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Some say that print is dead, but we have to disagree!

Some say that print is dead, but we have to disagree!

You can spend hours reading all the differing opinions Google has to offer on this topic, and to be honest we have spent quite a while! So in this article we have brought together some of the most convincing points that prove that print is still alive and kicking and isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon!

It all began with print marketing... a versatile and accessible way to send out a message to a target audience to get them to buy things they needed or quite often things they didn’t! All was going well for print marketing, but could the high last when the internet and Social Media arrived? The internet created a population with millisecond attention spans, people who moved from one trend to the next instantly and who lived in a world where the messages they see can be changed in an instance. But did all this lead to the destruction of traditionally printed direct marketing? Is ‘snail mail’ dead? Do we no longer need to target our audiences with these once fool proof methods? Of course not, print isn’t dead it has simply evolved.

“Printed materials leave a lasting impression, but also provide an instant snapshot into a company’s ethos and working style.” Rhianna - Waters Creative Print team

So why isn’t print obsolete, what makes it the eternal comeback kid? Well quite simply it’s too versatile to disappear into obscurity...

Print is best buddies with digital technology

Print media has the enviable ability to interact with digital media. For example if a flyer, leaflet or letter has a QR code, readers are able to physically hold a piece of advertising media in their hands whilst being able to discover and learn more about the product or service that is being offered using online digital technology.

“People love having something tactile to hold, something physical feels more meaningful and memorable but that doesn’t mean it can’t work perfectly alongside a digital version. Sometimes less isn’t always best!” Sophie - Waters Creative Print team

Print can potentially be around forever

Magazines and newspapers can stay in houses or offices for months or even years, as a physical ‘thing’ they have the ability to stick around, while online advertising can disappear in an instant.

“As long as the content doesn’t date, it’s nice to have something your clients will want to keep. People can refer back to company literature, in waiting areas, literature stands or on a book shelves without worrying that it may just disappear.” Rhianna - Waters Creative Print team

Print adds credibility to a company’s brand

Printed media is the ‘bees knees’ for solidifying your brand identity. If your designer creates a consistent look for your brand in terms of fonts, colours and image type it can only enhance brand recognition. There is something about printed media that gives a sense of credibility to a company. Some would say the Internet is over saturated with banner ads and social media adverts, and who knows what spam and viruses one simple click can sadly bring!

Print targets who you want, when you want

Direct mail to specific areas or households, and printed advertising in specialities publications can help to reach your target audience much more effectively.

“Printed marketing can be more expensive than digital marketing, fact. However spending more of your budget on a printed document means you are more creative with who you target which in turn results in a more strategic approach to marketing.” Rachael - Waters Creative Strategy team

Print is more engaging

Websites are often skim read in as little as 15 seconds per visit, readers are more engaged when handling and viewing printed media. A study shows that people read digital screen text 20% - 30% slower than printed paper. (Alshaali & Varshney, 2005) According to Bauer Media, the average person rarely reads more than a quarter of the text on a web page or targeted email, they simply prefer to scan the basics, whereas magazine readers see 90% of all pages in an issue. And the other advantage is that readers will usually pick up a copy of a magazine more than once per day on multiple days.

Print is available in a smaller dose

The decline of print can actually be used as an advantage in marketing terms. Currently many small, and indeed global businesses are solely relying on the Internet and Social Media for their company advertising. This means direct mail is less frequent, magazine and publications print demand is reduced and they are less crowded, so turn this into a positive and experience more space for your advert to create impact. There is even opportunity to negotiate on advertising costs.

“Stray from the crowd and remember just because something isn’t in your face all the time doesn’t mean it’s not doing its job” Josh - Waters Creative Print team

Print is for everyone

There’s no real barrier to the use of printed marketing material as long as you have budget. All you need is a mailing list, a mail house to stuff your envelopes (or you can of course do this yourself if you are a small business), and some simple tracking mechanism to track the success of the call to action.

“We love working with everyone from start-up companies to bigger global companies. Every journey is different but with a bit of imagination, even the smallest budget means a company can have something to be proud of. This is what we truly love about print!” Rhianna - Waters Creative Print team

Print is easier than digital

With print you don’t have to develop a ‘community’ of users, you can simply buy data and mail to potential prospects. With printed media, your audience exists already and is waiting to be communicated to. When marketing digitally, you need to attract and constantly feed a community of users. Resourcing this can get very expensive, but more than that it’s very time consuming.

Print is Exciting

There’s still an excitement about receiving something in print, something that looks good and feels good that is addressed just to the reader. It makes the consumer feel special, like they are being personally contacted and this can only build and enhance brand awareness and loyalty.

“It really is! Choosing colours and exploring new paper stocks, using different finishes such as foil block and Spot UV, or die cutting and clever folding techniques just makes printed items come alive! The possibilities are endless with print and each item can have its own look and feel to personally appeal to the intended target audience. Admittedly we do love print, can you tell?” Rhianna - Waters Creative Print team

So what do you think? Print may have to share audiences with digital media, but has the death of print been over exaggerated? Printed media is still an effective and imaginative method of reaching your target audience, and should still be a key part of your marketing strategy. A well-crafted, cleverly though out and personable print campaign can win you new customers, nurture existing relationships whilst working hand in hand to enhance your digital presence.

Resources

Thoughts and opinions with thanks from our print team and the following:

www.afterinteractive.com/digital-vs-print-advertising-which-is-right-for-me-in-b2b

money.cnn.com/2015/03/05/smallbusiness/startups-create-magazines

www.theguardian.com/media/2012/jun/03/who-says-print-is-dead

www.slow-journalism.com/print-is-dead-or-is-it

www.business2community.com/marketing/print-dead-0969598

www.smedio.com/is-print-media-marketing-dead