Should Print and Traditional Direct Mail Still Be a Part of Your Promotional Mix?

Short answer: Yes!

Today’s media environment is far more complex, offering both benefits and challenges for marketers. The benefits are that they have many more options to choose from to allow them to more specifically, and narrowly, connect with their target audiences. That is, however, also the challenge.

Our audiences in the 21st century are very fragmented meaning that the mass media communications options of years gone by are no longer reliable—we simply can’t reach mass audiences in one fell swoop. Instead we have to strategically consider a variety of options that, together, will serve to get our messages out to those we wish to reach.

There is a tendency these days to think that everything can be done online and, of course, social media is top-of-mind for most marketers in the 21st century. However, I would caution marketers to be careful about making assumptions that may not be backed up by actual data. For instance, Pew Research released a report earlier this year with data on the adoption of various social media channels that is very enlightening. You can drill down into the report to see results for each of the social media sites covered.

No, print is not dead, and likely never will be. It will still be relevant for certain products/services and certain market segments—just like any other media channel.

An analogy I use to explain this is the evolution from live theater to radio to television to digital options for watching performances. Just because all of these new options currently exist doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a market for live theater. The same is true in the marketing communication world. Sometimes online media makes sense; sometimes it doesn’t.

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