As an essential marketing medium, print continues to have an uncanny ability to permeate our thoughts and play a pivotal role in the decision-making process. In a digital age, it seems inevitable that the rise of digital platforms and capabilities will drive out the need for traditional printing services – but that could not be further from the truth. The days of long, one-size-fits-all print runs are over as targeted campaigns and personalization now lead the way, especially as 30% of Americans polled find personalization to be one of the most important features that make print stand out.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled an even greater need for traditional print media. As restaurants, retailers, salons, and corporate workplaces begin to reopen, organizations are creating clear and concise printed materials and signage to communicate critical information to customers and employees – an inexpensive tactic for small businesses and a revenue booster for print shops across the country.
Now more than ever, marketers must look to creative strategies that help break through the constant barrage of information that 69% of Americans polled say overwhelms them. And through printed materials from brochures to signage, businesses can do just that and more. Below are some examples that showcase why and how the influential power of print can help businesses as they reopen:
Print Resonates Beyond the Senses.
While it has been seen that marketing often appeals to our emotions, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the importance of the marketing medium in triggering those feelings. Our emotions are intrinsically connected to all of our physical senses, which is giving rise to new schools of thought around “sensory marketing,” focused on reaching consumers through all five senses. The tactile nature of print stimulates the brain, sparking emotions. Not only can we see and feel its quality, but it acts as a visual representation of a brand and its values in a way that an email simply can’t.
But why is this the case, and how can marketers use print to evoke emotions within their targeted customers? The answer is simple: Graphic Design. Through advertisements, brochures/flyers, logos, posters and more, graphic design has the ability to pervade our feelings and opinions and affects the way we make decisions. And a huge chunk of its influence would not be possible without print.
As 76% of Americans polled say the quality and graphics of the print is what captures their attention, especially within younger generations, businesses can use this to their advantage to incorporate key elements of quality images, striking colors and appealing visuals into their marketing materials to stand out and speak to younger audiences. Millennials and Gen Z audiences tend to be more driven by experience and personalization, so much as to the point of choosing a wine/beer label solely on its visual appeal and packaging. Therefore, by utilizing the power of print and working with graphic designers, businesses can create content that not only captures consumer attention, but also resonates beyond the senses – furthering a connection that cannot always be done through digital means.
Print and Digital Could, and Should, Work Together.
Print and digital could, and should, work together in order to enhance customer experiences and brand engagement. In fact, Canon U.S.A.’s Print for Action survey found that seven in 10 Americans surveyed rely on a mix of print and digital platforms related to all aspects of their daily lives, from work and education to purchasing decisions and leisure activities. Especially during these times where targeted marketing campaigns are essential to reach customers, print will continue to serve as an active, necessary channel.
Rising in popularity because of their contactless functionality, QR codes are a prime example of how restaurants can bring print and digital together to help them as they reopen. By simply printing a QR code onto a sheet of paper, all patrons have to do is scan the code using their smartphone to be directed to an organization’s website with more information. The food and beverage industry has also been quick to use these as a way to create a more contactless interaction, displaying printed QR codes on tabletop signs for patrons to scan and then easily and safely access menus and even make payments.
Print Inspires Creativity.
There’s something about putting thoughts to paper that makes people feel creative – and that is all thanks to print. 76% of respondents from Canon’s Print for Action survey even say they feel more creative when print is near, specifically when it comes to reading books.
As businesses continue to look for ways to stand out amongst competitors and boost profitability, it is important they think outside of the box to come up with inventive business strategies to meet current customer needs. One way in particular businesses can get creative through print is by producing signage and printed materials that share important information about social distancing and capacity guidelines to help keep customers and employees safe.
By utilizing solutions such as Canon’s PosterArtist Lite software, print providers can have the flexibility to utilize designs and poster templates already created to highlight COVID-19 guidelines, personalize them to include their brand name and messaging, or even create their own. Through solutions such as this, businesses can create printed materials to help the local community also navigate as they reopen – whether it be producing outdoor signage and synthetic menus to support restaurants with curbside pickup and dining, or creating social distancing related posters.
In conclusion, print is not dead by any stretch of the imagination. The possibilities stemming from the power of print are endless, and can even play an influential role as businesses across the globe begin to reopen. Marketers, look to creative ways you can implement campaigns that evoke the senses – whether it be through graphic design or other means. Don’t look past the digital platforms; instead, find ways to intertwine digital and print to make your reach even broader. Think outside of the box, and get creative to meet the ever-changing customer and market needs, especially to provide added support as we all navigate through these challenging times.