Is there a place for print media in the digital age?

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Date: 30 June 2021

A pile of brochures and leaflets

People have proclaimed the death of print media since the dawn of the internet. Most people consume their news online nowadays, and major companies have shifted their business models to allow for the preference for digital media. So, what does this mean for companies that have always relied on newspaper, magazine, billboard, and mail ads?

Print marketing is still relevant. It is a direct line of communication, and marketers would do well to remember this. Digital marketing may have taken precedent for many consumers, but print media is still effective. Why does print media still produce results in an increasingly digital world? Read on to find out.

Where is print media thriving?

Some aspects of print media have experienced a decline without a doubt. Newspapers and magazines have experienced a marked decrease in popularity, although they are still ticking along. Other elements such as brochures and other printed selling tools are still doing well; having tangible resources to refer back to are essential for consumers when making more significant purchases. Leaflets and POS advertising also remains popular, especially for local businesses trying to drum up new clientele.

Finally, print is truly thriving in the physical world – packaging, advertising, point of sales, branding, brochures, and mailing. Print is tangible, a quality digital media simply doesn't have. Building connection through material items has allowed these aspects of print media to flourish, keeping both the industries that produce them and the businesses that rely on them alive.

Trust and credibility

Most people have grown up with books, magazines, and newspapers, so they are often seen as trustworthy sources of information. Printed media often outperforms websites and social media as a more trusted source of advertising. Print ads in a newspaper or a magazine are usually viewed as safer and more reputable than the unavoidable pop-up ads that proliferate online.

Despite the advances in online marketing, print media requires more effort and reputability to produce, creating more trust and credibility. It's also a matter of accessibility; anyone can create an online resource, but print media requires specialist skills and equipment. For example, Duplo International offers high-precision, automated printing technology which allows users to produce exceptional quality printed communication.

Targeting

Print media and advertising remain a crucial form of communication for local businesses targeting consumers in their area. Localised marketing such as newspaper ads, brochures, flyers, and posters are more effective for targeting local customers than a social media post. This isn't to say that social media or online advertising can't be targeted effectively, but there is no guarantee for a smaller business that enough people will see it to make it worthwhile. A well-executed print ad placed strategically can be far more effective.

Easy on the eye

Looking at screens all day can be incredibly tough on the eyes, although a necessary evil for most of us. The blue light emitted from screens have even been known to disrupt the circadian rhythm and ruin sleep patterns. Printed materials are far easier on the eye, and this is particularly useful when trying to communicate word-rich information. People are more likely to remember print ads than online ads, even if the ads are carbon copies of each other. There is simply something about printed information that appeals to the human brain more so than digital info.

Longevity

The very nature of the internet is transient; it is constantly evolving, as is the information available. You may see something online one day and then never be able to find it again, which makes online adverts a little risky. On the other hand, printed media has far more longevity, meaning prolonged exposure to a bigger number of people. In that respect, printed media is arguably better value for money.

Value

Humans are drawn towards material possessions; they hold value. Physical materials for a brand can foster more loyalty and breed familiarity. A fleeting web banner or targeted social media ad can feel cold and impersonal. If you consider this in terms of books, it makes sense. How many people possess a copy of their favourite book? These can be dog-eared relics kept for years because they hold an immense sentimental value. Would the same importance be placed on an e-book?

In Conclusion

None of this is to say that online marketing or media consumption isn't prevalent – of course it is, but it isn't the only option. Far too many people underestimate the power of print media. Companies are beginning to realise this and are instead choosing to utilise both methods. It isn't one versus the other. Print and digital media can complement each other.

Copyright 2021. Featured post made possible by Isabella Goode.

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