In the last decade, many marketers have been engaged in some kind of “print to digital” transformation. Glossy brochures, direct mail pieces, bulky manuals, and many other printed items have been replaced by a combination of web content, email, and on-demand electronic files. This transformation is driven by how we consume media. We increasingly get our news, entertainment, and information via computers, tablets, and phones. Print-based media outlets have seen a decline in use that leads some to predict the complete demise of print as a marketing medium.

The big difference between online and print materials is the scope of advertisements. A single website or Web ad can potentially reach customers anywhere in the world meaning online advertising can potentially reach more customers in more places and allow small companies to do business far outside their local area. But what happens if you aren’t concerned about reaching a mass market? Businesses often operate in market niches that appeal to specific types of customers located in specific areas. Printed materials are useful for targeting ads to localized areas. We have talked in previous blogs about the effectiveness of direct mail and leaflet drops when targeting specific niches, what also needs examining is how that effectiveness compares to online advertising.

Advertisements must connect with customers and convince them to make a purchase. Internet users often spend a few seconds or less on a Web page before browsing elsewhere, which can make it difficult for an advertisement to catch their attention. Web users can also install ad-blocking software. While you can argue that the recycling bin can beckon for direct mail or newspapers, research has shown that a physical piece of advertising is seen as more personal and more persuasive. Online advertising is seen as brash noisy and unreliable by consumers, according to research carried out by the Psychology and Marketing Journal. Eye-tracking studies confirm that even without the automatic ad-blockers, the human brain is very good at screening out anything that even vaguely resembles advertising. Context is important in the placing of advertising, and an online advert popping up on a web page unrelated to the product or the consumers’ interests will instantly seem out of place, where direct mail item, properly targeted will appear in the context of the home or business owner who receives it.

The internet and email inboxes are awash with unbeatable offers for online advertising. If it is so effective why the need to sell on price rather than relying on the stats of success to speak for themselves? At The Design Print Distribution Group, we can cover all your bespoke Direct Mail needs, from single-page items to multiple packaged items. We offer a full print, design, fulfillment and delivery service. We work with a range of clients, on both ad hoc basis and on-going campaigns. Our work is fully compliant with all data protection regulations. Our knowledge and expertise can also deliver you outstanding National Direct Mail campaigns. Please get in touch to discuss what we can do for you.