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Is offline marketing dead? The benefits of print advertising in 2024

Date Wednesday, 01 May 2024 Becky Allenby , In: Design

Is offline marketing dead? The benefits of print advertising in 2024

Online advertising may be the most prominent form of marketing at present, but that doesn’t mean offline and print advertising should be consigned to the realms of history along with those famously saccharine-sweet Pears Soap posters.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common misconceptions surrounding the world of offline marketing to help you decide whether the benefits of print media advertising are worth investing in.

But first things first…

What is offline marketing?

Offline marketing is an umbrella term for all forms of traditional or physical advertising. Whether you’re producing an editorial in a newspaper or magazine, the next catchy radio jingle, or even sticking a giant rubber duck in the middle of Hong Kong (yes, this is a thing), as long as it doesn’t involve the internet, it’s offline marketing.

The most common and accessible form of offline marketing for businesses big or small is print advertising; producing tangible materials that raise brand awareness, garner favour with target markets and advertise products or services. This can range from creating a simple door-to-door leaflet right up to an all-guns-blazing billboard in the centre of Soho.

So, without further ado, let’s bust some myths and uncover why offline, and print marketing in particular, is still important to this very day.

a young woman walking past a brick wall plastered with an array of peeling posters and adverts

Myth 1: Display and print advertising is outdated – no one takes any notice of it anymore.

Perhaps the oldest of all marketing methodologies, print advertising has been present in our everyday lives since time in memoriam; the oldest recorded printed advertisement is over 5,000 years old.

This tried and tested method is a force to be reckoned with; consumers exposed to printed advertisements are 70% more likely to remember the brand and messaging than what they would with a digital ad, making printed marketing over twice as memorable than digital.

This may come as a shock in the age of smartphones – the battle for consumers’ shrinking attention spans and the preponderance of choice in an oversaturated market is at the forefront of all marketers’ concerns. Amongst these ever-growing hurdles, print marketing provides solace in our digital age, offering on average a 38% higher return on investment than digital mediums.

From this, it’s fair to say that traditional means of advertising like print still dominate the market today.

a compilation of photos of Cunard's new ship; Queen Anne, and the marketing materials produced by Armadillo CRM specialists

Images courtesy of Carnival PLC (trading as Cunard) and Armadillo Associates Ltd (trading as Armadillo CRM)

Proof: Cunard Cruises: New Ship Launch; Queen Anne

In anticipation for the maiden voyage of their latest cruise ship in May 2024, Cunard collaborated with CRM specialists Armadillo in 2022 to bring their most loyal clientele an exclusive and lavish direct mail campaign.

Hoping to garner interest in the launch of their 249th ship in their fleet and secure bookings two years in advance, Cunard’s print marketing campaign focused on delivering recipients with a unique promotional package, designed to reflect the opulence and heritage of the brand. The package included an array of POS (point-of-sale) print materials, including:

  • A gold foil embossed presentation box in dark, heavy stock textured card
  • Four beautifully textured teal and gold foil postcards with unique designs inspired by the Queen Anne’s interior
  • A carefully crafted 16-page brochure detailing the maiden voyage’s key highlights and destinations (all complimented with gentle and pressure-free call to actions)

The campaign was a resounding success; within 24 hours all berths for 2,996 guests sold out, making it the fastest selling voyage Cunard had seen in over a decade. In addition to this remarkable sales feat, Cunard noted that positive brand impression increased amongst its most loyal customers.

By taking the time to craft a unique and personalised package, they reinforced customers’ trust and enthusiasm in their brand, we applaud Cunard and Armadillo for such an incredible accomplishment!

a tacky magazine rammed into someone's front door letterbox

Myth 2: Most print advertising is junk mail, no one buys anything through it.

We’ve all experienced the delight of receiving junk mail; the flurry of leaflets decked-out in flashy colours and cheesy bubble writing ranging from window cleaners to a cacophony of pizza takeaways, all destined for your recycling bin.

With that said, when done right, print advertising can be one of the most lucrative methods of marketing your brand can deliver. In fact, 92% of consumers will make a purchasing decision based on receiving print marketing materials, with 79% of recipients acting on these materials immediately. This is a true testament to print’s enduring allure in a digitally dominated age.

From this, we can see that print still retains that air of prestigiousness – placing something tangible of your brand into the hands of your target market is far more personable than a social media post could ever be. It’s no wonder that 73% of consumers prefer receiving printed marketing materials over online materials due to its tangibility, and over 80% of them trust printed materials to inform them before making a purchasing decision.

Although online marketing is thought to be cheaper and more convenient than traditional offline methods, these statistics show that print marketing is the true language of trust between the public and your brand.

a woman peruses a sleek lifestyle brochure whilst balancing her laptop on her knee

Myth 3: You shouldn’t use off and online advertising materials together - it wastes budget.

