Recently print marketing has been having something of a renaissance, as industry publications from across the world have begun to ask themselves if the platform really deserves to be declared irrelevant.
Though the popularity of digital is undoubtable, does this have to mean that print is no longer valuable? Despite the phenomenal pace of change that has taken place since the advent of print, time and again it has proven itself to be a resilient, relevant and reliable go-to for marketers.
This week we’re exploring the renaissance of print and asking how valuable it really is for your business.
Print still inspires confidence
As the longevity of print as a platform arguably demonstrates, despite the vast array of breakthrough technologies and passing trends print still inspires confidence in marketers and consumers alike.
According to Marketing Week’s recent article, the fact that expenditure on newspaper and print advertising has fallen consistently in recent years should not be seen as indicative of inevitable decline.
Director of publishing at The Guardian, Richard Furness, told Marketing Week that readership numbers of print publications remain high and ‘all of our research shows that this core audience is turning to print for a long-term escape away from the never-ending madness of digital and 140 characters.’
Known as the vinyl effect, it is argued that audiences are returning to the trusted, well-rounded and familiar territory of newspapers and print as a key source of reliable information. Apply this to brands and the need to connect with consumers, and print remains a crucial tool for employing confidence in your offering.
Print as experiential marketing
Just as boutique shopping and artisan brands hold a place in the heart of consumers looking for that all important emotional connection with a product, print has the ability to act as an experiential marketing tool in a way that digital may not.
A recent article by Business2Community argued that ‘digital media’s immense amount of accessibility leads to distractions [which] many people find […] intrusive and irritating’. Print can be a useful way of avoiding these annoyances, offering audiences the feeling of authenticity and personal communication that is so highly valued by brands.
Business2Community concludes; ‘print advertisements leave a lasting impression on customers, who associate your brand with out-of-the-box thinking and industry trend-setting’ and ‘can be the perfect way to generate new leads and increase brand awareness.’
When print and digital become one
Far from declaring print irrelevant, MarketingTech News has argued that in fact digital has only further enhanced the value of print as marketing tool.
In their recent article they posited that ‘the rise of digital printing has given marketers the ability to carry out small, targeted on-demand print runs and, as an industry, is set to grow to a mammoth $300bn (£266bn) by 2024.’
MarketingTech claims it is precisely because of the flexibility and personalisation available as a result of growing confluence between digital and print that the latter remains relevant for the marketing mix.
Statistics show that ‘four-fifths (79%) of consumers will act on direct mail immediately compared to only 45% who say they deal with email straightaway.’ With such a disparity in statistics, it seems naive to assume that the only way to reach your target audience is digital.
While the digital revolution has irrevocably altered the environment in which print operates, and arguably the make up of audiences it targets, print clearly still holds the ability to mobilise consumers, inspire trust and confidence and compel them into action. Here at OTB we’d say these are some pretty valuable outcomes.