The Future of Print Marketing: Trends and Innovations in 2024


Amidst the noise of the digital world, brands can struggle to make their audience pause their doom scrolling and look. That’s why many are looking towards other forms of marketing to break the cycle. 

We're throwing it back to the days of traditional print marketing. After reading this blog, you'll know exactly how and why print marketing is making a comeback and what you need to do to stay ahead.

A Quick History of Print Marketing

The Earliest Form

Print marketing can be traced back to ancient civilisations, where early forms of advertising were inscribed on papyrus, stone tablets and other durable materials. 

The Printing Press

The printing press enabled the mass production of printed materials, paving the way for the rise of newspapers, pamphlets and posters as effective advertising mediums. 

The Industrial Revolution

Throughout the Industrial Revolution, print marketing continued to thrive, with magazines, billboards and direct mail becoming staple marketing strategies. 

The Shift to Digital

With the rise of digital platforms like websites, social media and search engines, brands gained unprecedented access to global audiences and real-time data analytics. 

It's clear that, like most evolutionary advancements, print marketing took a step back to its digital successor. While the digital world has boomed, print is showing that its long reign is still ongoing.  

Print in the Present

Despite the digital revolution, print marketing remains a tangible asset that offers credibility and personalisation in an online world.

From brochures to billboards, print materials engage multiple senses, leaving a lasting impression and complementing digital efforts to drive consumer engagement and loyalty.

Here are three great examples of print marketing:

1. KFC 


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We all remember the chicken crisis in 2018 when KFC faced a significant supply chain issue in the UK. This issue resulted in hundreds of KFC outlets across the UK temporarily closing their doors, leaving many customers disappointed and frustrated.

In response to this unexpected crisis, KFC took a bold and unconventional approach to address the situation. They launched a full-page advertisement in several British newspapers featuring an altered version of their iconic logo, reading "FCK" instead of "KFC."

The ad gained widespread attention and praise for its transparency, authenticity and creative approach to crisis management. By acknowledging the problem head-on and taking responsibility for the situation, KFC effectively turned a potential PR disaster into a moment of brand authenticity and connection with its customers.

The ad resonated with audiences, generating positive sentiment and demonstrating KFC's commitment to customer satisfaction despite adversity.

Ultimately, the "FCK" ad was a memorable example of how brands can use print marketing to navigate challenging situations with honesty, humility and a touch of humour.


2. Salford University



Salford University embarked on a mission to make a lasting impression on prospective students, leveraging the enduring power of print to achieve their goal. For individuals who’d received offers from the university, a visually striking mailbox containing a curated lanyard and information pack was dispatched via post. 

This thoughtful gesture was a token of appreciation and a compelling incentive for recipients to choose Salford University for their higher education journey. The print production for this project was executed on a cutting-edge LED UV press, ensuring that the colours remained vivid, vibrant and consistent with the university's established branding.

Consistency is paramount in reinforcing a strong brand identity, and advanced printing technology plays a pivotal role in maintaining this uniformity across all printed materials.


3. Volkswagen 

VW One Accident Is Enough Ad

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The Volkswagen "One Accident Is Enough" print ad campaign, also known as the "River" ad, was a powerful and evocative series of advertisements created by DDB Buenos Aires, an advertising agency in Argentina.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of using mobile phones while driving and promote Volkswagen's Emergency Brake Assist feature, which helps prevent accidents caused by distracted driving.

The campaign also included other ad variations, such as one with a car crashing through a guardrail on a cliffside road, further illustrating the potential dangers of not paying attention while driving.

Overall, the Volkswagen "One Accident Is Enough" print ad campaign effectively captured attention, delivered a compelling message and promoted a safety feature that aimed to reduce road accidents.

10 killer print ads

The Future of Print Marketing

Print marketing remains vital despite the rise of digital advertising for several compelling reasons, but why?

  • Print materials offer a physical presence that digital channels can’t replicate. They allow consumers to engage tactilely with marketing material, leaving a lasting impression. This tangibility contributes to credibility, as print ads in reputable publications or physical formats convey a sense of legitimacy and trustworthiness.
  • Print marketing allows for precisely targeting specific demographics and geographic areas, enabling brands to tailor campaigns to reach interested audiences with higher response rates and ROI.
  • Print materials have been shown to improve brand recall and recognition, leaving a stronger brain imprint than digital ads. This, combined with the longevity of print materials, provides sustained exposure and brand reinforcement over time, as they can linger in homes, offices, or public spaces for weeks, months — or even years.
  • Advances in printing technology enable highly personalised print materials tailored to individual preferences and behaviours, allowing brands to deliver targeted and relevant messages to specific audience segments. Print marketing offers unique advantages that complement digital strategies, helping brands connect with consumers in tangible, credible and memorable ways.

Four Print Marketing Trends 


1. Sustainable Printing

Sustainable printing practices are set to become increasingly prominent, with a growing emphasis on eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient processes and responsible production methods.

As environmental consciousness shapes consumer preferences, brands recognise the importance of adopting sustainable printing solutions to reduce their ecological footprint and appeal to environmentally-conscious audiences.


2. Web2Print

Web2Print, or W2P platforms, are revolutionising the print industry by seamlessly integrating digital and print channels. These platforms empower users to customise and order printed materials online, offering convenience, efficiency and scalability.

By harnessing the power of Web2Print technologies, businesses can streamline their printing workflows, enhance personalisation and deliver tailored marketing collateral to target audiences with greater speed and precision.



3. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) unlocks new possibilities for print marketing by blending the physical and digital worlds. By incorporating AR elements into printed materials, such as brochures, packaging and advertisements, brands can deliver immersive and interactive experiences that captivate audiences and drive engagement.

From interactive product demonstrations to gamified storytelling, AR-enhanced print campaigns offer innovative ways to grab attention, communicate messages and leave a lasting impression on consumers.


4. Interactive Print

Interactive print technologies are redefining the traditional concept of print media, transforming static materials into dynamic and engaging experiences.

With the integration of QR codes, NFC tags and conductive inks, printed materials such as video playback, social media sharing and interactive quizzes can trigger digital interactions.

This convergence of print and digital technologies enables brands to create multi-sensory experiences that foster deeper connections with consumers and drive measurable results.

Make the Most of Print Marketing

By leveraging print marketing's unique advantages, brands can create tangible, memorable experiences that resonate with consumers on a deeper level.

So, whether you're a marketer, business owner or consumer, embracing the power of print marketing can help you stand out in a crowded digital landscape and make a lasting impact.

Explore these trends, experiment with creative strategies and unlock the full potential of print marketing in your next campaign. Let's keep the legacy of print marketing alive and thriving in the ever-evolving world of advertising.

Marketing manager's sustainability guide

Explore the
Best of Green
Printing Tips

You’re probably well aware of the growing importance and demand of eco-friendly products.

Modern technology has made these kinds of items increasingly cheaper to produce and more visually appealing. They’re a great way of lowering your business’ environmental impact - but how exactly do you produce the best kind of print using these methods?

Our checklist will give you the best advice for creating an impactful sustainable print solution.