The FutureProof Blog

Is Print Marketing Still Effective? – Why use Print in 2024

Print has been on my mind recently. I’ve been working on business cards and flyers, as well as talking to a client about external signage. It got me to thinking, is print marketing still effective, or do we now live in a 100% digital world? Should your business take another look at print media as a promotion channel, or are you better off throwing everything into your website and social media?


Should you invest in traditional print advertisement or fully embrace digital marketing, it’s still a consideration for small business owners. As we start 2024, which is set to be the year of artificial intelligence, this post will look at the strengths of print ads and the benefits it can offer compared to digital marketing, even today. We all know what the internet offers, but is there a place for offline, print marketing. We’ll look at the different types of print marketing, examine its tangible impact and reach, and most importantly we’ll discuss the synergy between print and digital strategies.

What is Print Marketing and Why You Need it?

With the continuing rise of digital, E-Commerce and social media, why do you need print advertising for your small business? Brochures, business cards, flyers and posters offer a tangible connection with your customers, something that digital channels can lack. Some people still prefer this (more than you might think), and trust businesses that give them a more traditional experience. Print media is ideally suited to brand awareness and demand generation, let’s take a look.

Print Media for Brand Awareness

The enduring strength of print advertising is the ability to build and reinforce brand awareness. Traditional media serves as a tangible representation of your brand, establishing a physical presence in the lives of your customers. Social media is still trying to recreate this feeling. When customers view your brand through print materials, maybe brochures, magazines, or even direct mail, it creates a lasting impression. The tactile experience of holding a well-designed business card for example, is often a more memorable and impactful experience.

For small businesses, carving out a distinct identity in a crowded market, using print media for brand awareness is a strategic move. Tell your brand story in a tangible and memorable way, foster a connection with your audience that goes beyond a digital interaction.

Print Media for Brand Awareness

Print Media for Demand Generation

Demand generation remains the key objective for almost all businesses looking for sustained growth. Print media is still a potent tool for creating and stimulating demand, offering unique advantages in capturing the attention and interest of your potential customers.

Brochures and catalogues provide a platform to showcase your products or services especially in a local context. The physical nature engages your audience in a different way, allowing them to explore and understand your business at their own pace. Think local bakery or beauty salon.

Promotional flyers and posters, strategically placed in relevant locations, can generate curiosity and anticipation, prompting customers to find out more information. Handed out at events, or displayed in high-traffic areas, print media has the ability to reach your target audience effectively. Think local fitness and yoga classes or a dance school.

Print advertising also allows for exclusive offers, discounts, or limited-time promotions, creating a sense of urgency; this can really drive immediate action. The experience of holding a coupon (like a lottery ticket) in your hand, with an enticing offer on it can drive fast purchase decisions and contribute to increased demand for your products or services.

Are we wrong about print?

Print advertising continues to hold its own in various marketing arenas and can still be hugely effective for certain types of businesses. We are in an era dominated by digital strategies, but there are some key factors that underscore the enduring effectiveness of print advertising.

(some) Customers Prefer Print Advertising

Contrary to most assumptions, that all consumers want to engage with digital content exclusively, traditional media is still hugely popular with certain groups. Many people still appreciate print, finding it more immersive and memorable than online alternatives.

Print Advertising (is) Trackable

Print campaigns are not excluded from analytics. With advancements in technology, businesses can implement different types of tracking to measure the effectiveness of their print materials. This data-driven approach offers valuable insights, and helps refine future marketing strategies.

Print Advertising (does) Generate Engagement

Print has a proven track record of generating high response rates, even compared to digital counterparts. When well-designed and strategically placed, promotional materials can capture the attention of your best customers and prompt them to buy. Posters, flyer or direct mail in your local area can still work for your business.

Print (does) have Targeting Capabilities

Direct mail does provide a platform for targeted marketing, you know quite a bit about a person based on their location. Remember, the most important targeting option for Facebook advertising is still location. You can reach specific demographics, in your local area or further afield with precision, just like a digital ad campaign.

Print Advertising (is) Seen

Unlike digital ads, that can be skipped or blocked in the sea of online content, print has a physical presence. Once distributed, they are almost guaranteed to be seen by the audience, creating a lasting impression. A newspaper ad can have a huge reach, with a single copy often read by ten times more people than the number of sales suggests.

Is Print Marketing Still Effective - Why use Print in 2024

Small Business Print Marketing

Print is hugely diverse and not every channel will be right for your business, each has unique strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right type of print material will impact the success of your marketing campaigns. Let’s explore the options for your business.

Business Cards

This is a no-brainer !! I can’t think of a reason for you not to have a business card. Business cards are essential for networking and leave your customers with the right first impression at events, or especially meetings with clients. We recently designed the card below for our client Wanderly Wagon. Unlike a service business, this card is given to customers after their guided tour. Wanderly Wagon wants to encourage reviews and social media interaction. The business gets through hundreds of these cards in just a few months, driving traffic and organic reach.

Share Card Mock-Up

Newspapers & Magazines

Advertising in newspapers still has value, providing broad exposure to a local or regional audience. This works best for local businesses, especially service providers; think plumbers, locksmiths, pest control. This method, targeting niche audiences on a tight timescale, lands perfectly with those most likely to engage with your business.

