Print services are still incorporated into the modern marketing equation through flyers, posters and print advertisements. The question is, is this simply a matter of covering the bases or making sure that no pair of eyes escapes the message or is there a genuinely defined place for print marketing still?

There is a very strong sense in which printing services have something no online or broadcast media advertisement can ever achieve; direct confirmation that people are responding to an advertising message. That confirmation is not all-encompassing, in the sense that it is still not possible, except in certain defined circumstances, to know whether target audience members are actually spending money as a result of the advertisement. Where a person chooses to take a leaflet at a hand-out, though, the first step in the marketing equation by which the target audience member is known to have at least expressed interest is completed.

Printing services have a co-operative role to play with online presence. It is increasingly the case that the online hub for a brand is the location to which target audience members are directed, no matter where in the world they have come across marketing messages. From the codes and web addresses physically printed on the objects that the brand sells, to the contact details contained in print adverts or read out in broadcast adverts, the URL is the expected standard of communication for most public facing brands.

As a result, printing services must produce marketing messages that fit, thematically and visually, with the landing page they’re associated with on the site. The graphics, colours and logos used in the print communication must tie in precisely with the graphics and logos used in the other media through which the brand advertises as well.

As such, print services are not simply covering an extra base. They become an integral part of a cross-channel marketing mix that has no “weak link”, just a collection of variable ways in which messages are put across to the target market for which they are intended.

Demographic research continues to play a large role in the creation of all marketing messages. Designing a print advert, for example, isn’t only about finding the images and words that will get the message out in the most audience-appropriate fashion. It’s also about making sure that the publications in which it is printed or the locations at which it is disseminated, will be relevant to the audience being targeted.

Print services might form a smaller or larger part of the marketing mix for a specific client, dependent on the size and nature of the campaign. In some cases, for example, a promotion to encourage residents in a pizza delivery catchment area to order takeaway food, the advertising might be wholly done through print. A menu delivered through the door might be pinned to the fridge and used whenever the owner is hungry.

In others, the print part of the campaign might be specifically designed to get the target audience to connect with the brand message by going back to the website.

 Summary : Print services might be used in a variety of ways, either standalone or to get the target audience looking at a website.