Using Print in Your Marketing Mix

  • Feb 25, 2019

To reach and communicate with current and potential customers you need a tool that is stimulating, accessible and trusted. There’s one marketing medium that meets all of these requirements. And that medium is Print.

Studies have shown that touch has an ability to influence people’s purchases. People enjoy holding a printed piece in their hands, feeling the paper in their fingers. Print is stimulating.

With print there’s no need to upload information or deal with wait times, compatibility or network access issues. Print is highly portable. It’s ready for you to “grab and go” on a moment’s notice. Thus print is accessible.

A study by Nielsen shows that people trust print. Consumers find print ads more trustworthy than those they see online. They feel comfortable using it. Print is trusted.

Printed materials can lead interested consumers to an online portal to learn more about a product or even purchase the product online. And a quality marketing campaign today typically includes both online (email, display ads, social media) and offline (direct mail, catalogs, sales collateral) materials. So which printed method works best for your situation?

Offset Printing vs. Digital Printing

There are advantages to both offset printed materials and digitally printed materials. Both processes have their place in the marketing mix. If you’re looking for large runs of quality reproduced materials then you’re looking for offset printing.

Offset Printing

Offset printing reproduces images beautifully on a wide variety of papers or substrates. With added varnishes and coatings an image printed by offset can look like the photograph. This makes it the perfect process for printing high-end promotional pieces like brochures and sales collateral.

Offset printing can also print on large sheets of paper. There are offset presses that print on paper that measures 81 inches wide. With this size you can print high-quality point-of-purchase displays.

And, if you want to reproduce millions of printed pieces you can choose web offset printing. This is the perfect process for printing catalogs and magazines.

Offset printing usually requires a large press and multiple press operators. There are also additional supplies needed to produce the final product such as plates, solutions and materials. On a large run these expenses are spread out over the whole run which makes offset printing better qualified for long run printed jobs. For a shorter run job you want to look at digital printing.

Digital Printing

Digital printing does not involve printing plates, solutions and materials thus it is more cost effective for shorter runs. Digitally printed jobs are usually run on smaller equipment and thus require fewer operators. This, also, results in a lower cost for smaller printing jobs.


Digital presses have variety of printing substrates from which to choose. Some are unique to digital. There are short run products such as special die cut labels and pre-perforated and pre-scored packaging. For example, there are various size cartons, like golf ball and wine bottle boxes. All designed as short run quality packaging.

Other substrates that work well with digital include synthetic products that are perfect for situations where moisture or wear are of concern. These substrates are strong, chemical resistant, and moisture and grease proof, yet they are flexible like paper. These would be great for short run menus because they would not have to be laminated.


Variable Data Printing

Digital has another big advantage over offset printing. It has the ability to incorporate variable data into a printed product (VDP). This variable information can lead to a higher response rate in an advertising piece. Imagine the ability to change images and text to meet the specific needs of you clients.

There’s a case study in which Ford Motor Company tested VDP with their extended service plan mailers and saw a more than 35% increase in sales and a reduction in production costs by 3.2%. They accomplished this by incorporating relevant information for individual Ford F150 truck owners into a mailer targeted specifically to the owner. With VDP you can do this same.

Let’s say you want to reach customers in Irvine, California and others in Santa Ana, California, and still others in Culver City, California. You can choose images that will identify their particular city. You can also add client specific text. Adding variable data will lead to a marketing piece that is relevant to each individual.

We’re Here to Help

Whether you need a long run offset printing job, a short run digital job or a VDP mailer, Signs of the Times Consulting is able to handle any ‘ink on paper’ job. We proactively manage programs end-to-end and work seamlessly with you and/or your agencies to achieve your overall marketing objectives. We print flyers, brochures, direct mail pieces, corporate reports, training manuals, sales inserts, catalogs, letterhead, envelopes, door hangers and more.

Signs of the Times Consulting will manage all programs, end-to-end, to ensure even the most aggressive deadlines are met and quality standards maintained while maximizing your budgets.

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  • Tags: digital printing, offset printing, marketing, advertising