If you are a small business owner, you may be tempted to cut printed materials from your marketing budget.  With smartphones, tablet PCs, and laptops everywhere you look, promoting your business solely online seems like a reasonable way to reach the masses with your brand message.  However, there are some logical reasons to keep printed materials on hand.

First, printed materials add credibility to your business.  With so many fraudulent companies running internet scams, it’s not unusual for potential customers to want some tangible proof that your business is real.  The ability to send printed materials containing your physical address and phone number can help allay their fears.

Additionally, by marketing only online, you are failing to reach potential clients.  According to internetworldstats.com, in 2012, 78.1% of the over 313 million Americans used the internet.  Of those, the Pew Research Center tells us that 69% were using social media.  With these numbers, you can see there is still a significant population that can be reached effectively only through print media.

Finally, research has shown that people actually are better able to retain information they read on a printed page than on a screen.  In a study at the University of Leicester in England, Psychology lecturer Kate Garland had students study subjects using both traditional paper materials and an e-reader device.  She found that students using the paper materials were able to absorb details more quickly and with less repetition.  She attributes this to printed materials giving the reader spatial context, meaning the ability to think about where a bit of information is located on a piece of paper can aid in recalling it.

A good marketing campaign requires a variety of mediums to be successful.  Printed materials are still an excellent tool for small businesses who wish to share information with potential customers.