Traditional print advertisements in newspapers or magazines offer broad visibility and reach, and if you can get in a newspaper for free even better. We made the local papers by winning a Digital Media Award in 2023, for our work with Wanderly Wagon in Galway.

DMA Awards 2023

Direct Mail

Direct mail campaigns work, simple as that !! It is the most personalised and tangible way to connect with potential customers directly. By growing a carefully curated mailing list, you can tailor your message to specific demographics, even specific people, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion. Charities are still big in this game, and financial services, because of the trust level involved.

Brochures & Catalogues

Brochures were once the powerhouse of marketing tools, allowing you to showcase your products or services in a compact and visually appealing format. They still have power today. Whether handed out at events, displayed in-store, or included in the direct mail campaigns described above, brochures give potential customers something they can read at their convenience, huge for brand awareness. If you’re in luxury products (and luxury is a relative concept; coffee, or even cakes can be a luxury product), think about a printed brochure.

Flyers, Posters & Point-of-Sale

Flyers are great for getting the message out there fast; information about promotions, events, or new products. Their simplicity makes them efficient and reaching a broad audience quickly can be really easy, making them perfect for time-sensitive promotions or announcements. Eye-catching displays influence purchase decisions, that’s why supermarkets invest so much time and effort in it. Product displays grab the attention of customers while they are in the purchasing mindset.

Wanderly Wagon Print Flyer

Branding Every Touchpoint

Branding the every-day stuff around you isn’t vanity, it has value. Branded letterheads and envelopes enhance the professionalism of your communications, branded merchandise, pens, mugs, apparel and the like, serve as reminders of your business. Do what’s right for your business, but a consistent look and feel whenever a customer interacts with you builds trust and loyalty. Effective outdoor advertising, including the sign above your door and the lettering on your van, is as important today as it ever was.

Print Advertisement Vs. Digital Marketing

It’s not a competition, it’s a collaboration. Do you choose between social media and the search results? No, that wouldn’t be a great idea. Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of which one to use depends on a number of factors. Let’s look at print advertisement and digital marketing together, in a small business context.

The Impact of Print

Advantages : Print offers a tangible experience that digital channels can lack. The personal nature of brochures, flyers, and posters can leave a lasting impression, a memorable connection with your brand. In industries where touch and feel matter, high end retail or luxury goods for example, print materials can be particularly powerful.

Considerations : Print advertising often has production and distribution costs, and its impact is much harder to track compared to digital marketing. While advancements in tracking technology have improved analytics, it does not provide real-time data or customer insights to the same extent as digital and conversions can be overlooked.

The Dynamic Reach of Digital

Advantages : Digital marketing has expansive reach. Businesses can connect with a global audience in real-time, at their fingertips. Social media, search engine marketing, and email campaigns provide dynamic and interactive playgrounds to engage customers. Digital offers precise targeting of specific demographics with minimal wastage.

Considerations : The fast-paced nature of digital marketing can lead to information overload. Ad saturation, ad-blockers, and the changing nature of online content all impact audience capture, attention and retention. Additionally, digital trends change every week, and this can be hard to manage for a small business.

Measuring Impact & ROI

Print : Determining the impact of print campaigns can be difficult. Traditionally, tracking metrics like circulation numbers, coupon redemptions, or even increased phoned calls is how this was done. Today we have QR codes and custom URLs for tracking, but still, the real-time analytics available in digital marketing are not always replicated in the print world.

Digital Marketing : One of the standout advantages of digital marketing is the ability to measure performance metrics in every possible detail. Impressions, clicks, conversions, and the customer journeys can be tracked in real time, allowing businesses to optimise campaigns on the go and demonstrate a direct link between ad spend and Results.

Print Advertising & Digital Combined

A cohesive marketing strategy that integrates print materials with your digital campaigns should be your end goal. QR codes for example, on your flyers or business cards can bridge the gap between the physical and the online. Customers shouldn’t feel a disconnect between the two, your brand identity is just that, your identity, and it should be the same everywhere. This requires careful planning and consistent messaging. Striking the right balance of broad audience and overall impact.The synergy of print and digital marketing is a powerful strategy, a comprehensive and cohesive brand presence. This is what the big brands do, and you can do it too.

Grow Your Sales with Print Marketing

Is print marketing still effective in 2024 ?… yes it absolutely can be. While digital offers real-time analytics and dynamic engagement, print brings a tangible and lasting impact to the table. The key lies in the strengths of each platform, creating a comprehensive strategy that meets your customers where they are, and drives sales.

So, go ahead, incorporate some traditional marketing into your growth strategy. Use it to tell your story, sell your products, and engage with customers in ways that digital channels alone cannot do. It widens your reach and addresses diverse consumer preferences.

Don’t know where to start ?… Why not give us a call. We can help you design your flyers, posters and business cards, and as always, consultation and quotation is completely free !!


About Adam Bermingham
This blog is dedicated to helping you stay ahead of the curve, with insights into the latest trends, tools, and best practices. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or web designer, we have something for everyone. We bring you expert advice, tutorials, and case studies to help you optimise your online presence.

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