Marketing Strategy – Six Common Print Marketing Myths Debunked

You know how these things start: one person hears a rumor, then tells two people, who in turn tell two people, and so on. Print marketing is particularly sensitive to rumours.

A multitude of inaccurate myths surround the printing industry, leaving many with the wrong impression – that printing is not environmentally friendly or efficient…and other misconceptions.

However, misinformation can lead to missed opportunities and a weaker marketing presence for your brand. Protect yourself from harmful myths by learning the truth behind the power of print.

Myth 1. Not environmentally friendly

The paper industry is often unfairly criticized for being harmful to the environment, and the idea of ​​a paperless workplace has been a frequent topic of conversation over the past few decades.

However, paper can be recycled, and it is also a renewable resource. The paper often comes from managed forests or farms, which replant around 4 million trees every day (four times more than they harvest). In 2010, 63.5% of all paper consumed in the United States was recycled, and the numbers are growing.

Paper marketing also has a lower carbon footprint than digital marketing, since carbon emissions are only produced once, during product creation. Meanwhile, carbon emissions occur every time someone uses a digital device. Even producing a CD creates more CO2 emissions than printing a 100-page color report.

If you’re still concerned about the environmental friendliness of your marketing materials, you can take steps to ensure less environmental impact:

  • Always use paper made from recycled paper.
  • Encourage recipients to reuse, recycle or even compost your materials instead of throwing them away.
  • Using organic inks (such as soy ink) is a great way to avoid adding harsh chemicals to your marketing materials.
  • You can skip the ink altogether and use blind embossing or die cutting, which require no ink.

Myth 2. Ineffective

Many people consider print marketing to be old-fashioned and ineffective in a digital market; however, the industry is still thriving and customers are still responding positively.

According to a survey by International Communications Research, 73% of consumers said they preferred receiving print ads over email ads from the brands they love. Meanwhile, another survey commissioned by Two Sides showed that 70% of Americans said they would rather read things on printed paper than a digital screen, and 67% said they liked the feel of print. compared to other mediums.

Think of it this way: on the internet, there is an unlimited amount of content to distract the audience from your brand; meanwhile, with direct mail marketing, there’s a smaller pool of competition and so you’re more likely to connect with the audience long enough to convert.

Print marketing doesn’t have to be limited to the mail either; Personally distributing your media to a potential client is a great way to establish a positive connection.

The most effective marketing strategy is one that covers all your bases with both print and digital media. Add QR codes and URLs to your print media to direct audiences to your website or social media page. According to a study (pdf) conducted in 2007, 67% of online searches are caused by offline communications, meaning that a strong print presence can actually lead to more conversions and sales online.

Myth 3. Interchangeable with electronic designs

Your digital marketing and print marketing campaigns should promote the same message and display your brand in the same light, but that doesn’t mean your designs are interchangeable. Many web designs aren’t what you would call “print-ready”, and printing them unmodified will misrepresent your brand.

For example, the colors you use may not print accurately. Designs made for the web are created using a combination of red, green, and blue (RGB) tints, while printed materials use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) to reproduce color. color. Differences may cause discoloration and cause your brand design elements to not match your brand colors exactly.

Similarly, you might have a web-optimized logo that uses multiple colors, but you might find yourself in a situation where you can only print using one color. Without pre-designing your web logo to be printable, you’ll either have to completely redo the logo for print or create a separate logo just for your printed materials.

You also need to be aware of the resolution of your images. Web designs tend to be lower resolution, with a standard of 72 dpi (dots per inch). If these same images are used for printing, they will be horribly blurry and pixelated. Printed materials require higher quality images set to at least 300 dpi.

Myth 4. Cannot be personalized

The appeal of digital media is how quickly it can be changed. With just a few taps, you can fully personalize your marketing materials with the customer’s name or other information, creating a stronger connection with the audience. However, the same level of personalization is available with your marketing materials printed with a variety of different techniques.

Variable printing is like the printed marketing version of the search and replace feature in a Word document. This allows the entire design to remain the same, but part of that design to change, such as a client’s name, city name, etc. For print media with multiple pages or panels, such as a folder or report cover, you can add a die-cut window for easy customization. Cutout windows let you see inside the cover, so customization is as easy as changing what’s behind the window.

When you personalize with print, it’s more impressive than on the web; after all, consider how much personalized email you have in your spam box. Your audience knows that sending personalized emails is not difficult, but they will be captivated by personalized printed materials because they will think that it was expensive and difficult to personalize, which makes the customer more special.

Myth 5. Limited options

Many make the mistake of foregoing creativity in their marketing materials in favor of sticking to standard features; however, it’s hard to make an impact when your warranty doesn’t stand out. You’re not limited to a bland, printed rectangle; Depending on the printer you choose, some 15 million combinations of options may be available.

For example, custom die-cutting allows you to completely change the shape of your media so you can do things like create business cards that are shaped like your product or add a uniquely shaped sleeve to your presentation folder. Changing the shape of your media makes it easier to remember and harder to separate because it looks and feels different from the standard template.

In fact, the tactile feel of your marketing materials can help you create a stronger connection with your audience as they experience your media using more than one sense at a time. This means choosing a medium that feels sturdy (not flimsy) and possibly considering a textured medium like vellum, linen, or kraft for added impact. Special coatings such as soft touch or satin can give your medium an additional textural component.

Keep in mind that just because it’s printed marketing materials doesn’t mean you should use standard color ink as your only printing method. Embossing is a special method that uses heat and pressure to stamp a design directly onto the paper itself, resulting in a raised effect that looks sophisticated and adds a level of texture.

Foil stamping and metallic ink can be used to create shiny, reflective areas of your design that grab the public’s attention. For best results, blend it by combining printing methods, such as embossing and hot stamping to create a raised metallic effect.

Myth 6. All printers are the same

One of the biggest misconceptions about print marketing is that you can get it from any source and it will always be the same. No two printers are the same, from the options they offer to the equipment they use for printing. If you use more than one printer for your marketing materials, you could end up with noticeable variations in your marketing materials, which could lead to brand confusion.

The best way to ensure high-quality results across the board is to find a printer you like and stick with that printer for all your printing needs. You must establish a working relationship with your printer; it is not enough to send them your order and be done with it. You want a printer who is willing to work with you, not a cookie-cutter online print shop where you can place your entire order without ever communicating with another human being.

A good printer can answer any questions you have about the printing process, as well as offer suggestions on special options to use or how to improve the appearance of your documents. Many printers hire in-house designers who can create your media from scratch or help bring your design to a print-ready state if you haven’t already. You can also save money and time by finding a printer that takes care of everything, so you don’t get business cards from one place and folders from another.


According to Nielsen Research, nearly 90% of consumers say they want to receive printed marketing materials related to promotions and sales. As the old saying goes…the customer is always right.

A smart marketing plan is comprehensive and focuses on both print and digital communications to achieve maximum result. This means you can’t afford to be tricked by misinformation about the print industry when almost half of your marketing strategy is at stake.

Are there any other rumors about the printing industry that you would like to see gone? Do you have any unanswered questions about print marketing that are plaguing your mind? Leave your comments and requests below!