3 reasons why the revival of print media will be good for your business!

1. Physical media gets noticed

In 2015, the USPS Office of Inspector General conducted a study with Temple University’s neuroscientists which allowed them to compare customers responses to physical versus digital advertising methods. The same year, Canada Post issued a Canada wide survey with True Impact Marketing to study the effectiveness of physical and digital advertising material. Both studies came to similar conclusions. And that conclusion is? Physical media gets noticed. When direct mail is received or viewed, it sends a sensory signal that stimulates a deeper level of engagement in the brain than a digital message. This makes the physical format more likely to be noticed, resulting in a greater intent to purchase. The motivation to act from a physical advertisement is 20% higher than that of a digital ad.

Source: Canada Post: A Bias for Action, July 31, 2015

Source: Canada Post: A Bias for Action, July 31, 2015

Physical media formats such as catalogues have made a comeback and have become an integral part of the modern marketing mix. Many savvy companies such as Ikea, Amazon, and Canadian Tire understand the power of print and have started to incorporate it in their marketing mix. Canada Post’s marketing insights reviews this. Check it out here.

2. Life stages have an impact

When adding print to your marketing mix, you must consider who you’re trying to reach and how they engage with the media. It’s a common myth that Millennials and Gen Xers are more involved in the digital world, which would correlate to a stronger engagement with digital media and advertising; however, this is not the case. As Canadian journalist, David Sax states “Because the millennial generation came of age with broadband, internet, smartphones and social media, we assume that is all they want. But, in fact, when you look at who is driving the return of things like vinyl records, print books, paper books, new magazines, niche publications, it’s exactly that demographic of millennials, and those younger than them”. Millennials see print catalogues as a welcoming alternative to email promotions and digital advertisements. Also, a comparative analysis by Canada Post reveals that the presence of children in a household increases Millennials and Gen Xers involvement of media channels.

Source: Canada Post: A Bias for Action, July 31, 2015

Source: Canada Post: A Bias for Action, July 31, 2015

Torpedo Tip: The age group 30-49 exhibits the highest response to direct mail and lowest response to digital formats. Followed by the 18-29 age group and then ages 50-64. This may be of help while planning your direct mail campaign!

3. Integration happens

Physical media, such as catalogues have the power to drive purchases, whether it be online or in store. Its physicality creates a deeper connection between the brand and its customers which allows for integration to occur. In 2016, Canadian Tire decided to reintroduce catalogues into its marketing mix and the result was outstanding. According to The Globe and Mail the catalogue had such a large impact on the company’s e-commerce that their online weekly sales doubled immediately after the catalogues were released. And it’s not just the Canadian Tire Brand that has been successful with the incorporation of direct mail in their marketing mix. As the Globe and Mail states “legend has it that after the Bible, the second-most popular book found in homes around the world is the Ikea catalogue”. If physical media is properly incorporated into a marketing mix it is capable of leading a customer to new and useful information such as product reviews, brand experiences, and expert advice. Canada Post suggests that 25% of print catalogues prompt a website visit and 33% cause a visit to a retail store.

Source: Canada Post: Breaking through the Noise, June 30, 2015

Source: Canada Post: Breaking through the Noise, June 30, 2015

The revival of print media could be good for your business, but only if you act upon it. Contact Torpedo Marketing today to find out how.


Canada Post, Phase 5, Advertising Communication Preferences and Generational Differences, 2017.

Canada Post: A Bias for Action, July 31, 2015

Canada Post: Breaking Through the Noise, June 30, 2015.

Domtar: Printed Catalogs are Still a Smart Marketing Choice, November 7, 2017

The Globe and Mail: Canadian Tire’s Innovative Digital Move Raises Sales, May 12, 2016

The Globe and Mail: The Stubborn Survival of the Retail Catalogue, August 8, 2017