Following developments in design over recent years and the undoubtful influence of technology, the way in which marketing collateral is distributed has changed. In the past, the print was the main and most successful channel for delivering marketing material to consumers, however, there is now an argument that print is no longer relevant. With the dramatic rise in digital media, the internet has become the main vehicle for distributing content and there are many benefits. In direct contrast to print, digital publications can reach a global audience instantaneously. It is also an effective way of targeting specific demographic groups through multiple channels. The effectiveness of a marketing campaign can be accurately evaluated through the use of analytics – unlike traditional advertising.
One of the most efficient ways a digital property marketing brochure can be distributed is through the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla which allow mass circulation of marketing collateral; brochures can be downloaded from a property page or saved to read later. Compare this to the traditional way of contacting agents and relying on snail mail as your means of delivery. It’s no surprise therefore that, other traditional methods of distributing print media, such as advertisements in national newspapers and local/regional magazines, are on the decline.
However, Fiona West of The Marketing Centre  has found that printed brochures are still a “high-value takeaway for someone at the evaluation or trial stage of the purchase process, and has particular benefit in reinforcing the emotional side of the decision”. Having something tangible to accompany a large investment can make the purchase feel more important and justified; for many, brochures act as a tonic for ‘buyers’ remorse’ . However, a digital brochure doesn’t give the buyer the same experience and feeling of satisfaction, as it is less tangible and interactive.
It is always important to consider your client base when deciding between print vs. digital. The 25-35 age group tend to be far more tech-savvy and likely to use the web in their property search, especially via smartphones, so digital brochures may be the best way to target them. The Google Consumer Survey  found that “More and more house hunters are relying on their smartphones to stay competitive. In June, mobile phones accounted for 27% of total searches related to buying a home – up 19% since last year.” This shows that properties which may appeal to younger, first-time buyers may be better suited to digital marketing, as this is the prime way they search for property. Many younger buyers also work in technology, design and other creative industries, so they have a heightened appreciation of design, fonts, style, uniqueness and character. 
In-house market research suggests that location can also inform the choice between print or digital marketing. Whilst properties in rural locations such as Newbury are often accompanied by a run of 50-100 brochures, the average for a London property is between 20-30 copies and London agents more frequently request web versions of their brochures. This may be due to the pace of the London property market and London life in general, as it is undoubtedly simpler to research property on the internet, rather than visiting different estate agents around the capital.
Overall, property marketing brochures can be highly influential in the success of a property sale, whether in printed or digital form, as they aid the decision-making process and allow deeper insight and reflection into the property. With the influence of the online world, digital brochures have only recently become a popular service, with uptake likely to increase substantially over the next few years. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on estate agents’ reliance on printed brochures in the future, but a combination of print and digital could be the answer, as businesses realise there are benefits to be had by employing a range of marketing techniques to have the biggest impact on potential clients.