Flyers, leaflets, direct-to-the-door brochures: these forms of marketing used to form the life blood of a business’s trade; yet over the course of a decade the emergence of the internet has transformed the ways in which companies connect to their target market.

Today, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s social media, email marketing and SEO that provide the best ROI and that drive the best results; yet this simplistic approach doesn’t quite tell the full story – in fact, it barely provides for even a blurry overview. Here we put print marketing under the magnifying glass and explain why those investing in this form of marketing may never have had it so good.

Direct marketing: A medium experiencing a real resurgence

As consumers are increasingly being drowned with marketing messages online it seems that businesses have turned back to direct marketing in order to get their message across, with plenty of impressive stats backing up their choice of direction.

72% of people say that they open all their post

Royal Mail 2016

12% of marketers report growth in their direct marketing budgets

Decision Marketing 2015

Consumers who receive direct print marketing… search for more information online (37%); discuss it with others (33%) or plan a future purchase (29%)

Decision Marketing 2015


Print marketing is dead vs long live print marketing

Let us be clear: print marketing is far from a defunct medium, yet the savviest of companies recognise one thing – that it’s at its most powerful when coupled with its contemporary counterpart of digital marketing.

“76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing strategy encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication”.

Marketing Profs 2014


When the digital and print worlds collide the outcomes can be impressive, and the commercial results, even more so. The most powerful ways in which companies are incorporating print into their overall marketing strategy can be found in a few well-placed samples.


Volkswagen arguably achieved the impossible with this three page spread – which allowed smartphone users to take their new model out for a spin, even enabling them to test out the various new features, such as ‘Lane Assist’ which would make the smartphone vibrate if it got  too close to the edge of the lane or road.


Sonora demonstrated just how fast their 4G Wi-Fi was with this game which pitted two players against one another in a test of reaction.


Communicating just how important it is to protect your skin from the sun has been a notoriously difficult issue for companies such as Nivea. Yet their latest move – by including a solar panel in a magazine that could charge a Smartphone – seemed to literally show how powerful the sun can be.

The examples above are all incredible demonstrations of digital and print marketing – yet for some brands, innovation can be achieved without the need for digital interactivity at all…

Lladro Lighting

What’s better than telling people about how great your lamps are? Well, that would be including a free lamp in the advertisement itself – which is exactly what Lladro achieved with this marketing campaign.


Peugeot pushed home their leading safety record with this clever advert which asked readers to hit the front of the car – in the spread was a miniature airbag which inflated on impact.

Other innovative print ideas

3D Pop-up postcards

73% of respondents were found to hold onto their valued piece of mail for future reference (Decision Marketing 2015); this statistic is impressive alone – yet it is also a percentage that can be improved on by innovative ideas such as 3D pop-up postcards.

Variable printing

Using differing textures, finishes, materials and embossing can provide a tangible difference for your printed goods.


QR Codes

The addition of a QR code on your printed materials can seamlessly transport the receiver of the marketing message onto a website address at the click of a button.

Going beyond this guide: Easy as 1, 2, and 3

Print marketing can supercharge your business sales – you simply need the right approach for your target market. There’s a rich array of resources out there to guide your efforts, with the following blogs serving as bases from which to begin:

1. Craft your message

How to Develop a Marketing Message

Who Are You? The 5 Key Components of a Core Messaging Document

2. Merge digital and print marketing

How to Combine Print and Digital Marketing Campaigns

15 Clever Examples of Interactive Print Ads

3. Couple your strategy with innovative offline print ideas

21 Kick Ass Offline Marketing Ideas

10 Effective Offline Marketing Ideas for Start-ups in 2015

Anna Lemos

Anna Lemos


Anna Lemos, Content Marketing Executive at Company Formations 24.7.