Futurists have been telling us about the death of the print medium for years. The rise of Millennials and digital natives as growing market populations has led many to speculate that print channels were going to be obsolete. You remember when Newsweek went purely digital, right? (And then called take-backsies a year later)
Some of it is true. Consumption of print media in the digital age has been declining. However, to claim print should be entirely out of the picture in a marketing plan is a mistake. The marketing adage of “the right message, to the right person, at the right time” still applies.
HOW PRINT DIFFERS FROM DIGITAL
An even bigger mistake than leaving print completely out of the picture is to approach print marketing the same way you approach digital.
Where the digital sphere is fast-moving, print has a level of permanence that can’t be matched. We all know that once something is on the internet, it’s there forever (pro tip: hide the lampshade next time). However, that doesn’t mean an individual will remember every single piece of digital media they’ve seen throughout their life. Put a print product on someone’s desk and it’s there until they choose to remove it.
People choose print media in the digital age because they want a different, more tangible experience. The digital landscape is littered with distractions. We’ve all gone on Facebook to check up on our friends and end up taking 10 Buzzfeed quizzes. But when a consumer chooses a print product, it’s because they want the immersive experience of holding a physical object that digital just can’t compete with.
The resulting correlation is that because print is chosen, the consumer that picks it up is likely to be more engaged and part of the target market. People turn to print when they want to escape the digital landscape. Research even shows that when consumers want to read, they turn to print.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
In deciding whether or not to invest in print marketing, keep in mind that print marketing works better for some situations than others.
If targeting a specific and dedicated audience is your goal, then print should be your go-to. Though social media outlets are letting advertisers narrow their target audiences more and more, specialty magazines and other specialty print publications reach niche audiences that may not be looking where you’re advertising online.
Another ideal use for print is in branding. The ever-changing digital landscape makes nailing down fonts, colors, and imagery difficult. Print media works well when you want to establish brand legitimacy and build brand recognition.
QUALITY YOU CAN FEEL, NOT JUST ON SCREEN
The internet becomes easier and easier to access and advertise on. As a result, print has moved to “rebrand” itself as a vehicle for luxury products. Even purely digital companies have discovered the power of print. Net-A-Porter and Airbnb have created glossy magazines that feature some of their best and exclusive content.
MAKE knows the power of print media in the digital age, even as a digital marketing agency. If you’re curious to see how print marketing can complement and enhance a digital marketing plan, get in touch with us.