Q. Are print marketing materials still relevant in today’s digital environment? If so, when is it most effective to invest in print marketing materials?

A. You bet. Today’s consumer is constantly being bombarded with e-mails, e-blasts, and social-media hits these days. Digital media is so effective at getting the word out that printed marketing materials have almost totally been overshadowed. And there is little or no cost for the use of the Internet. You may have noticed that your favorite newspaper or magazine is thinner than it used to be.

I’m thinking a course correction may be in the making. People are getting so much e-mail that they are either blocking unknown senders or deleting much of what they receive. So let’s consider how you might use print along with digital options to position your brand and promote your product.
It has always been advisable to use as many approaches as you can to inform the consumer. In the olden days—oh, 30 years ago—we believed that a viewer had to see a print ad three times before it began to have an impact. Perhaps I could rephrase that and say a viewer has to see the information in three places.

Since most print materials cost money, it’s particularly important to make good choices about where to spend your money. It’s always wise to inform your customers anytime you’re having a studio sale, or a show—be it in a gallery, shop, or craft fair. Especially at a craft fair. The promoters will sell the fair, but they can’t sell each exhibitor. Instead, that’s your job. I suggest that in addition to digital listings, you send your information to the appropriate print publications to either be used for an editorial piece or listed in the calendar.

This is also the time to print a card that you mail to the customers on your list to let them know where you’ll be. If cost is a concern, how about printing a card with a great image on one side and blank except for return address and image caption on the other? Remember the more pieces you print, the less expensive the cards will be. Buy printable labels and use your computer to add the information about the specific event. This will allow you to customize the card each time you use it. The presence of an artist card on the refrigerator or desk is a constant reminder to go shopping. The bottom line is, they can’t purchase it if they don’t know where to find it.