The role of printed media in the digital age


Everybody knows that this is the age of digital marketing. We are constantly told that getting your business noticed is all about leveraging social media, working on your email outreach and making sure your website is ticking all the right SEO boxes.

These things are certainly important, but the biggest mistake any marketing team or business owner can make is to assume that digital marketing has replaced printed media entirely. Make no mistake, digital marketing is immensely significant, and is becoming more so with every passing week and month. However, in the 30 years that it has grown from nothing, it has done so alongside, not instead of, traditional printed media, and this remains the case today.

Printed media remains as important as it has ever been

People still read magazines, they receive printed mail and they pick up price lists and brochures when they visit your business or attend your stand at a trade show. The fact that they might not do these things as much as they did 30 years ago does not mean they have completely stopped doing so. Even if printed media only has half the reach of digital, that still means it encompasses a third of your marketing outreach. Is that something you can really afford to ignore?

Aside from that, there are certain ways in which printed media is even more effective than digital. So when you update your price lists or initiate a new marketing campaign, ensure you make use of a price list template to create printed versions as well as having them live on your website. Here are some of the benefits that print has over digital.

That nagging reminder

We’ve all read about gen-z and its goldfish-like attention span. That might or might not be the case, but what is indisputable is that all of us, gen-z or otherwise, are becoming inured to digital ads, banners and anything else that we are not specifically looking for.

Research shows that 80 percent of internet users have never clicked on a banner ad, and there are even suggestions that this form of marketing is a spent force.  Compare that with the pricelist or leaflet that comes through your door. Even if it goes straight into the recycling, you look idly at it, and more often, it sits on your desk, a constant reminder that delivers a more lasting impression.

A less crowded environment

The average web page contains four ads. In printed media, the average number of ads per page is 0.6. It’s a simple equation in as much as fewer ads competing for the reader’s attention means yours is more likely to get noticed.

A holistic approach

Nobody is suggesting that digital marketing is anything less than vital. Every business needs a well-crafted website, a strong social media presence and so on. However, never forget that this is only one component of the overall customer engagement process. Traditional printed media still has its role to play, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.