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The Lingering Importance Of Physical Marketing In The Digital Age

The digital world is inescapable – social media, digital communication and mobile internet have ensured that we remain constantly tethered to the digital realm at all times. While it’s important to utilise the digital space and spruik your business or product, it’s also a good time to explore the ways that physical marketing can help to grow your business.

Physical marketing has been around since long before the advent of the internet (before electricity, phones and cars too!) Some of the earliest forms of marketing came with the advent of the printing press – when pamphleteers could finally disseminate information freely without the support of the church or the state. Marketing collateral was seen as a way to spread new ideas, to create an audience, and to test the water.

In many ways, its uses are the same today – and you can channel this ingenious spirit when trying to grow the audience for your own brand.

Visual Impact

One of the long-standing benefits of physical marketing is in its direct visual impact. The immediacy of physical marketing products and their tactile nature mean that you can provide an instant visual impact for your product or business, and immediately begin to build a brand image.

Visual marketing and merchandising collateral such as display cases, brochure stands, and large format posters all command visual attention, while helping to organise and divide space into pleasing segments.

Artefacts Matter

Even with the increasing movement toward digitisation and archival of analogue processes, consumers have proven that the lure of physical artefacts remains. A current example of this can be seen with the surge in vinyl record popularity.

The vinyl record ‘artefact’ is the most quickly growing market for music consumption – and interestingly, it’s not being driven by consumers who are old enough to still have their collections from the first time around.

The physical form of vinyl is not only playable and tangible, it has a sentimental value that is important to consumers which can’t be matched by a stream or a mp3. In this way, consider your physical marketing unique – a way to connect with customers which is traditional, but can also be playful and fun. Find ways to make your physical marketing collateral fun and collectible, and watch your audience not only grow, but become loyal.

Sharing Is Caring

Creating memorable physical marketing artefacts is also important when working in harmony with digital marketing channels. Consider the visual nature of Instagram and what can be captured and transmitted. Your physical marketing product (whether it’s a poster, a tea towel, a sticker or a t-shirt) is easy to photograph and spread with a simple visual representation. The potential for crossover marketing is therefore enormous.

To harness the crossover potential, it can be a good idea to start with a small-scale giveaway or competition. A physical product such as a T-shirt branded with the name or design of your business is a great way to engage with your audience, while also rewarding them for the engagement. Get creative with your campaigns and get your customers clicking.

Out Of Reach

Physical marketing campaigns also have the added benefit of being also to reach into areas which technology can’t. Flyers and posters can be placed on internal bulletin boards and reach their very specific intended target market, while display stands can supply a very obvious physical signifier to customers that your product exists and is important enough to have its own casing.

When dealing with environments which are packed with merchandise and competition, these small factors allow you to create a point of difference, and may enable your product to stand out and be noticed.

Physical marketing shouldn’t be overlooked when creating a marketing plan for your business. Although digital mediums are growing and are often cheap to set up, the benefits of an effective physical marketing campaign can’t be overstated. The appeal of an ‘artefact’ remains as strong as ever, and gives potential customers a tangible connection to your brand or service.

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