Print is still alive, but the $64,000 question is, “Does it fit into my industrial marketing?”
As the internet and has evolved and grown, the marketing industry has been seeing declarations about the end of print for at least the last ten years. Does it make sense to spend money on ink and paper?
This question is the cause of a great debate in the marketing world. There is no doubt that we have entered the digital era, yet print still plays a role in the marketing mix.
A printed piece can serve as a springboard to your digital efforts, driving traffic to your website and contribute to your social media strategy.
Print is still alive in web-to-print applications as well, with brochures and catalogs available on company websites for downloading and printing, extending their reach and longevity.
Forbes provides a good breakdown of the advantages that print still holds:
Tangibility – A print piece is a physical thing. Magazines and newspapers can stay in houses or offices for months or years, while Internet ads can disappear into cyber space instantaneously.
Credibility – There is something about print that gives a sense of legitimacy. The saturation of popups and banner ads on the internet can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses is enough make people weary of clicking. There is no imminent danger in a print ad.
Branding – Print ads are excellent for solidifying your brand identity. Your ads should have a consistent aesthetic in terms of fonts, colors and types of images to establish brand recognition.
Target Marketing – Placing ads in publications such as specialty magazines can effectively reach niche audiences that may be more difficult to target online.
More Engaging – Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as 15 seconds. A study shows that people read digital screen text 20% – 30% slower than printed paper. (Alshaali & Varshney, 2005)
Less Print Ads – With more and more businesses relying solely on the internet for their advertising needs, the decline of print publication can actually be used as an industrial marketing advantage. The publications are less crowded, allowing more room for your ad to shine, and possibly even cheaper prices for ad space.
The power of print is evident. The challenge lies in striking the right balance between print and digital to result in an effective marketing program. As with any industrial marketing effort, tracking results and adjusting your strategy as needed will ultimately determine your success.
So, does print have a place in industrial marketing? The short answer is an unequivocal “yes.”