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Is print dead?

Printed forms of communication and marketing have waned in popularity with the rise of digital media. But is print dead? ICSC explores this intriguing topic.

It’s a digital jungle out there… we’re surrounded by digitally connected devices that are always on. On a daily basis we send and receive countless messages, notifications and advertisements via numerous platforms, apps and websites. While digital media has many obvious advantages, the average consumer is likely to feel rather overwhelmed by the sheer volumes of information from time to time. When this happens, print media is a welcome alternative.

Here are a few reasons that print is here to stay for the foreseeable future:

  1. Print allows the reader to focus

Unlike digital media, print doesn’t offer multiple distractions while you are reading it. When you’re reading an article on your phone, PC or tablet, you may be distracted by a message, e-mail or social media notification, whereas a printed item has no distractions to pull you away. When you read printed media, you are more likely to absorb the information and have the chance to form personal reflections on it.

  1. Print has staying power

Print isn’t easily deleted. You can’t dispose of a printed item with a quick click or swipe; you actually need to physically recycle it. This means it hangs around for a while – and gets seen a lot because it doesn’t move to the bottom of your news feed.

  1. Print is trusted

While there is a lot of good content online, the barriers to entry are fairly low. Anyone can publish content online, regardless of their accuracy, credibility or expertise, which means you often have to sift through a lot of below-average content before you get to the good stuff. This typically isn’t usually the case when it comes to print. Consumers know that if someone has gone to the trouble (and expense) of having something printed, the quality is typically far superior.

  1. Print showcases beautiful design

A website is essential for your business, but you can’t put it on your coffee table. Printed media is visually captivating in a way that digital media will never be. The goal of a beautifully designed print item should be to get the viewer to visit to the company’s website to get additional information or interact with you further.

  1. Print is tangible

It’s important to always have something physical on hand that you can hand to clients. This printed material can either direct them to your website or provide information that aligns with your website and digital messaging. According to the Royal Mail Market Reach Report conducted in the UK, adding touch to a communication campaign increases its value by 24%. The tactile element of print has the power to interact with the brain in a very different way, and thereby ensure longevity and emotional connection.

Get the best of both worlds – print combined with digital

Digital and print media both have their own distinct advantages. Digital media is very effective when it comes to tracking, targeting and interacting with your audience. Print, on the other hand, breaks through communication clutter, provides tangibility, enables focus and ensures longevity.

The optimal solution is to use a combination of digital and print mediums. For example, you could combine a printed brochure with advertising on social media channels. Print can also be very effective when you’re reaching out to an elite group of customers. A high-quality printed item with unusual design features (embossing or 3D elements) can leave a lasting impression with those who matter most.

So, is print dead? Definitely not. It’s a powerful, tangible medium that gives your communication efforts the extra edge. Get in touch with ICSC today to find out how we can combine print and digital media to reach your customers in ways you didn’t realise were possible.