In a digital age where news and information is overwhelmingly consumed online, you don’t need to print your train ticket any more and the idea of writing a letter over using Whatsapp would confound any millennial, we’re asking if print is at all relevant in marketing any more.
The case for digital media is persuasive. Practically speaking, using your smartphone to follow a news story live on twitter is much more convenient than buying a physical newspaper. E-readers like Amazon’s Kindle also demonstrate the space-saving advantages of digital storage. Perhaps the most convincing argument is the environmental one. Quite rightly, email signatures everywhere are asking us to “consider the environment before printing this email!”
It’s not surprising then, that most of us claim we prefer to receive information digitally. However, although studies have shown that we are able to read information faster from a screen, generally we concentrate much better when we read something physical. This has been referred to as ‘the scrolling effect’. Consequently this means we retain much more information from printed materials. This means your analog marketing campaign is much more likely to be remembered by your target audience!
Printed media also has an undeniable tactile quality that just can’t be replicated digitally. This is often the reason people give for preferring a physical book to e-readers, but from a marketing perspective, this can present huge advantages in terms of storytelling. The stock, finish, weight and interactivity of your printed marketing are all tools to help you tell your brand’s story, and opportunities to send a message about your business.
Studies have also shown that print is far more trustworthy than digital media. In January 2016 eMarketer.com published figures from a study in Germany, showing that 54% of consumers were likely to trust printed advertisements, whilst only 16% trusted online ads. Unsurprisingly, other studies have shown that conversion rates for direct marketing are higher than all digital channels.
On balance, printed and digital marketing should be seen as two sides of the same coin. Both have undeniable advantages and depending on your business, it’s likely that some of your consumers will respond better to one medium than the other.
The digital era is definitely here to stay, but it’s wrong to think that print will have no part in it.