Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why Traditional Marketing Remains Important to Local Businesses

It’s indisputable that the face of advertising is changing. From website, email, and blogs to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, digital marketing has become the way to communicate; however, there are several reasons why traditional forms of printed marketing collateral remain an important arrow in any company’s marketing quiver.

Reason 1: Not everyone has access to, or uses, the Internet
According to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, approximately one-quarter of Americans have no Internet access, and those with limited or no access to the Internet tend to be older and less affluent. Thus, if your business targets an older demographic, old-fashioned print advertising or collateral may be a better tool.

Limited Internet access is especially relevant in the Tahoe-Truckee area, where many of our potential customers are out-of-town vacationers. Take, for example, the family who rents a ski cabin for a week. If they don’t have Internet access, they are most likely to make decisions about where to shop, eat, and play based on the publications they pick up or the signs they view during their stay.

Reason 2: Print collateral remains a powerful branding tool
A strong brand creates customer loyalty and name recall in your clients’ minds. Strong brands are built through constancy and repetition, meaning that to become memorable to your clients, your brand (ie., your company’s logo, identity, and image) must be seen frequently and consistently.

Print collateral still remains an excellent way to build brand strength. Imagine the second homeowner who lives in Bay Area. Each day he is inundated with advertising for products and services from his local media or from his favorite websites, which most likely are not Tahoe-focused. However, every month or so, he receives a postcard from House Painter X and every time he comes up to visit he sees ads for House Painter X in our local newspapers and on trucks driving around town. For years he doesn’t pay much attention to these ads, and then one summer he notices his vacation home is in desperate need of a new paint job. For a reason he can’t put his finger on, the homeowner suddenly remembers House Painter X as he is flipping through the Yellow Pages and decides to call them for a quote.

Reason 3: We process printed information better
A 2008 Forrester Research study finds that spam accounts for 90 – 95% of all sent emails. We have become accustomed to dismissing unfamiliar messages that as spam, and thus, the advertiser’s message is lost.

Similarly, it has been proven that people have a much easier time processing printed information than that which we read on screen, as seen in the tendency to print out emails or lengthy reading material in order to better remember or understand it. Thus if your marketing messages are detailed, educational, or technical in nature, printed material may be a better choice than electronic media.

Even though digital marketing continues to grow and remains an excellent investment of your marketing dollars, printed collateral cannot be left out of the mix of any successful marketing campaign.

For more marketing tips, visit SmallPond Studio offers a full range of design and marketing services. You can reach us at 530.587.5625 or

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