Is print dead: In the age of digital, do you still need business cards and brochures?

The ‘is print dead?’ debate has been going on for, well, what seems like ages. Print has been on the decline for decades, but it’s far from completely irrelevant. While demand for things like hardcopy newspapers and print advertising has been decreasing, we believe there’s still a place for print in your marketing strategy. 

The power of digital marketing

Back in the day when print was everyone’s primary marketing method, there simply weren’t other effective alternatives available. As technology has evolved, so has the way we advertise. 

Digital advertising empowers advertisers with advanced analytics, sophisticated targeting options and greater monitoring capabilities. It’s also an incredibly cost effective marketing tool. With a cheaper buy-in cost than traditional advertising, digital advertising is a great option for small businesses, new businesses, and startups. Quick results and quick set-up also make it easy for non-marketing professionals to control.  

Together, all these factors make digital marketing an attractive option – but that doesn’t mean it’s without drawbacks. 



Concerns over digital advertising – and the staying power of print

According to research conducted by FedEx Office, 9 in 10 consumers believe there will always be a place for print collateral, and 85% said they’re more likely to shop with a business if it has professional printed materials like flyers, banners and business cards. (And, it wasn’t just baby boomers that FedEx Office surveyed – similar results were seen among millennial survey responses as well.) 

With so many businesses fighting for attention online, it’s easy for consumers to feel bombarded -- and many are starting to push back against the monopoly our digital devices have on our time and attention. Things like digital detoxes, technology free wedding ceremonies, and giving up Facebook for Lent have all become ideas that are part of the collective dialogue on technology’s place in our day-to-day lives.  

Additionally, concerns over data privacy on Facebook and Google are fueling a push for greater transparency in digital advertising

With all that in mind, we don’t see digital advertising as the end all be all of modern marketing. Digital advertising is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean it’s only option in the game. Diversifying your marketing plan with both traditional and digital advertising can give you a greater reach and help insulate you against future trends.  


How to make print work for you

Don’t limit your print pieces to traditional cards and brochures – think about what kind of swag you can give to people! Things like koozies, pens, and can openers can provide a repeated reminder of your brand to potential customers. 

Consider this: With digital becoming the norm, is print becoming a unique way to grab people’s attention? When working on your marketing plan, think about how you might leverage print as a way to disrupt the new norm of digital. When strategically leveraged, print can provides a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and target your market in a less saturated environment -- giving you a greater chance of getting noticed.

In addition to the element of unexpectedness, print is a tangible leave behind. If everything you do is online, you’re relying solely on the consumer remembering your brand oryou’ll be spending more to actively and repeatedly display your ads on their mobile/desktop device. Print pieces like business cards and brochures are a great leave behind for people to hang on to. 


Putting print into context

Looking for an easy way to make combine your digital + print efforts? Make sure your social media icons are on your business cards. You’ll be connecting people with your online presence through a more traditional marketing method. 

Spend around print advertising might be declining, but when you look at the big picture, is print really dead? We don’t think so – and we think the facts back us up.  

While print’s role in your marketing plan has probably changed, it still has a place. A well thought out campaign will be able to leverage print and social media in tandem to stretch advertising dollars to reach the widest (and most qualified) audience possible. 

Don’t let digital distract you from missing out on a valuable marketing opportunity. Instead of thinking “print vs. digital” we suggest thinking about how all the mediums work together – and how print advertising can support your digital efforts (and vice versa).

Hue & Tone Creative: Print and social advertising in Greensboro, NC

Whether you're looking to create a new digital campaign -- or looking something a bit more old school -- we're here to help. Experts in all things digital and all things print, we'll get every element of your marketing plan up to speed. Shoot us an email and let's discuss how we might be able to partner together.