Why Print Marketing Makes Sense for Healthcare Marketers

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Consumer Engagement

In 2019, we launched more custom publications for healthcare organizations than we have in several years. 

This resurgence reflects the value of print healthcare marketing as (still) one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your audience.

While headlines have declared the death of print for decades, the medium has not only survived but is thriving with younger generations embracing magazines, market leaders across categories leveraging print and even digital-first brands investing in publications to engage their communities. 

Wondering if print fits into your plans? Here are a few reasons it makes sense for healthcare marketers to consider a custom magazine as part of an integrated content strategy.

The most trusted consumer brands believe in print.

By investing in custom publications, healthcare organizations are following the lead of the most trusted brands in America. From consumer packaged goods and travel to food and entertainment, brands across industries are delivering content in print as an effective, lean-back format to educate and engage their communities. 

Here are a few publications that brands are leveraging to foster community and drive growth as part of an integrated content strategy:

Your new competitors see the value in print.

As healthcare providers compete with new entrants like Amazon and Walmart (both investing heavily in print), creating a stronger connection with consumers and providers will be critical. Unlike much of the ephemeral content clogging up our social feeds and inboxes, magazines are a value signal for healthcare organizations working to demonstrate quality, deliver authentic stories and differentiate their brands. 

Generation Z is big on print.

At 25% of the population, Gen Z is the largest generation of consumers, and despite growing up on social media and surrounded by technology, those age 24 and younger are spending more time reading print than on digital platforms. This offers tremendous opportunity for healthcare organizations to build awareness among young adults and families that can translate into brand loyalty and increased customer lifetime value. Better yet, when a custom healthcare publication is integrated with a blog or content hub, it further enriches the consumer experience and creates a path for conversion.

Even digital-first brands are bullish on print healthcare marketing.

You might be surprised to find that many web and social platforms are leveraging print as an extension of their digital presence. For example:

  • Facebook sends a printed version of its GROW magazine to “a handful of clients,” as part of the social networking site’s efforts to help business leaders stay ahead by creating and curating insightful content and experiences. 
  • Email marketing platform MailChimp acquired a publication that expands its reach internationally and teaches small businesses how to be successful. 
  • Dating app Bumble launched Bumble Mag to share expert advice, in-depth features, trend pieces on hot topics, answers to questions posed by users, and more. 

The “catalog effect” is real.

According to Harvard Business Review, catalog mailings have been increasing over the past five years, and response rates have grown 170% in the last decade—despite the rise in digital platforms. Research suggests these print resources are resonating with consumers of all ages due to “the increasingly cluttered digital inboxes and social media feeds.”

Google keeps moving the goalposts.

The majority of searches now result in zero clicks, and experts predict that Google’s claiming the lion’s share of search traffic is only going to continue. While optimizing content for search is still a vital part of an effective digital strategy, reaching your audience offline and promoting healthcare content via other marketing channels like print will be imperative.

We all get too much email.

While the average email inbox receives 121 messages per day, my mailbox never has more than a handful of items—and anything other than a bill is a welcome respite. And yes, I’m among the 80% of direct mail recipients who read or scan each piece before throwing any of it away. Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi pointed to this “scarcity of competition” in the print space as leading marketers to double down on magazines, and he even compares marketers using print to the first movers who dominated the early days of the web by creating content.

Let's discuss your publishing strategy!

As a leading provider of custom publications for healthcare organizations, find out how True North Custom can help you develop or evolve your publishing program.