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Do Printed Flyers Still Have a Place in the Digital World?

Updated on December 8, 2016

If you believed that digital marketing has made printed marketing materials obsolete, you might be surprised to know that a 2015 Canadian survey conducted by market researchers BrandSpark International found that 91% of consumers said that they preferred printed flyers.

While this in no way suggests that companies are wasting their marketing budgets on digital campaigns, it might indicate that some marketing managers are overlooking the power of the printed flyer as a means of reaching prospective customers.

Printed flyers should not be seen as an alternative to digital marketing, they should be viewed as an integral part of an overall marketing strategy. A well designed flyer can entice people to visit a company’s website for further information, sign up for an online newsletter, or take advantage of an online special offer, and much, much more. Here are some of the reasons why companies should not abandon the flyer.

The digital world has made flyers cheaper to produce

Rather than make printed flyers obsolete, the digital world has made printed flyers even more cost effective to produce. Once a flyer has been designed, it is now easy to order print runs online for as little as 100 flyers at a time. That has made flyers a more viable option for small business and it also means that larger businesses do not need to keep huge stocks of printed material that could become outdated.

Flyers can be put to many uses

Flyers are the real multi-taskers of marketing collateral. They can be sent out as mailers, included with sales proposals, displayed in stands in a store, handed out at trade shows, and sales representatives can leave them behind with prospects. Remember too that, while giving out sales literature on memory sticks might appear to be a more up to date way of doing things; many organisations don’t allow employees to connect any third party devices to the company network.

Flyers are not so easily dismissed

It’s a fact that many people are becoming ad-blind, or ad-resistant, when they use the internet. Quite simply, there is now so much digital advertising, we are learning to ignore it and zone straight in on the content we are looking for. There is, however, something about hard copy that makes people look at it, even if only briefly, before they discard it. It’s also something that can be popped in a pocket and read through later on, without the need to switch on any devices.

Flyers can convey quality

A well designed flyer printed on high quality paper can say a lot more about the quality of a company and its products. A flyer is a tactile experience for the recipient; a glossy flyer printed on high quality paper can demonstrate a company’s commitment to quality far better than a website or email can. After all, anyone can create a brand online and set up a free email address, and most people are fully aware of that fact.

Flyers are easy to create

Most people have all the tools they need to design a printed flyer already installed on their computers and, with the interchangeable file formats of modern applications, it’s now easy to create a design and send it straight through to printer for printing. The flyer printing companies will also be able to offer design services and some have their own online flyer design tools that you can use.

Flyers can keep the sales cycle flowing

Flyers can be very useful tools for keeping the momentum going in the sales cycle. It is well recognised that sales rarely come from a single contact, a prospect needs multiple “touches” to keep the sales process moving along. A well designed flyer with a compelling message can be a very cost effective way to keep a product or a company firmly in the mind of a prospective customer.

Consumers still want printed sales literature

There is no question that online marketing is very effective, but printed sales literature still has an important role to play in the sales cycle. Research has found that, while consumers may do their initial research online, many are then looking for printed information as the next step in their decision making process. This is especially the case in purchases of high end products where the decision making process might be a long one. A flyer is something that can be put in a drawer and looked at again later.

The role of the flyer may have changed, but it does still have a role

The days of mailing out tens of thousands of printed flyers may well have passed, but there is now an even more important role for printed sales literature.

Used in conjunction with a digital marketing campaign, flyers can be a very cost effective way of reinforcing the sale massage, enticing people to go online and find out more about a product, and they can be a simple and cheap giveaway to keep a product service, or company at the forefront of a prospect’s mind.

Marketing managers also need to be aware that there is a significant proportion of the population who trust high quality printed material more than they do digital advertising. Some people simply prefer to read a hard copy rather than spend hours in front of a screen.

The flyer, then, does still have an important role in modern marketing strategies, and it should not be consigned to a dusty box at the back of a storeroom. It might need to be designed differently to become one of the many interactions that a prospect has with a company, but the humble flyer remains a cheap and adaptable way of promoting a brand and conveying a strong message.

Do Printed Flyers Still Have a Place in the Digital World?

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