It’s no question that people have it in their minds that print is out and digital is in. But is this necessarily true when it comes to reaching consumers? Although magazines and newspapers are certainly having a major hit to profit and essentially all of them have tried to gain a strong digital presence, does that mean everything else in print is about to die too?
No. A lot of different marketing techniques can be used in a variety of situations, and for some of these, print is still best. Let’s break it down and look at 3 situations where digital media is preferred and 3 situations where print is still valued.
- Cost can be adjustable – You have complete control over how much or how little you may want to spend on getting your organization, ad or video out there. By promoting digitally, you have the ability to spend $50 a month pushing your content, or you can spend a tremendous amount more. Or you can spend nothing. Obviously, the more you spend, the more your content is promoted and the more direct of an audience is reached. If you are willing to pay for it, promoting online is great way to reach new potential consumers and audiences. However, if you don’t want to spend too much, you have the choice to push content at an extremely small rate.
- Better targeting – When you’re trying to run an ad for your company or a new product, you will want maximum exposure with your target audience. And to do this, you will want to take advantage of all those digital platforms; Google, Facebook, YouTube, email newsletters, etc. By using digital advertising, you will be able to leave up your ad for as long as you want, pay for the amount of exposure it can get, and edit it if you need to change any of the information. But most importantly, you can target the ad to consumers more likely to engage with it.
- If you want immediate results – As soon as you start promoting ads, videos and content, people can respond instantly. It’s so simple to click on your link and follow through with what you’re promoting. With print advertising, the consumers will either have to call or manually visit the site—potentially losing interest or forgetting before they do. Print is also notorious for being tossed away or set to the side and forgotten. When you want results quickly, digital advertising may be a better technique.
So what makes print still useful and reliable?
- It’s More Personable – By using print, you have the ability to physically hand your content to a customer. You can talk to them about what you’re handing them and discuss what you/your organization can do to help them. It gives you an opportunity to form a closer and more personable relationship than by communicating online. A physical piece of content can also strike up more emotions than something that is typed up and sent out online. This comes more into play in my next point.
- Leaves a physical presence – When someone can physically interact with an object, it will almost always leave a bigger and lasting impression. If someone can touch, smell and interact with something, they are already giving it more attention and thought than if they see it online. It’s also becoming more of a niche to send print material to customers. As with most things that eventually ‘die off’, when they are seen again, they’re exciting and have more meaning. Think of Christmas cards or hand-written letters. Both of these are hardly seen anymore, but when you receive one or the other, it really makes you feel things. It’s a much more exciting feeling than receiving these same messages through email.
- Print design can really make you stand out – Nothing beats holding a freshly printed piece of perfection in your hands. Although digital is simple and can be very effective, having a professionally printed piece of material to distribute can really show off what that company is about. It can help show that you’re a high-quality organization that doesn’t skimp when it comes to interacting with consumers. High-quality print means consumers are seeing your organization at its professional best.
Overall, it depends what kind of outcome you are looking for when it comes to choosing between print or digital media. Digital is quick and can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want. But most importantly, it has the ability to target specific audiences far better than print and then inform you what’s working and what’s not. Print is sent out and you may never know who it reaches or what kind of conversion rate it has.
Print is still great for reaching those targeted consumers or continuing your relationship with current one. It may not bring in results as quickly as digital, but it will have a much more personable touch. And it gives you the chance to really show off what your organization is capable of and how you represent yourself.
So what’s better? In our opinion, it’s a good mix of both. Don’t fall behind in the digital age, but at the same time, don’t lose touch with all the great things that print still has to offer.