more when online which makes your content easier to ignore. However, people tend to give print virtually undivided attention and it provokes the reader to actively engage.

Don’t get us wrong, digital advertising is important and impactful, and print simply cannot offer the same volume as digital ads can. Print can however, offer more personalized messages to a much more targeted, dedicated, and engaged audience. Your engineering customers are not confined to a single platform or type of information and neither should your company’s marketing efforts.

More bang for your buck

Most publications also post their physical magazines online as digital, interactive, magazines. This gives you so many more options for targeting and reaching the audience you want.

This is particularly true for trade publications which are designed for the specific narrow niche audience you are looking for. Trade publications also give you more opportunities to contribute other materials to the publication – articles or white papers – that would be of interest to their readers (and your potential customers).

Always keep in mind that your customers like to consume information in their own particular ways. Some like to read physical materials, some only like digital, others are auditory and prefer video or audio clips. You want to be where your engineering customers will find you easily – no matter what medium they prefer. Print simply offers the tangible, tactile, experience that digital cannot replicate.

Need assistance? Let us help!

With over 30 years of experience, The Rico Group specializes in helping industrial manufacturers and job shops grow their business and diversify their customer base. We know how engineers think and what they are looking for. We know your processes, equipment, and materials. We also know that you have very little time to take away from your production and getting your customer’s orders delivered.

Interested to see what your current digital marketing efforts are really doing for your company?

We offer a free comprehensive analysis of your company’s online marketing to give you insights into what your true digital footprint is and how you can improve it. The report also comes with an in-depth competitor analysis and a free expert consultation to review the report with you and answer any questions you may have.

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Also, please grab a free copy of our comprehensive digital marketing success guide to help you accelerate your job shop’s growth. The guide walks you through the process of generating more qualified leads for your industrial manufacturing company.

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