Despite the dip in 2020, digital advertising spend is booming once more with projections total worldwide spend of up to half a billion dollars by 2024. However, businesses have also shown they’re not ready to relinquish print. So, what does the road ahead look like? We decided to take a closer look!

In 2022, the benefits of digital advertising are clear:

  • Digital ads allow market segmentation and demographic targeting with minute precision 
  • With an effective strategy, advertisers can keep costs low and return on investment (ROI) high
  • The ease of managing and adjusting campaigns means marketers can hone their messaging in near real-time
  • And we have more data analytics, measurements, and insights to be drawn than ever before.

However, if you look at the metrics it becomes clear that print ads are still holding their own in the contemporary market mix. In their Global Print2025 report, Quocirca surveyed hundreds of businesses across the US, France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK, and found that 64% of businesses expect print will still be important for the foreseeable future, and with good reason:

  • Newsworks’ 2020 report demonstrates that advertising in print drives higher levels of brand recall vs digital – at 77% compared to 46%. 
  • According to a 2017 Burstein report, 82% of consumers trust print ads the most when making a purchase decision 
  • Print readers usually spend 20 minutes or more with their publication in hand
  • Nearly 80% of consumers act on direct printed mail advertisements
  • Print and direct mail marketing bring a 9% customer response rate.

It’s clear that digital marketing is here to stay but new mediums don’t always mean wholesale change. In 2020, there was a surge in the growth of print book sales and a decline in eBooks. Vinyl stores are on the rise, and direct mail is getting a new time to shine as a result of overflowing email inboxes!

So, what’s the right way to use print and digital together in 2022? 
Can advertisers have their cake and eat it too? 

The answer is an emphatic YES!

Print & Digital Join Forces: Welcome to the Omnichannel

The recent shift in the retail world demonstrates a solid blueprint for the future of digital and print advertising. Rather than viewing e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores as siloed channels in a multi-channel strategy, businesses are favouring a seamless, convenient omnichannel approach with consumers at its heart.

Newsworks 2020 report noted the effectiveness of integrating print and digital:

  • Consumers who see print ads go on visit the advertiser’s website—up 27% in 2020 from 12% in 2009
  • Purchase intent of consumers who notice print ads increased to 22% in 2020 from 7% in 2009

So, what are the best practices and strategies for coherently combining print and digital advertising? Here are a few top tips:

One message, multiple touchpoints

A single video ad or flyer might pique your prospective customers’ interest but converting brand awareness into intent or action requires your message to be received multiple times. The contemporary customer journey is extremely complex and diverse, spanning offline and online phases, and in order to capture and hold attention, brands need to expand their tactics to hit as many touchpoints as possible.

An omnichannel print-digital campaign allows your campaign to be omnipresent! Through the use of multiple touchpoints across different mediums, your messaging can be regularly reinforced. Not only will this boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, taking a horizontal omnichannel approach is likely to reduce ad spend.

The key is to ensure that the primary message stays consistent through all channels employed. By using the same language and design elements across print and digital campaigns, advertisers can ensure they are recognisable and ever-present.

Work each medium to connect your campaigns

While campaigns should be designed to function in multiple channels, advertisers should keep the clear strengths of each medium in mind.

  • Print is better at holding attention, creating a lasting impression and giving credibility
  • Digital is instantaneous and interactive, combining audio and visual mediums and often allowing more detailed information to be shared

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and the surge in QR code use, linking print and digital campaigns has never been easier! A simple QR link on a print campaign can have multiple roles, including:

  • Scan-to-buy print ads for one-click convenience
  • Links to digital coupons to use in-store or online
  • Allowing your customers to download full catalogues of products from a single product flyer

Plus, QR codes that link to unique landing pages can be used to track the ROI of print marketing campaigns, allowing a clear view of just how well they’re performing.

So What Does “Good” Look Like

Here are just a few examples of creative print-digital campaigns that take the omnichannel approach to the next level!

  1. Reporters Without Borders – QR Codes

    Freedom of the press has never been more important, but there are plenty of places around the world where this right is not protected. Reporters Without Borders created this incredible interactive print ad to draw attention to the issue, focusing on controversial leaders.
    By scanning a QR code at the bottom of the ad, readers were taken to a video to learn more about this pressing issue!
  2. NIVEA – Phone Charging Print Ad

    Aside from forgetting your swimsuit, getting sunburnt and running out of battery are the two biggest concerns of a day at a beach. Nivea had a spark of inspiration and solved both issues with their phone charging print ad! Featuring a solar panel right in the magazine, readers were able to plugin and stay charged!
  3. Lexus – iPad activated ad

    Lexus transmitted their strong brand identity as a technology innovator by using tablets to enhance their magazine ads. When an iPad was placed underneath the page, readers were treated to a moving light show that makes this print ad really jump off the page!

Feeling Inspired?

At Reach, the possibilities are endless! Get in touch with our team today to start exploring how you can use print to enhance your marketing materials with an omnichannel approach!

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