Digital Killed the Printing Star

Print And Digital

Just kidding. It didn't — there’s still plenty of value in print advertising.

Of course, there’s always dramatic, over-the-top statements like “print is dead!” And, of course, that’s not true. While we are living in a digitally driven age, it doesn’t call for the death knell on print advertising. Think about it: Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century. It has some serious longevity and it’s gonna take a bit more than some Facebook or preroll Youtube ads to knock print out of the game.

That doesn’t mean print media hasn’t evolved or changed. It’d be silly to think that its users wouldn’t evolve how the medium is leveraged. But print is still relevant, even in this digital-first era. Here’s why:

Staying power.

While digital advertising is a fast-paced sprint, print materials are more like a nice leisurely hike. I make the comparison because print tends to stick around a bit longer than its digital counterpart. Print ads are relevant as long as the media they’re placed in stays around. Newspapers and especially magazines stay with people longer than, say, a quick pop-up ad. Print ads might not be viewed as immediately as a digital ad, but they can very well be viewed more frequently and over a longer period of time.

Digital + print = collaboration.

It’s easy to see why digital and print might be in direct competition with each other, but they can also work in collaboration. How often do you pick up a piece of collateral (POS, brochure, business card, etc.) and the CTA drives you to a website or Facebook page? All the freaking time, right? Digital and print don’t need to be presented as arch rivals, instead they should be viewed as partners. This is especially important for integrated campaigns, where the digital and print components need to be in-sync and working together. Integrated campaigns require a consistent, unified message — this means digital and print need to play nice.

Print can still push the boundaries.

Print is not dead. In fact, printers are doing some pretty cool things. From highly detailed embossing to sophisticated die cuts, printing companies are producing some amazing pieces. The sheer artistry of these elaborate designs aren’t the only reason certain printed pieces have a killer impact. It’s also the personal nature of receiving such a thoughtful piece of work. When you get a well-designed print piece, it’s not likely to be headed to the recycling bin, at least not as quickly as the credit card offers or used car ads. Some print pieces stick around for the decorative value alone.

There’s something about tangibility.

It’s been scientifically proven that people like stuff. Scientifically proven! And printed materials, including bracelets, stickers, buttons, etcetera, are: 1. cool and 2. designed to be picked up and accumulated. Plus, when you think of trade show materials, guests are more likely to grab a brochure or flyer off a table than stop for the awkward small talk just to fill out a form that’s only purpose is to fish for email addresses. Also, printed materials are less spam-y (technical term). People pick up materials they want. This means, if someone picks up some of your collateral, they’re probably interested in your product or service. This increases the likelihood of seeing results because, of course, your printed materials will drive them to a website or Facebook page for more information.

Let’s get sentimental. 

There’s something nice about holding an object and interacting with it right there in your hands, right? And don’t get me wrong. I love my Kindle, but it’s not the same as having a book in-hand with actual pages, a spine, some heft, a subtle aroma. Printed materials can have a similar effect through that physical connection and in-person interaction. Plus, they’re less likely to be glossed over like, say, a Youtube b-roll ad, where viewers often hover over the “You can skip ad in…” button that’s standing between them and some hilarious cat videos.

See, print campaigns and materials are as relevant as ever. Sure, how we use print has changed and nowadays people get blasted with information from 1,000 direction, but a well-designed, strategically-placed print piece can have a spot-on impact with its audience. So don’t write it off — or out of the budget — and don’t let Johannes Gutenberg down.

Need a hand getting started? Don’t know the first thing about printing? We’d be happy to help! Give us a shout and we will help you get you (and the printing presses) rolling.

Check out these related blog posts:

How Your Team Can Meet Print Deadlines and Not Kill Each Other
Back to the Basics: Non-Tech Trade Show Giveaways People Will Actually Use
When Monkeys Are Out of the Question

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