Why you need to integrate print with digital for marketing success

Brendan Straw - Chief Sales Officer, Ovato

Print marketing continues to prove that it is a powerful marketing tool for brands in 2020.

Recent Harvard Business Review research from the United States shows that mailing levels of catalogues rise year on year as brands re-adopt them. Further research reveals that Millennials and Generation Z are enthusiastic adopters of catalogues, making up nearly half of all Australian catalogue readers. Online-only brands are also recognising the power of print to complement their other channels and adopting physical catalogues as part of their integrated marketing offerings.

While many brands shifted to a digital marketing strategy with the growth of social and online, print remains an effective channel, and smart brands are using the two together for maximum results. Both print and digital capture their audience in different ways, and a combined approach gets your brand in front of more people.

Diversifying from digital

We all spend a lot of time staring at screens, clearing inboxes, and otherwise submerged in a digital world.

When they complement your other marketing output, these digital channels give print media increased value. As a tangible piece of content that can be shared physically with other people, print grabs attention and drives people back to your other touchpoints.

The toy catalogue is a prime example. The ritual of the young flipping through a bumper catalogue filled with the latest toys, gadgets and games is practically tradition. Kids hunt for the things they like, showing Mum and Dad the things that they want. On top of that, the catalogue often lives on dining room tables, kitchen benches and in bedrooms for months after they arrive in the letterbox. Seeing them day in day out keeps the brand and retailer at the top of people’s minds.

Catalogues work so well that online only retailers like Amazon and eBay are using them. Instead of prices, they have QR codes linking back to items store pages, which is a neat work-around for the issue of constantly changing prices. Amazon’s toy brochure even includes a sticker sheet so that kids can tag their favourite toys.

In the real

Catalogues are a tactile reminder of a product or service. Viewing something on a screen is one thing. Holding them, even as an image in a catalogue in your hands, is another entirely.

Research points towards a decline in reading comprehension when screens and paper are compared. Screens also reportedly drain our mental resources and make it harder to recall what we have read compared to paper, which is why digital is ideal for in the moment engagement, while cognitive imprint is greater with static materials.

Paper catalogues help customers visualise products. According to the Harvard Business Review, this “vividness is highly influential in consumer behaviour as it can increase consumer involvement and joy in the purchasing process, ultimately influencing preferences and sales.”

This is especially important for purchases that deliver joy and excitement, such as jewellery, clothing, and other “fun” items. Feeling a product drives a consumer to purchase that product, and catalogues let consumers feel them in a way that screens don’t. Whether you’re driving people in-store or online, letting them experience your products in a tactile way drives higher sales.

Artistic license

The catalogue of today looks very different to the catalogue of the past.

They used to be a collection of low-res single product images lined up in row after row on the page. A price, a product name and if you were lucky a sale sign pasted over the top. Print it and ship it.

Today, brands are using creative design, eye-catching imagery and special finishing and stock to grab attention. Aspirational imagery and a creative design can evoke powerful emotions in potential shoppers, while expanding the written content in a catalogue lets brands tell their story better and move beyond product. Catalogues can also carry games for kids, quizzes, recipes and more that make brands a part of customers’ lives.

The premium catalogue, or ‘magalog’, has given brands the opportunity to tell stories and sell products by using production and content placement to bridge the gap between product ranging and the experience of a magazine.

Combined firepower

Print continues to be an integral part of the modern marketing mix, alongside more recent additions to your arsenal.

Research shows that digital campaigns that integrate mail gain 39 per cent more attention (or time spent), 10 per cent higher brand recall and garner a 5 per cent stronger emotional response.

Print integrates well with your other channels and offers a cost-effective marketing solution with massive reach and influence.

Want to find out how catalogues can help you reach more customers? Get in touch with us today.