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Is There Still a Place for Print Marketing?
By Barbara Pronin
A recent Nielsen study reveals that Americans spend an average of 10 hours, 39 minutes each day immersed in smartphones, tablets, TV, radio, computers and video games. So it’s not surprising to hear the somber prophesy that ‘print is dead.’           

And yet, despite the decline of print newspapers, data from Pew Research Center and other credible sources say that more than half of all newspaper readers prefer to access the news only in printed form.

That may be, such surveys tell us, because we tend to distrust much of what we read online, while the information we see in print is viewed as more credible and legitimate.

What does this contradiction mean for real estate professionals who are trying to get the most ‘bang for their buck’ from their marketing dollars? Is there still a place for print?

One answer may be found in the amount of money professional marketers continue to spend on print advertising – which, according to Walsworth, one of the nation’s largest purveyors of print and digital print services, is 12 times the amount they spend on ads for mobile devices.

The reasons are threefold, according to Forbes Magazine:
  1. They’re tangible. They tend to stick with us longer than fleeting online marketing pieces.
  2. They’re engaging. Most people like to ‘unplug’ occasionally, and take their time skimming printed material as a change from scanning online data.
  3. They’re trustworthy. Unlike online messaging and popups that make us wary of viruses, print messaging has no such potential danger.
Used strategically, marketing experts say, print advertising and specialty marketing pieces still have the power to connect with the people you want to reach – especially when it drives them to your website.

Here are five ways to maximize the ROI from your print marketing dollars:
  1. Create a brand – Use consistent logos, colors and fonts that identify you to your readers, and bold graphics to highlight your useful website content
  2. Focus on lifestyle – Illustrate ads and flyers with images that draw readers in to inviting communities and lifestyles; a family picnicking in a lakeside development, seniors relaxing on the patio with friends
  3. Offer solutions – Provide homeowners with information that assists them in some way; how to winterize your home, how to choose a contractor, preparing your yard for spring gardening
  4. Target your audience – Know who you want to connect with in each piece; past clients, millennials, senior citizens
  5. Stay in regular contact – Plan 4-8 varied contacts per year; recently sold homes, change of season/time change, birthday greetings, events specific to the local market.
Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.

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