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Why Digital Loves Print - Moving out of the Middle Lane

Nothing exciting ever comes from staying in the middle lane, right?! There’s no getting ahead of the pack in the fast lane or taking an alternative route via the slip road. In fact, you’re most likely to be undertaken and, worse still, left behind.     

Some might accuse print of sitting in that middle lane while other digital mediums go speeding by. But, by continuously switching lanes over the years, print has successfully kept up with other marketing channels to remain relevant, engaging and highly effective.  

And you need not just take our word for it! A quick Google search on 'the future of print advertising' will throw up numerous favourable facts and stats, plus industry insights and expert predictions that back up the power of print in our digitally dominated world.  

Moving With The Times  

Of course, it’s not just print that’s had to manoeuvre from the middle lane. As technology has advanced, consumers have become increasingly used to getting what they want, when they want it. And so, automation and personalised experiences have become central to future-proofing various mediums’ appeal.   

Take TV, for example. Once upon a time, it offered just a handful of channels on a strict schedule, but now we can watch on-demand with programme suggestions based on our viewing habits at our very fingertips. Not to mention the ability to stream live events in real time.  

And the same switching of lanes can be seen in the music, retail and publishing realms, following increased demand for digital, speedy and tailored options.   

You see, it’s not a case of doing away with things, but doing things differently!   

Eternal Appeal, Effective Results  

So, why does print pack such an impressive punch in the world of advertising?  

Well, it’s predominantly because its physical presence enables it to strike up a meaningful connection with the recipient. By landing in their hands, it provides a tangible experience, playing to numerous senses - sight, touch, even smell - therefore attracting and holding their attention.  

JICMAIL has reported that 94% of mail is engaged with in some way and that 44% of mail is still in the home after a whopping 28 days. Furthermore, according to Neuromarketing, consumers spend more time looking at a printed ad or brochure rather than scrolling past an online ad or social media post.   

This means that direct mail marketing is more memorable and builds greater brand recognition and credibility. In fact, studies have shown that when it comes to impact on long-term memory encoding, mail is 35% stronger than social media and 49% stronger than email. 

Dynamite Not Dinosaurs  

But how does print continue to move out of the middle lane and keep going the marketing distance? By embracing the very thing that initially threatened to write it off altogether…digital!   

That’s right, turns out print and digital aren’t competitors or enemies but true companions that complement each other no end for an impactful and modern-day marketing approach. 

Here are just a few ways technology has hit reset on print and demonstrates how you can reimagine your print strategy to reap its well-reported rewards AND keep things relevant:   

  • Bulky ‘all-things-to-all-people’ brochures have been replaced with bespoke marcomms, inviting potential customers to filter and create their own brochure online that’s then delivered directly to their door.  
  • Randomly timed door drops have been replaced with targeted data-driven print campaigns, landing with the right people at the right time in their buying journey.   
  • Generic messaging has been replaced with personalised campaigns that speak directly to the individual and what lights them up.  
  • Mass mail marketing has been replaced with print-on-demand solutions powered by slick automation and specialist workflows, reducing sustainable impact, cost and waste.    
  • One-dimensional marketing strategies have been replaced with an omnichannel approach combining both print and digital. Think mail with QR code links to video, website or a specific landing page, elevating the customer experience and allowing for traceability.    
  • Uninspiring mail drops have been replaced by uber-creative, attention-grabbing and highly-engaging campaigns with advances in technology pushing print boundaries further than ever before.   

So, while print might be deemed an ‘old’ industry, it’s one that, when combined with digital, can certainly be taught to perform new tricks.  

Look out for more posts from our Why Digital Loves Print blog series, which highlights the power of integrating print into your digital marketing strategy for a winning cross-channel approach.