Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Start The Presses

 
What should you focus on with your marketing program?  Digital or print?
 
The popularity of digital advertising and digital venues such as social media have grown and with it, marketing dollars allocated to digital. With the worldwide increase in web usage it has increased the internet's role in education and informing B2B customers prior to making intelligent buying decisions.
 
Of course, there are many benefits to digital advertising.  It's less costly per impression, and response is readily measured. When you live in such a digitally driven world, it's hard to avoid thinking "print is dead."
 
However, according to the 2015 Media Usage Survey just published by Gardner Business Media, Inc., 86 percent of manufacturing technology buyers prefer reading magazines to get new product and process information.  Furthermore, 93 percent of industrial buyers report that they are more likely to select search results from companies and sources they already know or recognize. 
 
So, as B2B marketers hurtle into the digital marketing space, there's only one thing they leave
behind -- their customers.
 
In the race to out-innovate fellow competitors, B2B companies can sometimes go too far, too fast.  With so much hype around the exciting things happening in the digital ad space, it's easy to forget that B2B magazines haven't  lost their power.  Yet, some advantages of print follow:
 
  • Print has staying power. Influential trade magazines have a following.  Digital messages disappear in the blink of an eye.
  • You can't catch a virus form print.  Enough said.
  • Print is powerful for branding.  Because it's static, a print ad can boost your brand by featuring bold graphics and unique brand imagery that stays in the mind of the reader.
  • Print is engaging.  Customers and prospects are more engaged when reading print material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15 second visit.  In addition, print gives you room to communicate.  A print ad is able to better communicate the complexities of a technical product or more involved sales message
If you dismiss print as a dying medium, when so many of your customers and prospects still value it, you will likely leave a host of opportunities for  competitors who invest where most are looking.
 

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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