The Big Debate (No, not Brexit)

Catching up recently with an old colleague, we were chewing the fat about the industry and work in general, when the topic of print came up. ‘But really, who prints anything these days anyway?’ they opined. ‘Its all about digital’.

Hmmmm….whilst its true that digital content accounts for a significant proportion of most marketing plans, printed material also features heavily for many brands from across the spectrum. In todays’ tech savvy society, it got us thinking, why should that be? After all, in the age of the e-reader and declining printed newspaper sales, aren’t we surely becoming accustomed to consuming media from a tablet screen or a mobile phone?

Well, yes and no. Digital marketing appeals to our sense of urgency – our desire to have information at our fingertips 24/7 and sates our appetite for immediate answers. In the era of information overload, digital marketing grasps our attention for a vital few seconds and aims to engage us enough to consume or interact with the brand or product it serves. It is ultimately expendable and therein lies its limitation.

Though immediacy is sometimes exactly what is required, there are times that call for longevity and durability to be the order of the day and this can be much trickier to achieve on a digital platform. Put simply, printed material can often engage the senses in a way that digital media may struggle to. Touch, smell, weight, tone and shade are the nuances of experience that help shape opinion. Special ideas merit a physical form and for this reason, when considering ways to communicate the value of a product, print usually forms part of our recommendation.

So, by all means, embrace the digital world in your marketing strategy. It is a fundamental part of any well planned programme and touches virtually every conceivable audience and product. But when it comes to the extraordinary, the valued and the enduring, consider your mix carefully. Print will be providing us with tangible expressions of ideas for many years to come.
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