Updated: Apr 22, 2020
How many times have you heard the foreboding words “Print is dead” in the past year? The past five years? Ten? (Are you sensing a theme?)
No matter how often this chilling phrase is uttered, it never quite seems true. Sure, newspaper giants have folded, retailers have gone completely digital, and there are folks alive now who do not know what the words “Yellow Pages” mean. But think about how often you have carried someone’s business card/brochure/direct mail postcard around with you to either have easy access to the information therein, pass the piece along to others, or simply show someone the attractive design. Humans enjoy holding and reading something tangible. Most digital platforms are not set up for intuitive navigation of text anyways, and a study by Two Sides (a U.S. forum for Graphic Communications) found that 81% of U.S. consumers prefer to read information on paper rather than a screen.
Print has staying power.
Scrolling past unread marketing e-mails and deleting hoards of spam have become an almost daily occurrence for many Americans. Mail (with your very own name on it!) has become special, anticipated, a treat. Take a moment to look at your own junk mail pile. First of all, why is it still there? Did you see an offer that sounded tempting and warranted a second look? Was there a particularly well-designed piece that seemed too nice to simply throw away? Did you see your name in print and feel a little thrill? Print pieces like these can float around your house for a long time, more easily accessible than a buried or deleted e-mail, and well-placed to be seen by visitors to your home or office.
All of these questions are meant to make you second-guess that oft-repeated death knell announcing the end of print. When considering marketing initiatives for your own business, do not overlook print options. A well-designed brochure or postcard with pertinent information that can be kept and referred back to, even passed along, carries power and weight. And remember that print extends past direct mail: packaging, signage, business cards, and periodicals should be considered as well.
Though quality print materials can be expensive, consider the return on investment a print piece can generate. Print allows you to establish and maintain a cohesive, easily-recognizable brand identity. Not to mention, print can compliment the digital medium quite well. QR codes, online-only offers, calls to action, or further reading can all be conveyed through print and accessed digitally. Chances are, something seen first in print will lead the viewer to further research online.
This is not to say that digital mediums should be overlooked. But technology changes day-to-day, and you do not want to run the risk of falling out of touch if you, as a busy business owner, do not have the time to keep abreast of changing digital marketing trends. Print has been and remains the king of advertising media for centuries, which means it must be doing something right. Do the right thing, and consider your print options today!