Why Print Marketing Makes Sense for Healthcare Marketers

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Consumer Engagement

This year, 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.

Sign up for updates!

Sign up for updates!

Get marketing tips delivered straight to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!