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Is Print Finally DEAD?

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In this age of e-readers, Internet content, iPads, PDFs, struggling newspapers, declining print revenue and the like, it’s no wonder media mavens and marketers have been predicting the death of print for many years now. They keep predicting it – yet print perseveres. Certainly, print has had to make room for new digital technologies. But print is anything but dead. In fact, it remains an essential part of our daily lives, and subsequently a critical part of your company’s marketing mix.


Print is alive and well!Print still performs

Despite the proliferation of Internet content, broadband connectivity and mobile devices, the printed piece remains a uniquely effective way to communicate with consumers. Marketers still rely on hard-copy brochures, catalogs, magazines and direct mail to deliver information and compel action, and customers are still more likely to respond to print than to digital communications. According to the annual USPS survey released in 2011, 81% of Americans still skim or read advertising mailed to their homes and 51% read catalogs sent to their homes. (Learn more here »)

And according to the DMA 2012 Response Rate Report, people are also more likely to respond to direct mail (4.4% on average) versus email (.12%), display ads (.04%) and paid search (.22%). (Learn more here »)


Print enhances your brand

Print remains a powerful way to enhance your brand too, especially when incorporating high quality print production, papers with a pleasing tactile feel, special coatings, die cuts, multi-dimensional designs and scannable images such as QR Codes to integrate with online and mobile media. From an emotional standpoint, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a richly produced brochure, catalog, magazine or direct mail package that can be held, touched and opened in one’s hands. A marketing study by Millward Brown published in 2009 demonstrated that compared to digital media, printed material stimulates more emotional processing, connects better to memory, produces more brain responses related to internalization, and generally feels more real and personal, which in turn can be more motivating. (Learn more here »)


More reasons that people prefer print:

  • Print publications never run out of battery charge.
  • Drop a book and you can just pick it up. Drop a mobile device and you may have to try reading through a shattered glass screen.
  • Digital advertising lasts a few seconds. Print advertising (and branding) lasts as long as the publication that contains it. Magazines, catalogs and books have a potential shelf life of decades.
  • You can write notes on a printed page, or attach sticky notes to it. That’s not so easy with a digital publication.
  • Print carries with it a sense of being more tangible and more credible. It is blissfully free of popups, banner ads, spam and viruses.
  • Print is dimensional, tactile and a work of craftsmanship that is aesthetically pleasing to behold.
  • It’s difficult to include a digital greeting card with a gift-wrapped present, and it doesn’t have nearly the emotional impact. The same goes for gift certificates.

Perhaps you can come up with more advantages of print.


A humorous and compelling take on print’s longevity

One company that has a vested interest in the life of print is Domtar, a paper manufacturer. But they make a valid point – there are things paper can do that digital media just can’t. Domtar put together a website and a series of humorous videos to bring the point home. See for yourself, and enjoy »



Marketing with print is one of ZUZA’s specialties, so if you’d like to bounce creative ideas around for your upcoming campaigns, we’d love to participate with you. Just drop us a line. We’d also love to hear how you’re currently integrating print into your marketing mix along with digital media, and how it’s all working for you.

Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.