Print is NOT Dead – It’s Just Evolving

You are out at lunch and get a tweet that it was released a couple days ago – and it dawns on you that it may be waiting at the office.

Your pace quickens in anticipation… Sprinting through the front door you let your assistant know that for the next 30 minutes you are “in a meeting.”

I love it when my latest Fast Company arrives!

Yes – I’m a print junky. I love the smell of a press room; the gazillion types of paper substrates; the typography you can use; the finishes you can apply; the way photography and great creative can open up your neural pathways… yes, print can be flat-out good for your brain!

With all the social media, website, marketing automation and SEO love out there, I’d like to defend the honor of print. The irony of writing this as a blog post and being presented to you as pixels is not lost on me, but to sort of quote Mark Twain, I’d like to state that “the rumors of the demise of print has been greatly exaggerated.”

Let me use my subscription to Fast Company as an example. @Fastcompany understands what I call the tri-fecta of Marketing Communications – great content meets wonderful creative and together they give birth to an exquisitely-produced and printed magazine.

PRINT IS NOT DEAD, BABY, it’s simply evolving.

In a world of instantly communicated bits, bytes, tweets, posts and pins, printing has had to redefine itself. Print, which is the original social media, has taken a lot of negative hits from these newer communications channels, but there are some advantages that print will always have…

  • It’s Tactile. You can touch it and smell it. Different types of printing techniques can produce smooth or rough finishes. You can create a magazine cover that feels like basketball or add a scent so your collateral piece smells like the north woods.
  • It’s Sticky. You can’t turn off a sales flyer. A high-resolution postcard doesn’t take forever to download.
  • It’s Green. Yep – you Paper DOES grow on trees! Did you know that the North American Paper Industry plants 1.7 million trees a day? As a matter of fact, did you know that there are 20% MORE trees in the US today than 40 years ago?1 Check out this great infographic from our friends at Aleyant

PrintIsBig-AddLogo-750wd_web

  • There’s a Cognitive Advantage. Studies show that students who read texts in print scored significantly better on the reading comprehension test than students who read the texts digitally.2
  • Print Plays REALLY Well with Others. When combined with a web-based communications channel(s) in a cross-media campaign, print is super-effective..
    • Marketers report an average improvement of 35% for multi-channel campaigns over single-channel campaigns.3
    • There’s an average improvement of close to 50% for personalized multi-channel campaigns, which is something that’s easier to do when deploying a cross media marketing strategy.3

So what’s the takeaway from all this? Don’t abandon your print spend for pixels exclusively. Print can and should be a strong part of anyone’s marketing communications strategy to optimize your ROI.

Rock on!

  1. Printisbig.com (yeah – we see the irony, too)
  2. Paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 58, 2013, Pages 61-68 
  3. http://ferranteassoc.com/cross-media-marketing-programs-effective/

Scott founded Lighthouse Marketing Services in 2000. Lighthouse specializes in the art of visual communication, whether it be B2B or B2C, it’s our business to make your business an efficient communications machine. Be a part of the conversation, with graphic design that pops, all the print that’s fit to print, and sticky web sites that embed themselves into the hearts and minds of your clients. Our job is to not only help you craft and produce your informational piece, but to make sure you are getting the message in front of your desired audience through the tools we can provide. From direct mail to marketing automation to SEO, we can assist you in developing a process by which you are creating qualified leads and ultimately converting those into sales.