Why Print is Still Vital in the Marketing & Sales Funnel

If you’ve ever been through a basic marketing course, we don’t have to tell you about The Funnel. If you haven’t, here’s a crash course.

The idea is to capture the customer in the top of the funnel and get them as close to the bottom as you can. Starting from the top and working down, we have:


(they hear about you!)


(they might want to do business with you!)


(they’re buying from you!)


(they’re continuing to buy from you!)


(they’re telling others to buy from you!)


The best case scenario is for your customers to be advocates for your business because they toss more potential customers back into the top of the funnel by making them aware of you. It’s beautiful when it works.

But how? Ah, yes …

Understanding the funnel is one thing, working it is another.

Evidently Mark Ritson, a marketing professor from The Land Down Under (at Melbourne Business School) thinks you shouldn’t bother trying to do it with social media. He says 60 percent of people trust print while only 46 percent trust online and social media ads.

While we disagree with Ritson’s conclusion that that social media is “overrated,” the research does bring up an important point.

What’s the best way to engage the most people at the TOP of the funnel?

Awareness is the broadest part of the funnel, which means achieving success requires the broadest approaches. Uh-oh … “broad” sounds like doing a lot of different kinds of marketing, which sounds like a major, stomach-churning investment.

It doesn’t have to be. Chris Holloway pointed out on Jeff Bullas’ blog in February 2016 that the three most successful print strategies for retail stores in a 2014 study were, in this order:

  1. Direct mail
  2. Newspaper inserts
  3. In-store circulars

So there you go. If you’re in retail and you want to create awareness about your store, consider starting with a beautiful direct mail piece. Whatever type of business you run this research demonstrates that you can use focused (affordable) print strategies and get measurable results.

All this means that print is better than digital, right? NO.

Not better; different. Social media has the power to build relationships with the customers that are deeper and more relevant than they would be without the level of access it offers. It picks up where traditional advertising leaves off, turning casual buyers into friends – loyal ones who invite others to the party.

Utilizing BOTH print and digital marketing strategies is the most effective way to bring as many of your customers as possible all the way down the funnel. If you like the idea of having more trusted, long-term customers advocating for your business, let us know. There’s always room for more friends here at the Farmhouse!