Print is Being Reborn with Lessons Learned from the Web
Is print dead? The truth is, it depends. Of course, “it depends” seems like a silly answer, but this is because “print” is too broad a term. When you say print, you could mean print advertising, such as magazines or news print, direct mail pieces, or several other forms of targeted delivery. Print is also used in reference to the general world of sales and marketing collateral such as sales / product sheets or brochures.
So…Is print really dead? Absolutely not.
In this instance, we’re talking about the printed collateral that is critical for marketing and selling your products or services. Yes, the days of hauling around massive binders of product sheets are gone.
Many of the road-warrior sales representatives are happier, too. However, printed leave behinds or capability brochures are still absolutely critical. From non-profit fundraising event flyers to manufacturer line cards, putting printed content in the hands of your target community has never been more important.
Placing Unbridled Creativity in Your Customers’ Hands
Our world is so crammed full of email, social media, websites, and Internet-driven connections that every online component is full of surrounding “noise.” Print provides the framework and opportunity to communicate your brand’s core message, without the website pop-ups, and it won’t be interrupted by a Facebook message from your college buddy.
Print also allows your brand to shed the strict confines required to display correctly across multiple devices or screen sizes. A custom size, unique folding pattern, or exceptional paper selection can give your customer an unforgettable experience. Combine this with effective design, and your brand message inhabits a delivery vehicle that is “too cool to throw away.”
Print is Also Content Driven
“Brevity is the soul of wit,” Polonius, Hamlet – Act 2, Scene 2
Current scrolling website design, the quest to please search engines like Google, and the ability to expand website pages’ ad infinitum has created an overwhelming amount of content. Being excessively verbose in print just doesn’t work – instead, Print is your opportunity to deliver a powerful and concise message.
Delivering the right message is what’s most important. The same research and data used to determine the right content for the web should also be used to determine what makes it to print materials. Print content should be focused, brief, and fitting of your target audience, using the same brand voice as web versions of your content. Finally, if you want to keep an online version of the printed material—PDFs are a great choice.
Protip: Unlike the web, changing content on the fly isn’t easy. Make sure your content is thoroughly proofed, edited, and reviewed before being produced.
Dispelling an Expensive Myth: Digital Has Come a Long Way, Baby
One of the most common arguments surrounding the topic of print is the cost. Small businesses and non-profits will often shy away from printing materials to save money. There is another option. Digital printing has grown from its over-glossy and smudgy childhood to a vivid-color adulthood.
Just over ten years ago, when digital was just starting out as a viable printing medium, the quality was spotty at best. For businesses, it was a trade-off for inexpensive vs. good quality. Traditional offset or web printing provided vastly superior quality and paper options.
Since that time, digital printing has grown up. Color calibration, improved papers, and warp-speed jumps in methodology have made digital printing a cost-effective resource.
Digital printing gives you a budget-friendly opportunity to create low quantity / high quality printed materials. Production quantities can be in the dozens and not thousands. You can avoid the piles of out-of-date materials being tossed into the recycling pin! Short runs with more frequent updates can be one more reason printed collateral can do even more.
Develop Effective Targeted Print Marketing with Signalfire
Are printed materials dead? Not even close. While print is changing, the medium of print is becoming more creative, useful, and cost effective. Take this opportunity to look at your own printing efforts.
Could you be doing more or just…better? Signalfire’s team of creative marketing guides and outfitters can help you assess your current print needs, increase your design value, and cut down your production costs. Get the process started, and drop us a line today!