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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - “How Print Can Diversify Content Marketing in 2018”

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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today’s post, “How Print Can Diversify Content Marketing in 2018 ” revisits content marketing strategies, including how to use print collateral to diversify content marketing, which at the end of the day will increase your marketing’s overall effectiveness. Branding and marketing strategies have evolved with the advent of new digital technologies, and with that in mind, there is no doubt that the new marketing buzzwords, ‘content marketing’ is the fervor gripping brands and marketers.

The marketing mix is still alive, and brands that are continuing with the strategy of dominating a social media channel for example, are most likely placing their efforts in marketing jeopardy. In the majority of cases, no single medium can drive ROI to the point of reaching the types of sales performance numbers that can be achieved when compared to spreading messages and communications across a number of mediums. And to that end, print is often left behind as an afterthought.

In case you missed it, Google, one of the world’s top technology companies, is also the number one user of direct mail postcards in the United States. Marketing 101 teaches us that we need to observe what the leading companies are doing when it comes to marketing. Therefore, if your content marketing strategy is limited to online apps, websites, blogs, videos, white papers and infographics, you could be missing that piece of the marketing mix that actually drives prospects to those online destinations.

Print Marketing Value

Obviously Google understands the value of print marketing with their direct mail campaigns. The Content Marketing Institute is quite clear in their assessment that states that two out of three marketers fail to include print as a part of their current marketing strategies. Remember the adage, ‘you get what you pay for?’ Keep that in mind as we go through the reasoning that supports why print can be the difference maker.

Case in point: There is push back against the cost of printed collateral by many marketers, just as there was reluctance to embrace social media as a viable marketing tactic before social media marketing became commonplace. In both cases, the value proposition of each medium (print) is and (social media) was challenged based on the ROI returns. To that end, print’s value proposition has been on a steady rise, for a number of reasons including the fact that digital media destinations are rapidly changing, constantly being refreshed and being edited in nano-second time. Print has the capability to stand out in the hands of the recipient, does not compete with the mind-bending alterations of digital destinations, offers a personalized approach, including the tactile, sensory experience that digital cannot match, and finally actually drives prospects to online destinations. Google understands the direct mail value proposition.

Comprehension Value

For starters, a colossal 92% of 18-23-year-olds find it easier to read printed content versus digital. Millennials overwhelmingly prefer reading printed books versus reading on a digital device. These types of numbers can be attributed in part to the human comprehension rate of visual communications, which runs at approximately 60,000 times per second.

When we look at the branding objective of marketing initiatives, the end goal is to create brand recall. Television’s claim to fame has always been on establishing ‘mindshare’ for brands, and to that end, it takes a ton of money to run commercials ad infinitum to deliver on television’s promise.

Reading comprehension rates are tantamount to generating recall. Norway conducted a comprehension study that was based on reading from a computer screen versus reading printed information. As a result, the term ‘spatio-temporal markers’ was introduced by the researchers who discovered that in terms of remembering, students that read the printed documents scored markedly higher than those who read on computer screens. Print wins the comprehension battle over digital.

The Trust Factor

We’ve long held the notion that in today’s rampant barrage of charlatan digital offerings, the belief factor is under attack. In fact, most recently, organizations that have upheld accuracy and offer long respected assurances that their information can be verified, are in many cases, the brunt of attacks aimed at discrediting their operations.

Attacks such as these are detrimental to brand equity, brand image, and most importantly, reduces the power of the content. Printed materials enjoy a heightened sense of trust in that print takes time to prepare, and brands are more prone to ensure that the information contained in their print offerings are accurate. More time and resources are required to create print collateral, as opposed to hastily editing a digital post, without the cost hanging over the head of the digital content producer, other than video production. Again, print wins the trust battle!

Advertising Duration

Television and Radio provide 30, 60 or 90, occasionally 120 second spots, and then, poof they're gone. Digital advertisements in the form of pay per clicks aka as PPC, last as long as you keep on paying or you bust your budget.  Social media and blog posts only last at the top of feeds for a short time, unless you keep reposting them over and over, which annoys most users.

Print collateral has a way of hanging around much longer than any other advertising medium. In some cases printed collateral such as books, infographics, special sales offerings, brochures and such can remain in the purview of the recipient for days, weeks, and on occasion, months at time. Print wins the single ad duration game!

Types of Print Collateral

Now that we’ve established the value of print collateral across a range of criteria, we need to examine which types of printed pieces should be at the top of every marketers list. It is critical to understand that print marketing collateral can vary widely and the choices for which print collateral can be used makes all the difference.

Depending on the industry your business is participating in, will lend itself to what type of print collateral makes the most sense. For example, if you are in the business of product sales, and have a decent array of product offerings, then a catalog, or 16 page brochure may be the best option. In addition, this and other types of printed collateral delivered by direct mail share a high propensity to drive new traffic to an online destination.


Postcards are by far the most by-passed of all print marketing considerations. Google uses postcards for the most part in its advertising and marketing strategies. Why? Google, with all of its billions in revenue understands the cost effectiveness, including how well postcards generate ROI results.

Speaking of cost effectiveness, one can obtain double-sided color postcards at pennies on the dollar. Rates vary among various print houses, however, for example, there are instances a brand can invest $100 to get 2000 of them. They’re perfect for direct mail marketing. In addition, postcards can be placed in books, catalogs, brochures, or placed in strategic brick and mortar locations, such as medical offices, restaurants, libraries, and other retail establishments.


Brochures offer a double edge marketing sword so to speak. For one, brochures make a great option when used as direct mail pieces. They are also effective pieces of collateral for live events. Brochures are also an impressive way to spur audience participation at a speaking event, thus providing engagement for the attendees to respond and ask pertinent questions. And of course, they can be left in a variety of brick and mortar locations.

Brochures can also be created at an extremely cost efficient rate. Further, brochures can be created as 4, 6, 8,12,16 pages or more. Lastly brochures are great for sales presentations.


Billboards are quite effective in generating brand recall. Billboards serve as a visual pillar for travelers along any well traveled road. While it is common place for most of us to take them for granted, as billboards are omnipresent as we drive to our destinations; however, due to the fact that they are visual accents along the routes, that information is still being processed.

Billboards are also very cost efficient, in fact, many consider them one of the best marketing mediums when it comes to bang for the buck. That's because billboards are sold for frequency, i.e. by the weeks, months, quarters, and annual commitments, one could invest somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 for a month of distribution. When you measure in traffic demographics, the cost per thousand (CPM) is actually quite low.

Other Types

In the print world, there is a wide variety of print collateral types such as table tops, pamphlets, guides, promotional flyers, rip cards, pocket folders, fact sheets, business forms, and others. To that end however, as Google has proven, postcards followed closely by brochures top the list.

The Net-Net

Diversifying content marketing strategies all too often have brands and marketers looking at something digital without considering print. However, that could be short-sighted.  We are not suggesting that building a new content marketing strategy should be built entirely on print, but moreover, should be be built using print for the various advantages outlined in this post. If nothing else, as Google understands, postcards via direct mail are making an impact on new prospects.  Enjoy Using Print to Diversify Content Marketing Strategies!

Let’s have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, August 30th, 2018, for an hour or two, anytime between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization’s printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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Leland Hicks is the CTO of MatterMax Media, a digital marketing agency that provides business strategy, web design, social media management and training.  He can be reached at lahicks@mattermaxmedia.com