In this age of “going green” it might seem like having printed marketing materials is passé at best and possibly a bad business decision.

We at The Belford Group disagree. Printed marketing materials are still a viable, even essential component to a strong and effective marketing plan. We agree that the manner and frequency of using printed materials has drastically changed, but instead of seeing that as a downfall, we see it as an opportunity for our clients to better target the printed materials they do use.

Why still use print?

There are several reasons to consider printed marketing materials, such as business cards, rack cards and advertisements in printed publications. We’ll take a look at what we consider to be the “biggies” (and yes, we realize we are making up a couple of words here…work with us.)


Printed marketing materials are easier to keep than, say, an online update that will be swept away in a sea of other updates as time goes on. When you give someone a business card or brochure, they can keep it, make notes on it and be more likely to remember to call you later for business.

The idea of “lastability” also gives the printed material the opportunity for repeated or delayed impact. Take, for example, the magazines that are in doctor’s offices. Notorious for being months if not a year old, right? Ads that are printed in those magazines will find their way to many more people’s eyes over time. The same idea exists with rack cards or brochures. Those items can be read and re-read, thus making it more likely that your business will receive patronage.


Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to touch something. Research shows that some people learn better when they can touch something. Why not give that type of person an improved ability to learn about your business?

Having a tangible object to touch and hold gives your target audience the opportunity to physically interact with your business even after the initial first contact.


Ever seen the show Extreme Couponing? Although we recognize that is … well, extreme, we also know that coupons are all the rage right now. Not everyone has a smartphone that they can just go show the coupon they’ve received to the cashier. Most places still require you to print coupons and bring them in, even if the coupons are originally found online.

So if you offer coupons, why not have them printed in a way that is visually appealing (thus more likely to be seen) and in a way that gives you control over the quality and quantity? A well-designed coupon will make it harder for people to fraudulently duplicate the coupon and therefore try to steal from your business by receiving a discount they don’t deserve.

Does your ad stand out on a phone book page or is it lost in a sea of yellow?


As the function and use of print materials has changed with the increase in technology, targeting a specific audience has become easier.

A major example is print advertisements in publications. It used to be that businesses had to pay for advertising in just about every phone book, local magazine and newspaper. Now, that is only necessary if the publication’s target audience is also the business’ target audience.

Let’s look at an example. With most young people using their phones and other online devices to receive information, it’s unlikely they will bother to look up something in a printed phone book. But for older generations who still have land lines … and still use the phone book, this is by far the best place to have your business advertised if this is your demographic.

Printing soon? 

It’s already time to start thinking about your 2012 printed marketing materials. Who is your target audience? How are you going to reach them? Let us help.

The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget …and any medium.

Call us. We’d love to hear from you.