In a market flooded with more digital content than you can count, print media may just be the one thing that can set you apart.
Print didn’t die, it evolved
For years we’ve been hearing the warnings that “Print is dying” – but is it really? Sure, digital platforms have revolutionised the way that marketing works, broadening audience scope and providing more flexible ways to promote your product or brand than ever before. But with everyone jumping on the digital bandwagon, print has done what all trends do and circled back around to become “new” again.
What has changed is the way it is now being used. The rise of digital platforms has forced marketers to re-evaluate the role of print media and its value to consumers. Highly niche, highly targeted publications in particular have flourished in the digital age by using print to create a point-of-difference from their competitors and create an experience for their customers that is getting harder and harder to come by.
Why you shouldn’t count print out
The battle of online vs. offline is over; it’s not enough to just do one or the other anymore. The need for a multi-channel approach that leverages the best of online and print media is becoming more and more apparent. In fact, in such a saturated digital market, print marketing has never been more relevant.
There is a certain credibility that print carries that digital, despite its popularity, is still trying to earn. This may be because the digital world moves so fast and shares so many voices it can be hard to know what sources to trust, or perhaps it’s the ease with which anything can be published. Whatever the reason, there is a significance that comes from seeing something printed that is difficult to replicate online.
As the old adage goes, “If someone invested enough to print and mail it, it must be important.”
The value of a tangible experience
The amount of time consumers spend online these days is staggering – however that may actually be working against digital marketing’s favour.
More and more, people are revealing a desire to “unplug”; to get away from the grid and the digital space as a whole. It makes sense – the online world can get overwhelming.
It’s here that print makes its comeback. Providing a physical, tangible experience for consumers can provide just the break they’re looking for, and it can serve your purposes too.
A recent article in VoPP Magazine saw industry thought leaders, Mike Colling, CEO of Media Agency M&C, and Tim Milne of Artomatic discuss the return and rise of direct mail marketing and how “tangible materials and the irreversible act of putting ink on paper shape our relation to the message they carry” to forge deep emotional connections with consumers.
A study by neuro-marketing firm TrueImpact compared the effects of paper-based marketing with digital, measuring eye-tracking and high resolution EEG brain wave activity in subjects when presented with different material. After evaluating cognitive load (ease of understanding), motivation (persuasiveness) and attention (how long subjects looked at content), it was revealed that print was easier to process mentally and tested better for brand recall.
A similar study from Temple University found print engaged viewers for more time, generated a greater emotional response and memory, and stimulated more activity in brain areas associated with value and desire than digital.
So there you have it, print may just be the secret weapon marketers have been overlooking. In 2017 the debate is no longer print versus digital but instead how the two mould together to best enhance the effectiveness of your brand’s marketing.