Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Three Reasons Brands Are Exploring Non-Digital Channels In Their Advertising Strategies

By Shawn Porat, co-founder of OpenFortune. He has been published in Forbes, Time and Money Magazine.

As the digital advertising space becomes increasingly expensive and crowded, brands are looking for alternative ways to stand out and engage consumers. It is becoming more common for people to overlook targeted advertisements in their inboxes or on websites, where there is a continual overload of content. As a result, brands are once again exploring print advertisements in their marketing strategies and finding they can achieve a more direct and lasting impact on consumers.

Why non-digital advertising channels? 

1. Differentiating Your Brand

The age-old question brands face is how to differentiate themselves from the competition and own the creative advertising space. If a brand truly understands its customer journey, there are a significant amount of untapped and less competitive channels to engage. 

Print is making a comeback as physical ads are tangible and easier for a consumer to interact with. This can lead to a higher level of viewability as well as evoke an emotional response and memory recall that a digital ad might not achieve.

Of course, there are more traditional mediums like posters, direct mail and newspapers. However, during the pandemic, brands were forced to become scrappy as the industry developed a market for other kinds of creative advertising. For example, many sports stadiums that were previously filled with fans, allowed brands to print ads on the front of the empty chairs, which were then broadcast across the nation via television screens. These advertisements met consumers in places they did not previously expect, making them much more intriguing, engaging and effective.

2. The Value Of Creativity

It is no secret that unique and creative advertising strategies are more likely to attract consumers to a brand. If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that brands that do their research, know their audience, utilize creative channels and connect with the consumer, will ultimately win. Having a physical presence can help a brand establish a sense of credibility, so more and more companies are exploring how to combine print and digital in a way that attracts consumers, rather than overwhelming them. 

Brands have begun to realize they can deliver creative print marketing without losing the back-end measurement that digital provides. Adding capabilities like QR codes, specific website URLs or discount codes to print advertisements, allow brands to successfully track the effectiveness of their ad. They can elevate the entire customer experience by letting the consumer conveniently interact with the print ad in front of them while still driving website traffic. 

3. Bringing Data To Out Of Home (OOH)

The pandemic accelerated the already existing (yet previously slow-moving) desire to add data to OOH advertising, making it an almost immediate necessity. Historically, one of the downsides of print marketing was the inability to track customer data. New advertising capabilities like scannable codes allow brands to measure effectiveness while giving consumers a new way to interact with the ad in front of them. 

Marrying both digital and print advertising enables brands to track their customer retention and visibility while still delivering the message to consumers in a straightforward way. More brands are including their social media handle as a digital call to action within print ads that might be seen on busses or in the subway. Colleges and universities have started including hashtags in their print pamphlets to direct new and existing students to their social media channel or website. Other brands offer incentives like coupons to customers who post a selfie with their product on Instagram using a unique hashtag.

Adding print into a marketing strategy can help ensure the ad is seen and registered by the consumer. Think about it this way: If a consumer wants to get rid of a digital ad, they can scroll right past it without a glance. To get rid of a print advertisement, they at least have to hold it and carry it to the trash. Even this small interaction will leave an impression on the consumer.

Final Thoughts

When considering marketing strategies, brands must differentiate themselves from the competition and find the most creative and effective way to engage their customer. Non-digital advertising mediums like print can capture and retain consumers’ attention on a deeper level than purely digital ads can. However, brands must recognize the value of creativity and experiment with ways to combine print and digital through methods such as QR codes in order to effectively market themselves.

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