Why print works

Given the increased use of mobile technology, the well-established presence of computers in all walks of life and the expansion of television, video and digital moving images in our homes, workplaces and urban areas you could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that any form of communications media other than digital, especially print, are in terminal decline.

So does print have a role to play in communications now, or in the future, or is it just a matter of time before printed material disappears completely as a marketing and sales tool?

The short answer is ‘probably not’.

There are still many circumstances where print has a place, depending on the audience, its location and the intended outcome:

Geographic targeting

Whilst digital methods are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, delivery to a specific geographic area is one situation where printed communication has the advantage. There are still many cases where the cost, time and complexities of digitally targeting a specific area are far more than those of a simple flyer or leaflet drop.

Where digital is more difficult, unreliable or unavailable

There are still many situations where hard copy will be more effective than digital. Outdoor events, such as large sports occasions and festivals, especially in less connected, more remote locations are still situations where digital communications can be difficult or unreliable.

Presenting new information to people on the move

There are occasions where people are more focused on getting to their destination, such as in towns & shopping centres, at conferences & exhibitions, at transport hubs and many other locations. Printed collateral is easy to put into people’s hands. Properly designed and printed to have impact, it can be read and assimilated immediately or saved to be read later.

Stand out from electronic inbox clutter

Email inboxes are becoming engulfed in promotional emails  and spam, which are outweighing essential communications. The result is that your promotional message will not be trashed before it is read, even with a great subject line.

A printed item dropping through the letterbox or onto a desk is now more unusual and, therefore, more noticeable.

Where reliability is important

Printed material doesn’t fail to work. It doesn’t crash or stop working because of signal or software issues.

To convey a more human, personal touch

Sometimes a piece of communication is far more successful if it has that human touch. Printed items have a feel and character that digital cannot hope to match, connecting the reader with the message.

To provide a more tangible, sensory feel (size, format, weight, type of paper)

Digital information doesn’t have the capacity to convey the different subtleties of texture or even the facet of smell. Printed items have a size, format, weight and texture that say more than the content alone.

They help to portray quality of a brand, evoke feelings and make the message more memorable.

To offer a different experience to reading online

The experience of reading something digitally is very different to print. Studies have shown that the viewer’s attention span is shorter on a digital device and that their ability to assimilate information presented digitally is diminished.

Print encourages a longer, more in-depth read and, as such, the message is more likely to be received and remembered.

When longevity is needed

People like to have something to keep, especially if it is beautifully designed and produced. Print also has the potential to attach free items, such as samples.

When something user-friendly and immediate is needed

Print is immediate. There’s nothing to switch on, update or get a signal for.

When there is a need for display

Printed materials can be part of an attractive, eye-catching and cost-effective display on tables, in dispensers, at receptions, offices, conferences, exhibitions, venues, etc.

To direct people to a digital online presence

For situations where digital is needed, but just won’t work, print is the ideal vehicle for promoting an online presence!

If you need help with your design and print requirements, give us a call. You won’t just get great design and print, but you’ll also get a great service, backed by marketing expertise and full service capabilities, including copywriting, photography and illustration.