Bridging the Gap: New Report Reveals The Power of Print and Digital Marketing for Small Businesses 

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"Financial Struggles"; vistaprint

In a world dominated by virtual marketplaces, social media, and search engines, it’s easy to assume that digital channels reign supreme for small business owners (SBOs) looking to raise brand awareness and increase discoverability amongst consumers.

However, findings from the 2024 Small Business Marketing Report from VistaPrint and Wix unveil a more nuanced narrative, one that proves that traditional marketing still has a seat at the table. 

The comprehensive report, which surveyed 1,000 SBOs and 1,000 consumers in the United States, provides insights into marketing practices and consumer behavior while shedding light on the interplay between digital and traditional marketing channels.

Notably, while digital platforms are integral to discovering small businesses, consumers still value real-life interactions and physical touchpoints alongside digital experiences.

SBOs looking to connect with all types of consumers must strike a balance between digital and traditional marketing approaches. The report tells us why it’s essential for SBOs to integrate both print and digital into their marketing strategies this year.

Making the Most Out of Traditional Marketing 

If you thought traditional print marketing had lost its relevance, VistaPrint and Wix’s report paints a more complex picture.

While online searches and social media platforms continue to serve as primary touchpoints for engagement, offline tactics like physical signage and print advertising still wield significant influence in capturing consumer attention. In fact, 71% of small businesses find value in the tried-and-true traditional marketing tactics to connect with customers. Flyers (34%), direct mail (29%), print advertising (26%), and posters or banners (23%) prove to be the top-ranking print tools that steer consumers toward small businesses.

Something else to consider? Age matters. At least when choosing the right marketing mix for your small business. Though digital marketing is an obvious tactic to target young people, many consumers say they discover new local businesses in traditional ways, like flyers, banners, and other forms of print marketing, so don’t be afraid to deploy these tactics where it makes sense for your business and your audience.

What’s more, these younger cohorts are more willing than ever to shop small. According to the VistaPrint and Wix report, Gen Z shoppers love supporting local small businesses (more than any other age group), but they can sometimes struggle to locate small businesses in their area, so giving them multiple ways to find and engage with you is critical.

Choosing the Right Marketing Mix 

With the power of traditional marketing at the forefront of SBOs’ minds, SBOs must not forget the digital marketing strategies that have been essential for connecting with customers in recent years. In order to maximize brand visibility, a 360-degree approach, inclusive of both print and digital marketing, empowers customers to engage a small business on their own terms while still ensuring no tactic is overlooked.

In search of this balance, data show that SBOs are constantly evolving their techniques to appeal to consumers. In fact, in 2023, 63% of SBOs focused on upskilling to understand marketing better and 78% broadened their horizons by experimenting with new marketing tactics, striving for a fair mix of both digital and traditional marketing.

2023 was a year of exploration for these SBOs as when asked about how they allocated their marketing resources they shared that 40% invested more in digital marketing tactics (and will again in 2024), 32% invested more in traditional marketing tactics (and 30% will be in 2024), 28% invested about 50/50 in both traditional and digital marketing tactics (and 30% will split their investment in 2024).

For SBOs to truly optimize their reach and authentically engage their audience, a holistic marketing approach is essential to strategically integrate the strengths of both digital and print mediums and ensure a cohesive brand presence across various channels. Whether it’s through personalized direct mail campaigns or interactive social media strategies, all channels and platforms are key resources that SBOs can leverage synergistically to create a memorable brand experience for customers.

Review VistaPrint and Wix’s 2024 Small Business Marketing Report survey results in full.

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Asad Shehzad writes SEO articles for online business marketers and SEO tools users to make their Google rankings surge. His articles have appeared in a number of websites i.e., eLearning Industry, and Inside Tech Box. He contributes articles about digital marketing, SEO techniques, and tech regularly to