Media Planning

Is There a Hole in Your Channel Strategy?

Dig into a lot of marketing plans, and you’ll see them falling short in one key area.

Did you know at least one in four suppliers are missing a key component in their marketing plans?

As impossible to believe, that’s exactly the case. According to a recent PMMI Media Group survey, 26 percent of suppliers do no types of direct mail or print advertising. (Source: 2019 PMMI Media Group Packaging End User and Supplier Buying Insights Study.)

Focusing solely on digital channels is a huge mistake for two very important reasons:

1). Reach other channels can’t provide

Print is a way to reach influencers and decision makers without the privacy burdens and blocking found with email. There are simply people who you will rarely or perhaps never reach by other means. Also, because there are typically fewer gatekeepers over physical mail, print channels can be particularly desirable when trying to reach C-level executives.

2). Stickiness of message

The other important reason for using print is that it makes digital marketing efforts stronger. A strategic combination of print and digital communication can maximize the impact of a message because print offers a level of comprehension, trust and longevity that digital simply doesn’t, and it aids recall in a way that digital can’t do alone.

A Modern Approach to Doing Print Right

The trick for marketers these days is knowing when and how to use print to accompany digital efforts. Consider just a few tips:

Leverage Print Advertising to Aid Search and Site Traffic. Your goal is to get in front of the most eyes who are currently in market or someday will be. The best way to do this is to choose routine placements in respected publications where your prospects seek industry news and innovations—where they already are in the right mindset to learn more about you. Keep in mind: The strength of print advertising isn’t direct response—it’s brand and product awareness to aid search and stay top of mind. (This search potential shouldn’t be underestimated—in B2C circles, researchers with the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association have found that over 47% of readers are likely to move from a print ad to an online search after viewing a print ad.) In general, you’ll want to direct print ads to the same audience ideally every two months and at a minimum at least quarterly to get—and stay—on buying teams’ radar.

Use Targeting to Create More Meaningful (and Less Expensive) Direct Mail Campaigns. Today’s direct mail campaigns are different in many ways from the mass mailings of the past. Thanks to digitalization, it’s now easy to cost-efficiently print small quantities and feature high degrees of personalization using variable data printing. These capabilities allow marketers to cheaply target communications like never before.

Pro tip: Don’t limit yourself to known prospects! Using the PMMI Audience Network (PAN) for direct mail, you can connect with very targeted segments of new audience, whether by industry, buying interest or other key demographics ( Here’s how PAN for direct mail works:

  • Choose your target audience from available criteria, and PMMI Media Group will confirm the audience size.
  • You manage design and print—so you have complete control.
  • Once you have your creative ready, PMMI Media Group will send this mailing list directly to your verified third-party mailing house.
  • You work directly with the mailing house to monitor fulfillment.

You’re able to send to the purchased mailing list up to three times in a 12 month period. It’s that easy!

(Note: If you’re new to direct mail and need printing assistance, no worries. PMMI Media Group can recommend fulfillment vendors who are also able to handle the printing of your piece. And if you If you don’t have a qualified mailing house, the media group can send your list to its pre-screened mailing house. )

3 Tips for Better Print Ads

Keep it Simple — Simple layouts work best. Busy or cluttered ads turn readers off. But simple layouts allow your messaging (your concise messaging) to be read easily. Also, forgo large blocks of copy for smaller ones, and consider using bullet points to clearly define benefits. Beyond this, san-serif fonts have been shown to be the easiest to read.
Mind Your Flow — The human eye naturally wants to start at the top left of a page or ad and move down toward the bottom right. You can help this visual journey by laying out text along the eye’s natural ‘route’ across the page.
Highlight the Benefits — Reject your instinct or to go with a branded image ad. These are vague and will result in a limp ROI. Focus instead on creating benefits-rich copy with a clear call-to-action. Too many marketers make the mistake of pointing out features in their ad instead of benefits. While your website can list product or service features, your ad should focus only on the biggest benefits to your prospective customers. This is how you hook them and get them to find out more.
Source: MediaSpace Solutions via SIIA, “Will Print Advertising Still Work in the Coming Year,” July 2019.
Also, keep in mind the basic look and style of the ad should be consistent with the other advertising you do. (For example, print ads should feel similar to your display ads.) Miss this mark, and the target audience won’t make the connection to your brand and you’ll reduce the overall effectiveness of your media plan.
Is There a Hole in Your Channel Strategy?

Written by

Sarah Loeffler