Every now and then I hear a comment that print advertising is dead, or is no longer a viable means of reaching audiences. If you have been ignoring or no longer consider reaching your audiences through print mediums, perhaps you should take another look.

Print technologies continue to evolve and grow. According to a Pitney Bowes survey, 76% of small businesses believe that the ideal marketing strategy is a mix of both direct mail and digital communications.

When developing your marketing strategy, you should most definitely consider including print. Here are some creative approaches in print media to consider when deciding how to best reach your audience.

Variable Data or Variable Information Printing

Although not new, this form of digital printing can swap out elements such as text, graphics and images from piece to piece based on information stored in a database. Employing this technique does not stop or slow down the printing process. This offers the ability to customize each piece individually in a very cost-effective manner.

Imagine if you have a list of candidates who work in IT and another list of individuals who work in the accounting industry. You could have one basic layout, but customize the images to speak to each individual’s area of interest, including their name and the recruiter they could work with in their printed piece. This creates a custom piece and all you need to drive the printing is a properly formatted database.

QR Codes

An abbreviation for “Quick Response Code,” this is a type of two-dimensional matrix barcode that was first designed for the auto industry in Japan to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. With the increased use of smartphones, most users can scan a QR code and be taken directly to your website for more information or some type of incentive.

Consider running a postcard campaign with a QR code that can send a printed mail piece recipient to a specific area on your site and also track where the code was scanned, using the geo information from the user’s cell phone. This might be a really good tactic to employ with printed pieces at a trade show.

Merging Technologies

Consider implementing video into the design of your printed piece. With the technological advances in video technology, some forerunners in other industries are now including auto play video into their printed pieces. Although the price per printed piece may be higher, pioneering print technology to a targeted audience can deliver significant impact, and generate buzz around the piece and your business.

Remember, the best course of action is to develop a solid marketing strategy with your project manager and assure that you are using the best method to reach your audience. Allow yourself to be creative and do something unique that speaks to who you are. That is what will bring the best results.

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