PRINT IS NOT DEAD, it’s simply evolving.

In a world of instantly communicated 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…

Print establishes an emotional and physical connection custom-designed printed materials, in particular, captivate the eyes and hearts of an audience. Distinctive features such as unique inks, foiling techniques, die cuts, folds and textures help brands deliver positive, engaging and powerful results that increase promotional efforts. It’s Sticky. You can’t turn off a sales flyer. A high-resolution postcard doesn’t take forever to download.

Email marketing is still a very effective and can be segmented and provide stats to market more, but how excited are you when you get something in the mail? My bet is far more excited than when you get an email. Email has become such a huge, almost mundane, part of our lives that there’s no excitement over getting a new email anymore because marketing has saturated it. On the other hand, when we reach into the mailbox and pull out a magazine we subscribed to, or a letter, or even a catalog from a company we like shopping with, there’s an excitement attached to it.

What are some of the key advantages and disadvantages to print advertising?
Disadvantages: a print ad is static, less flexible, can’t be changed once submitted to the publisher/printer, is tough to track ROI, and is much less visible to the under-30 demographic.

Advantages: print ads are perceived as more trustworthy, are longer-lasting, can easily be targeted to a specific market, appeals to the over-40 demographic, and is becoming less expensive as internet ads begin to dominate.

Print ads aren’t only about magazines and newspapers. Our clients have used response cards and direct mailers with success. Typically, ROI for these types of advertising is measured by the number of cards mailed back and phone calls generated. While those types of leads are still perfectly valid, they are used less frequently in this web-dominated era.

There’s no such thing anymore as doing just one basic print. Each piece in your marketing plan must correlate and complement each other.

For a number of years, some have been predicting the death of print in the marketing industry, due to the ever increasing prevalence of digital. In reality however, the role of print has changed from a channel competing with digital for budget, to a distinct, personal and even luxurious option.

Message Overload
Part of this can be explained by the fact that we are bombarded by all manner of digital advertising in our daily lives, whether by banner ads on our work computers, in-app advertising on our smartphones, or email promotions. We are constantly hit by digital marketing messages and have become adept at tuning them out.

The opportunity for the print industry has been to use its tangibility to grab this attention that digital is losing. The tactile nature of high quality print means that it stands out from the digital messages and is valued, with the result that customers remember the message it is communicating. This phenomenon is not lost on even the biggest digital-led companies; even Facebook ramped up their traditional advertising spend.

Print back in vogue
Certain aspects of print are genuinely back in vogue and are becoming increasingly valued by top brands as a means of differentiating their message from the noise of mass communications, which can deliver broad reach but limited traction.

Relevant and valued content is king
As with campaigns through any channel, relevant and valued content is king if you’re going to stand out, and it has to be matched with eye catching design, concise meaningful copy and ideally offer an interactive element to ensure it is remembered.

Driving Innovation
Over the past two decades we have seen trends change as different marketing channels have come in and out of favour.

We’ve noticed that clients have been choosing to combine mobile convenience with eye catching covers or special finishes, such as metallic inks, hot foiling and embossing, so that their print can deliver tactile and inspirational marketing messages and delivering them directly into their customers’ hands.

Create lasting relationships
So, while requirements for print have dramatically changed over the past few years, rather than being replaced by digital channels there has been a drive in innovation to make sure that print stays relevant to clients’ needs. The need for print is still there, but it has to add to the brand interaction, creating memorable experiences and lasting relationships between client and brand.

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