Hello, print marketing
How to combat digital fatigue in 2019

Steven Schilling

Twitter ads, Instagram stories, Facebook Live… When it comes to digital advertising, it seems as if there’s simply nowhere to escape. We’re only a few weeks into 2019 and already American consumers are beginning to tune out. As HootSuite, a social media management platform, recently noted, more than half of its users said “ignoring online ads is easy.” Others are simply avoiding the content altogether. In fact, Business Insider reported more than 30 percent of Internet users in the U.S. now use online ad blockers.

So how can business entities like banks avoid the finger swipe or junk folder? Despite rumors of the print industry’s demise, this medium remains a powerful—and effective—marketing tool. According to a FedEx study, nine in 10 U.S. consumers agree there will “always be a need for printed materials.” Another 85% percent said the quality of companies’ print products helped reinforce their positive perceptions of brands.

That’s not to say, however, financial institutions should only stick with print. Instead, they should bolster their existing digital efforts with the latest print marketing trends:

Data-driven outreach: When it comes to customers, the more details, the better. Data-driven print marketing is all the rage in 2019, and for good reason. Today, it’s relatively easy and affordable to gather information about consumers’ interactions and engagements. This, in turn, can be used to improve the relevancy and value of banks’ print outreach. As more data is added, they can further refine their marketing efforts to ensure they’re reaching—and swaying—their target audiences.

Personalized content: There’s no quicker way to turn customers off than by sending irrelevant content. As any business knows, data tracking is ubiquitous. Because of this, consumers not only want, but expect companies to cater to their shopping habits and preferences. Banks should personalize printed collateral such as postcards with special offers, individualized coupon codes or personalized landing pages (i.e., PURLs). By scrapping the generic appeals, they can create a more customized experience for consumers and, hopefully, increase their sales.

Dual-use collateral: Who says print materials can’t reinforce digital content? Whether they use direct mailers or ATM island banners, banks can now easily add QR codes or direct links to digital assets such as infographics, videos and surveys on printed pieces. Or, they can take it one step further by tailoring each piece. For instance, banks can use variable data printing to include customized online images and content for different recipients.

Tactile experiences: Gone are the days of basic papers and inks. As technologies evolve, banks can think more creatively about their printed collateral. They can use textures, raised spot coating or unique inks like glow in the dark, liquid foil or scratch off to maximize impact and engagement. Or for those who are trying to appeal to the younger, more eco-conscious demographic, they can choose from a plethora of alternative products like recycled or plantable paper.

The marketing world is continuing to move at warp speed. But that doesn’t mean banks have to say goodbye to traditional advertising tactics like print just yet. By combining digital efforts with the latest trends in print, financial institutions can stand out from the crowd—and succeed—in 2019.

Steve Schilling is the director of sales for Magna IV, a more than 40-year-old print and marketing business in Arkansas. For more information, visit magna4.com or email steven@magna4.net.