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Is print media still relevant in the digital age?

31 May 2023

It’s up there with some of the biggest rivalries in history: Coca-Cola versus Pepsi, Blur versus Oasis, Mets versus Yankees, and print versus digital.

Yep, print marketing and digital marketing have been pitted against each other for longer than we care to remember – and in recent years, many people have assumed that digital marketing is the clear winner. After all, we live in a digital world, and digital marketing is quicker, cheaper, and more measurable.

But in 2023, print lives to fight another day. In fact, in recent years, print has made an impressive comeback; it’s trustworthy, it builds credibility, and it’s more memorable than digital marketing methods. Plus, when print and digital work together rather than against each other, the benefits are exponential.

So, read on to find out about print media relevancy in today’s world and discover how to use a combination of online and offline methods to deliver your most potent campaigns yet…

7 reasons why print media is still relevant

1. You can connect with different demographics

One of the biggest benefits of print, and one of the reasons it remains relevant today, is that it enables brands to connect to a more diverse audience from a variety of different demographics.

Print is accessible to all generations, including senior age groups who might not have internet access. With 37% of the population remaining offline, and with seniors expected to make up 2.1 billion of the global population by 2050, alienating older audiences without internet access would be a huge mistake.

Don’t be tricked into thinking that print is just for older audiences, though. With more people working remotely, print is more appealing to younger generations too, with millennials interacting 38.3 times with direct mail and heavy digital consumers interacting well with partially addressed mail and door drops.

2. It’s more engaging (and often more effective)

Another great thing about print is how engaging it is, most likely because it provides an opportunity for brands to connect with their audience on a more human level. This is because our brains are actually wired to prefer print, with print requiring 21% less cognitive effort to read and process than digital media. It’s no wonder, then, that 91% of adults engage with direct mail.

What’s more, print is also more memorable, with the ability to recall the content of print 70% more likely than recalling information in digital ads. Plus, print also evokes emotion, with consumers much more likely to be emotionally motivated by a physical ad or printed media rather than a digital campaign.

3. Print drives action

Print media also cuts through the noise of other channels by driving action. Did you know, for example, that 80% of adults open all mail? Or that 70% of people are driven online by mail? With 86% of consumers reporting feeling connected to a business that has sent direct mail, 79% of consumers act upon direct mail instantly, compared to just 45% who act upon receiving an email.

4. Print is trustworthy

One of the best things about print media is that it is incredibly trustworthy. We’ve all grown up in a world surrounded by books, magazines, and newspapers, and there is an element of nostalgia attached to print which automatically makes it seem more reliable.

Direct mail campaigns and door drops are delivered by a friendly postie, which makes consumers automatically trust them. In fact, 82% of consumers trust print advertising compared to its digital counterpart, something which comes as no surprise in the age of data breaches and ‘fake news’.

What’s more, print media also gives consumers a welcome break from spam emails, pop-up ads, and other irritating distractions that seem to go hand-in-hand with internet usage these days.

5. Print lasts forever

Well, maybe not forever, but you get the idea. The fact is that web content is incredibly saturated, with millions of blogs, articles, and ads being posted daily. Not only can this be incredibly overwhelming for consumers, but it also means that competition is fierce – and as a result, digital campaigns aren’t as likely to be remembered. A brochure or a clever piece of direct mail, however, will sit happily in an office or house where it can be picked up time and time again.

In fact, JICMail statistics show that 45% of mail is retained for over a week, with the average piece of direct mail being interacted with 4.4 times and staying in the home for an average of 7.4 days.

6. You can use it in a multi-channel campaign

As we said above, instead of pitting print and digital against each other, the best way to deliver the most effective campaigns is by combing both methods. We’re not saying that paper speaks louder than pixels – but what we are saying is that if you want to get the most out of your marketing, it makes sense to use the two together.

By complementing direct mail campaigns with creative online content, for example, you can benefit from increased engagement with your audience. In fact, campaigns that combine digital and print are proven to deliver a 25% higher response rather than digital campaigns alone.

7. It’s environmentally friendly

There’s no denying that consumers today are more concerned with the environment than previous generations. Sustainability is the buzzword of the moment – and another great reason print remains relevant is that today’s print media is also environmentally conscious. Rather than wasting reams and reams of paper, print campaigns today can be designed with recyclability and biodegradability in mind.

Ready to get the most out of your print media campaigns?

The truth is that in today’s increasingly digital world, there is still a very real place for print in the marketing mix – and print media can even provide consumers with a much-needed break from the constant amount of time we spend on screens.

Essentially, there’s no better time to embrace the power of print – so if you want to find out more about how to harness the power of print media for your brand, contact our expert team today.

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