We see this assumption a lot, often it’s thought that online and offline methods ‘compete’ with one another, and the recommendation that you use both is a sneaky way for greedy marketing agencies to squeeze more pounds out of you…

Not at all. In fact, by combining print advertising materials with your digital marketing campaigns simultaneously, you can increase your return on investment by up to 62%. As tempting as it could be to say this is all down to the power of print, part of this could be due to 44% of print advertising recipients visiting a brand’s website to know more after receiving marketing materials.

This provides your marketing team with a fantastic opportunity not to be missed; driving consumers to a dedicated landing page via a promotional link or QR code in your print marketing materials will allow you to gain insights into how consumers are interacting with your brand via a pre-determined sales funnel.

Whether you plan on snaring new leads with an exchange of their email address to deliver an exclusive whitepaper, or through a tempting limited-time discount, by using this two-pronged approach of online and offline marketing techniques, you increase your intake of new leads whilst building your brand’s awareness.

a compilation of photos of Hiscox Insurance's print campaign, produced by Uncommon Creative Studio

Images courtesy of Hiscox Insurance Company Ltd (trading as Hiscox Insurance) and Uncommon Creative Studio Ltd (trading as Uncommon)

Proof: Hiscox Business Insurance: ‘The Most Disastrous Campaign Ever’

In 2023 Hiscox Business Insurance commissioned international marketing agency Uncommon to produce their latest marketing drive to increase brand awareness and gain valuable new leads.

Aptly named ‘The Most Disastrous Campaign Ever’, the campaign was designed to highlight some of the most catastrophic operating scenarios that businesses can face, including data breaches, misrepresentation, employee error and cyber security flaws. All of this with the aim of showing how Hiscox could protect their clientele with their specialist business insurance services.

This campaign saw the marriage of both offline and online marketing techniques, to raise awareness and reinforce their position as a specialist insurance provider over a generic provider. Ranging from large-scale billboards to online targeted ads, the campaign included some of the following:

  • Online interactive ads via WeTransfer
  • Direct to mail print marketing materials
  • Full-size billboards across 17 UK cities, including London
  • Front-cover takeover of Metro magazine
  • Custom 3D builds

Although quantifiable statistics have not been shared with the public, Hiscox confirmed that they had seen a dramatic increase in brand awareness and commercially based metrics. This combined with their enthusiasm to continue the campaign into this year assures us that ‘The Most Disastrous Campaign Ever’ has been a complete success!

Conclusion

Like Dorian Gray, offline and print marketing’s everlasting longevity is the key to its enduring success in today’s digital age. Over 90% of small to medium businesses use print marketing materials to reach their customer base, and with 60% of B2B marketers planning to allocate more budget to their print advertising materials this year, will you be joining them?

If you need help with your next marketing campaign, we’ve got you covered. Our digital marketers and graphic designers can work with you to produce memorable, stand-out offline and online campaigns, from flyers for the local community to multi-national billboards.

Speak to a member of our marketing team today on 02382 354 320, or use our contact form and we will be in touch soon!

References

  1. Zipdo – Essential Print Marketing Statistics in 2024: https://zipdo.co/statistics/print-marketing/
  2. Marketing Interactive – Giant Duck Returns to HK After a Decade: https://www.marketing-interactive.com/giant-duck-returns-to-hk-after-a-decade-how-could-it-have-been-marketed-better
  3. Q Print Group – History of Print Advertising: https://qprintgroup.com.au/history-of-print-advertising/
  4. MarketReach – Cunard: https://www.marketreach.co.uk/case-study/cunard-queen-anne-mail-campaign
  5. Armadillo CRM – Armadillo and Cunard wow guests with Queen Anne direct mail campaign: https://armadillocrm.com/armadillo-and-cunard-wow-guests-with-queen-anne-direct-mail-campaign/
  6. Cunard – Queen Anne: https://www.cunard.com/en-gb/cruise-ships/queen-anne/0
  7. Medium – 21 Proven Offline Marketing Strategies for Startups in 2024 and Beyond: https://medium.com/@david_6844/21-proven-offline-marketing-strategies-for-startups-in-2024-and-beyond-bc83ebad4629
  8. B&B Press – 8 Offline Marketing Examples That Intrigue Buyers: https://www.bbpress.co.uk/news/offline-marketing-examples-that-intrigue-buyers
  9. Medium – Hiscox & Uncommon Launch the Most Disastrous Campaign Ever: https://uncommon-creative-studio.medium.com/new-hiscox-brand-campaign-launches-with-the-most-disastrous-campaign-ever-e2c218f734cc
  10. Little Black Book - Hiscox Insurance Continues its ‘Most Disastrous Campaign Ever’: https://lbbonline.com/news/hiscox-insurance-continues-its-most-disastrous-campaign-ever
Becky Allenby

Becky Allenby

Senior Web Designer

As both a web designer and frontend developer, Becky spends her days at Blue Frontier collaborating with an array of clients and departments. Whether she’s working her design magic on a new concept or coding a brand-new website, her years of industry creative and technical knowhow give her a unique perspective into our daily web operations.

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