Print is not dead, it’s alive and well.
Joe Pulizzi, founder at Content Marketing Institute, offered his opinion in a LinkedIn post: “While I would not want to be in the broad-based, horizontal print game (ala USA Today), highly niche, highly targeted publications are flourishing as a marketing tool.” Here’s how the power of print can accelerate your marketing results.
Those focused on the world of online marketing and digital communications may predict the demise of printed marketing materials, not unlike those who predicted radio would be dead when television was launched, or that television would be skewered by broadband access to the internet. Yet each form of media has its place in our minds and schedules.
The evolution of the internet doesn’t kill off these channels… it makes us look at them differently because they are used differently by consumers. — Joe Pulizzi
Each can still have a purpose in your marketing mix. And we believe (and agree with Joe on this) that printed materials, in particular targeted magazines, have even greater power than they may have had in the past.
Print was my first love in this business
I started in design and marketing in a traditional print world–where graphic design blossomed; paper samples were pored over and treasured; paste-ups were built by hand for every page or spread; inks carefully matched and balanced; and photos lovingly chosen, cropped, enhanced and placed–all before there was an Internet.
I’ve planned, designed, implemented and seen the power of print in a marketing program. Targeted direct mail that entices readership, visually stunning brochures, and magazines that draw a reader in offer an in-hand, tactile experience that a website or smartphone can’t duplicate.
More people are unplugging periodically
The act of unplugging, turning a page, and reading without a glow or reflection on a screen can be inviting. In fact Joe’s post references examples of how people are choosing to unplug for an “electronics-free Saturday” or completely disconnect for two to three weeks. In a world buried in electronic connections and obsessed with constantly checking e-mail or social media or 24-hour news, there’s something calming about detaching, putting your feet up and reading a printed novel or an interesting magazine.
Examples of the power of print … magazines vs. brochures:
We have found a targeted magazine reaches and involves an audience in a way a brochure cannot, and a website does not. Yet it also opens the door to further exploration online, using calls to action of QR codes or URLs with each article.
In our recent student recruitment suite for Linfield College, rather than creating a series of traditional viewbooks or brochures for mailing, we created a suite of magazines, as shown above.
Why? We wanted to tell instead of sell, and create an information piece that offered a deeper look at what makes Linfield unique. A series of real stories supported by graphics and photos is more compelling than a brochure that just describes the college and offers facts.
A magazine also has more share-ability and staying power than a brochure. It’s more likely to be passed along, kept and referred to. Another advantage? When a magazine is printed in large quantities on a web press, printing costs are much lower than traditional offset/sheet-fed printing.
For Church Extension Plan, a financial ministry reaching pastors, Christian investors and the Assemblies of God fellowship, a magazine has far more power than a product brochure.
Rather than describing the specifics of their loan process or details about their investment products, their Partners magazine tells the stories of the ministries that are growing because they could get a loan, or the investors who are thrilled with the return they’re receiving. It’s the stories, the results and outcomes, the real-life impact that moves people to take action.
There are more reasons to keep the power of print in your marketing program. Joe lists the following:
- It grabs attention–in the mail or in an office.
- It focuses on customer retention–a magazine reinforces value, tells stories and keeps customers involved.
- There are no audience costs as with a subscriber-based magazine–because you distribute where it fits your business model.
- What’s old is new again–could print be ready for re-birth to combat our obsession with social, mobile, online and digital channels?
- Find out what questions to ask–print gives you the chance to think about new ideas and opinions, rather than search for answers online.
- Print still excites people–an article in a printed publication has more presence and is more desirable than an online article.
- Print lets people unplug–as noted earlier, unplugging and disconnecting are becoming more appealing to many.
Is it time to tell a bigger story about the results you’ve created for a customer or client, instead of just bullet pointing your products and services? Are you ready to have a marketing piece that people want to keep and share and not round file? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website by using the power of print? Whether B2B or B2C, a targeted magazine will add power to your marketing.
What’s old is new. What you put in someone’s hands will also support your online brand. Synchronize your offline and online brand with great content and the power of print.
Jennifer Larsen Morrow
Jennifer founded Creative Company with two partners in 1978 in Salem, Oregon. Her training as a graphic designer has guided the company's focus on brand persona founded in design and message, generating the brand optimization methodology. Award winning design, on point messaging and strategic positioning have generated response for clients since 1978.
- Creative Company
We create brands that demand attention, inspire response and voice a story worth sharing.
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