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Is Print Collateral Dead?

Is there still a place for print collateral? In an age where technology and digital is seemingly taking over, does the humble piece of print collateral still have its place? I hear you ask.

In years gone by, marketing channels have been kicked to the curb for being outdated, costly or overused creating receiver apathy. Today, many companies have decided to cut their print production in line with the market trend to move towards online channels in this digital world. However,  we are here to tell you “YES”– Print collateral still has its place and will provide that impactful statement (DM), professional credibility (Brochure) or thought provoking heads up (leaflet) that can often go unnoticed amongst the constant barrage of messages we receive online and through the media on a daily basis.

Print has received bad press over the years, due to the assault of junk mail (door drops) and inserts in magazines and papers. However, as with all things in life, you don’t need to throw out the baby with the bath water!

Print collateral offers that tangible piece, which if well thought out, produced and executed correctly, can produce great results for your business. If you’re introducing your company, raising awareness around a key message, driving sales conversion or changing perception of your company within the marketplace – print collateral can potentially be a game changer.  Here are a few reasons why:

Benefits of Print Collateral


A physical piece of collateral helps that sense of connection with your brand or business. It’s tactile – something you can hold in your hands and provides a take-away to hold onto to read later. The more time people spend online through various devices, the larger the impact when then they receive something tangible.


Rightly or wrongly, printed material provides professionalism and credibility. The perception of a printed piece shows you, as a business, place value on the message you are imparting to the receiver. Which can contrast with the impression we often have, for businesses using a shotgun approach to emails and pop up web banners. These channels cost little for large audiences and may appear less targeted.


Print designed well can have a halo effect on your brand. Magnifying the appeal of your brand and company message. I don’t know many people that can help themselves touching and flicking through a nice brochure. Especially when uncoated stock, matt laminate with well positioned spot UV or foil embossing if it’s well styled and has engaging content.

Interactivity or Engagement

These terms are often used in the digital space. However, everyone likes something they can interact with. There is a variety of clever DM formats that can create that element of surprise. A different way of opening the mail piece, or an appeal to our sense of humour.  Anything tactile, clever or different will have me showing my colleagues or trying to think about out how it works!

Print Collateral – Check List

When producing any print material, it is important to ensure you cover off the following key points. These will ensure your collateral will be effective and worth the investment:

Target Audience – Think about WHO you are specifically targeting for every piece of collateral you develop. This will impact how you communicate your message and the overall layout and design of the piece.

Clear Objective – Have a clear purpose or objective. An unfocussed message or mix of messages will create less of an impact than one clear strong message. Often mixing messages can result in all messages being missed by the recipient.

Message – Use the right tone of voice and communication to appeal and resonate with the receiver.

Brand Guidelines – Ensure the collateral is in line with your brand. Any collateral is an extension of your current brand as shown on your website, social channels and other marketing collateral.

Product or Service Positioning – Ensure the final look is aligned to your brand position. The finish of your collateral, paper weight, type and print will reflect badly if not a reflection on how you want people to perceive you. Premium or expensive products and services should be reflected in a high-quality print finish.

Relevancy – The more relevant the message or communication the more it will resonate with the audience. Print does cost, so you need to get it right.

Call to Action – In line with our point above on a ‘clear objective’, ensure that the main purpose of the piece is obvious with a clear call to action. You need to motivate recipients to act – whether to go online, place an order or call. It’s amazing how many pieces of collateral don’t appear to have a clear call to action. In some cases even contact details of the company/brand are missing!

Yes Print Is Powerful

As a multi-channel marketing agency, we use all channels of the marketing mix, so YES, we feel that there is definitely a place for print and collateral and marketing material. We hope you agree.

If you have a clear strategy around your brochure, DM campaign or communications piece – you can produce a great piece of print collateral that will be remembered and has a long shelf life.

If you are interested in discussing your next project and how print collateral could work for you – please get in touch. Contact a member of our creative team at [email protected] or call 01926 887555. We’d love to hear from you.

Related Links

Print Collateral

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Examples of great Print Collateral DM execution

BMW DM – A clever die cut DM piece that receivers can interact with to open.

BMW DM Print Collateral

Die cut windows offer a visual representation for this hair dresser

print collateral - die cut mailer

Ikea developed a jumping pop up box mailer, to remind recipients of their side tables.

Ikea Print Collateral

KitKat used a simple but clever DM to communicate their new chunky kitkat for the product launch

KitKat Print Collaeral DM