For the past several years, I have been anxiously awaiting the official demise of print. After all, it’s been widely predicted. So, because I have worked in the print medium most of my adult life, you can see why I might be concerned. See more info at xperagroup.com
Oddly enough, I keep getting a lot of print items in my mailbox. We’re still creating plenty of newsletters here at VistaComm and our portfolio of magazine clients has grown. At the same time, our digital business—the purported angel of death for print—is also rapidly expanding. What was I missing here?
Although the demise of print has been predicted, print newsletters remain a viable marketing tool.The answer came to me in the strangest of ways—in the midst of assembling one of those out-of-the-box pieces of furniture. Any good kit has all the parts, instructions and a list of the tools you should have. This particular set required a drill, a hammer and a screwdriver. Now, suppose I had looked at those instructions and said, “This is nice, but I don’t need the drill or the screwdriver. I have a hammer!” No.
The point is, I need all those tools for a successful outcome—and all the promised parts, too. The same holds true when creating a cohesive, effective communications program. Every tool—print newsletters, direct mail, social media, websites, email—have their place. Each has a specific use that, when combined properly, produce the desired result.
Where does print fit?
Have you ever wondered why you get all those newsletters and promotional mailings every day? Simple. They are effective, or no one would use them, especially in this digital age. As part of an integrated marketing campaign, print has certain qualities that other media can’t match.
VistaComms’ Direct Mail Piece
To over simplify, advertising wins in creating awareness. Digital delivers immediacy. The strengths of print are touch, time and impact. Only print engages the sense of touch—it requires the recipient to literally handle it. And, studies have revealed that ink on paper make a deeper impression on our brain than the same message in digital form*.
As to time, people spend an average of 11.1 seconds considering an email. They will spend as much as 30 minutes on print pieces that capture their attention. It’s true that overall print usage has declined with the advent of digital communication. That is a point in favor of print. Marketing experts have noted that print may now be the “non-traditional” component of an integrated marketing effort, thus increasing the comparative impact of print pieces.