Many people are surprised at print marketing and its continued role; where most analogue and manual formats have been replaced by digital successors, printed content stands steadfast, as it has for the last four centuries.
There are several reasons for this endurance, and we’ve picked out the top causes for print marketing’s unexpected success in a digital world.
In principle, print still thrives because of digital and traditional marketing’s mergence. Rather than one transcending the other, as was predicted, what actually occurred was much more sophisticated: they began to work in complete synergy, with one enabling and driving the other.
This evolution, instead of threatening traditional marketing methods such as print, has actually worked to protect them. For example, clickable print advertising:
Print, in these instances, works as a branded introduction that exposes and engages a viewer in a more subtle way than its digital counterpart. Once engaged, it is then the viewer’s choice to follow the journey online, via provided links and search queries. It is here that the viewer will come face to face with CTAs. This, importantly, is after they have fully engaged with the offering and chosen to seek further information and branded interactions.
Because they have opted to continue the user journey themselves, they will be far more engaged and more likely to convert. In these instances, where print and digital work together, ROI if often greatly increased.
Since the start of the digital revolution, instead of being dragged under by the enormity that is digital, print has actually gained an advantage of unique distinction.
Where the online world has become saturated, and even more so by the minute, printed content offers a point of refreshment:
“The more our lives are influenced by digital media, the more we are drawn to print as a retreat from online space.” Nicholas Brown.
This is due, in main, to print’s tactility appealing to our human senses more than digital ever could. Because we can feel printed content, we instinctively pay more attention to it and trust it more as, quite simply, we can feel it – so we know it is real.
When we go online, we are faced with a constant stream of distractions: if it’s not an ill-timed pop-up or retargeted advert, it’s an unrelated link or autoplay video. Whilst all of these digital elements are powerful marketing tools when implemented carefully by an experienced digital marketing agency, unfortunately, on the whole, they only serve as annoying distractions. As a result, what we read online is often superficially digested and skim read before we end up clicking on something else and move on.
On the other hand, print requires 21% less cognitive effort to be processed than on-screen media. Not to mention offering a less pressured experience – one where content can be dog-eared (shudder), book-marked or physically put to one side to be savoured at a later date, and without other sites screaming ‘click-me’.
This means that printed collateral is processed at a more leisurely and more productive pace. One where far more information is taken in and retained.
As a result, print content (although it shouldn’t be) is often of a much higher quality. People recognise its longevity and consequently take far more time over its creation to make sure it is something worthwhile hanging around.
Which leads me onto my next point…
Since print’s emergence into popular culture over 400 years ago, it has remained an unrivalled communication tool.
Print’s enormous amount of heritage, culture and tradition brings with it a natural gravitas that, so far, seems unchanged by digital’s emergence on the scene. This is because of print’s historical association with academics, giving the printed word it’s heavier weight. As a result, print gives brands the opportunity to communicate with their audiences on a trusted level – the kind of trust that cannot be achieved with digital alone.
A final reason for print marketing’s refusal to shrink into the shadows of marketing-tactics past is because ultimately print is practical.
Think about it: print will carry on to thrive in today’s digital world as we simply need it – for example, imagine packaging with no instructions, branding or a common means of identification – the world would be in chaos!
As digital technologies continue to change and shape the way we market, it is crucial that we don’t lose sight of print. As shown above, print has endured for good reason and it can be an invaluable tool when used under the right conditions. However, it needs to be considered as just one aspect of a fully functioning marketing ecosystem: one that spans both on and offline, bridging the two together for multi-channel messaging and engagement.
At Rooster Marketing, we embrace both print and digital – and we understand the benefits of both. More than this, we use effective and audience-appropriate content to leverage brands and offerings across all platforms.
Our graphic designers have a wealth of experience in designing for print marketing, whether you require brochure design, exhibition graphics or a joined-up digital and print branding experience. See below for some of our recent case studies: