Print still matters
Remember when you heard that one day, we’d have paperless offices as technology promised to replace our need for hard copies? While AT&T posted the first ever banner ad on the web starting a digital wave in 1994 and we are now able to consume news and reading material online, print has not dissipated completely. In fact, according to neuroscience, paper beats digital. The 2015 Forbes article that shared this takeaway cited several studies, including a study Temple University consumer neuroscience researchers conducted for the U.S. Post Office and another one conducted at San Jose State University. In both studies, when viewing physical ads, participants had a stronger emotional response and remembered them better. There’s staying power and, as a result, buying power in a piece that lives in the physical world.
Here at DU, print serves its purpose as well, allowing us to physically place our brand in the hands of our constituents and giving us a tangible touchpoint.
Each year, University Advancement sends several print pieces to alumni, including an annual Philanthropy report and the University of Denver Magazine, in addition to its monthly e-newsletter. The magazine alone is mailed to nearly 50,000 alumni. In a recent alumni survey, older alumni shared that largely they want to receive their information from the printed version of University of Denver Magazine, even with it only arriving quarterly, while younger alums preferred email newsletters.
“While identifying best performing print pieces is difficult to assess,” says Rachel Balows, director of communication for the enrollment division of Undergraduate Admission, “of the 30 pieces mailed to prospective and admitted students annually, the topics that are most valuable and important to our work include affordability, visit options, and tangible stories and examples of the value of a DU education.”
According to Victoria O’Malley, sr. director of marketing and communications for University College, “Program-specific brochures that paint a clear picture of the experience and underscore our mission perform well, along with including details such as course listings, tuition, scholarships, and contact information.” She goes on to specify that data collected from admitted students who accepted their offer indicated that the print collateral proved helpful in their decision making.
Though it may be easier to directly measure the impact of digital marketing campaigns with their direct connection to websites and analytics, print has a place. In a crowded marketplace, a multichannel marketing strategy connects with more leads. Consistent sharing across a variety of channels allows us to amplify the frequency and reach of messaging, thereby creating more effectiveness overall.