Print has had a rough few decades, after fending off the threat of the dot com boom and the rise of the millennials it’s no wonder that the question we often face is… well, is it dead yet?
Does print still have a place in our techno-centric lives? Whether we’re tweeting, swiping or tapping – technology is shaping the way we meet, socialise and communicate with the world around us. So it’s no wonder that brands have responded to the digital wave and have recognised the importance of a new technology to meet the needs of today’s customers.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean print is extinct just yet, and here’s why…
There is no avoiding that print media provides a solid-state alternative in a disposable digital age. It’s easy to delete an email or ignore a tweet, but brands are realising the power of physical presence, and how tactile communications help to connect with customers on a deeper level.
Just like vinyl record sales are at a 25 year high and now sit alongside our Spotify playlists, printed media is actually being saved by the generation which threatened to kill it all together. In a peculiar irony of the Internet age, millennials have actually been proven to prefer printed media, and this twist of fate shows that, for brands, using print alongside a digital presence is a powerful campaign tool.
‘Fake news’ is the buzz word. Social media and the internet has provided an accessible platform which anyone can use to make their voice heard. But would these outlets be so quick to distribute ‘fake news’ in print media?
The permanent nature of print provides brands with an obligation to stand by what they print, delivering confused consumers a reliability against the haze of alternative facts and ‘untruths’ purported by digital media. Considering this, it’s no wonder recent research found that 82% of consumers trust printed media more than it’s digital counterpart.
So whilst online platforms are undoubtedly powerful at providing the most up-to date information, print media still finds it’s place in a modern ‘fake news’ world.
iPhone or Android? Apple or Windows? The way we engage with digital media is becoming more and more varied as consumers take to using a variety of different browsers, devices and platforms – and whilst digital marketers are striving to maintain harmony across these platforms, it’s hard to ignore the simplicity that print media offers.
Printed media is a physical presence in a digital world, transcending the barriers of browsers, system updates and internet connections. So when brand continuity is particularly important, the only way to ensure a message is received exactly as you intend is in a physical printed form.
As Corporate Social Responsibility and green credentials become increasingly important on company agendas the validity of print marketing in an eco-conscious world is frequently called into question. The perception that paper based marketing encourages deforestation and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions ensures that companies can often be reluctant to adopt a large scale print strategy. But is print media as environmentally damaging as first thought?
Well, ironically the focus on the sustainability and environmental impact of paper usage has actually ensured it is one of the most environmentally sustainable industries. In the UK 85% of our paper comes from European forests where there has been significant emphasis on ethical production, to the point where between 2005 and 2015 European forests have actually increased in size by an area the size of Switzerland. Plus across the UK and Europe recycling levels are extremely positive with 70-75% of paper being recycled and 50% of raw materials being recycled to begin with.