In the late 2000’s it was proclaimed that print would soon be dead due to the fact that everything was moving toward digital delivery. Magazines, newspapers, and publishers took notice as they were primarily hit by declining subscriptions and sales, while receiving an increase in web traffic. Even the world’s greatest collection of knowledge, Encyclopedia Britannica, eventually ended its run of printed books.
A major reason people have talked about the end of print is due to digital delivery; from desktops to smartphones, to tablets and e-readers, people are reading more from the screen than the page. In addition to providing people with the typed word, many of these devices allow for Internet access. So not only can I read an e-book, but I can also watch hilarious cat videos too, excellent!
But back to the original question….Its 2014, Isnt print supposed to be dead?
The fact that print has survived well into the digital age is not a miracle or a grand achievement, but instead it is more aligned to the fact that people need print. Consider a recent article from Wired that suggests the reason we need the printed word is because “we’re all so multOver the itasked and attention-fragmented that our brains are losing the ability to focus on long, linear texts.”
Well in context, reading a long novel or textbook might make it easier to retain the information that is being presented, but what about advertising? While it is true that companies need to have a website to have even a basic web presence, print is still very much alive and effective in terms of advertising.
In 2014 digital marketing is saturated with everything from Google Ads tracking your browsing history to short videos or infographs that explain everything in as little time and space as possible.
Take that nice infograph; it may look fantastic on your laptop, but that same graphic can be printed and mailed to prospects where they now have a physical piece of your company. According to Forbes, that printed mailer can be more engaging than staring at a screen, and according to Pinterest it can be so engaging there is even a board dedicated to printed ads.
The digital marketing world is very cluttered with company after company pushing for their voice to be heard; print stands out from the crowd as it gives something to a prospect that a purely digital company cannot offer. In terms of cost, some Internet campaigns can be more expensive by fighting to gain top position, when a targeted mail campaign may have a set cost.
Birthday and wedding invitations, business cards, product brochures and manuals, these are all common examples of printed ads that not only remain relevant, but gain the attention of the receiver.
If you still think print is on the decline, then consider this: Which did you send out this past weekend, a Mother’s Day Card or a Mother’s Day email?