Is print dead? This is a question that I have been asked a lot recently, rightfully so since I have made it very clear that I don’t do print. I have witnessed newspapers, catalogues, and magazines all drop in viewership and countless articles claiming print is dying, but do I think print is dead? No, Print is still part of the marketing mix, I just rather focus on digital and here is why.

We are changing the way we access content, we want it now, and we want to see it our way. Consequently, from a business standpoint it’s hard to deny that…

…the digital is allowing us to push out content faster than ever before, and we can personalize this content to the viewer and their device.

Timing, context and location can all play into what content is being pushed out. Not only is it interactive and engaging, but we can also leverage technology to have a conversation around it. Furthermore, we can market the content to ensure that a certain demographic can see it.

Social media has brought a whole new level of interaction around the digital, where conversations can grow in ways not possible with print media. Once we have pushed the content out, we can measure its success. Analytics gives us insight as to what is working and what is not. We can see where the viewers are coming from, what they are reading and for how long, we can see what device they are using and how they are engaging with the content. Leveraging this information can help us make informed decisions; we can use it to grow and maintain readers. Bonus – this data can also create new revenue streams through sponsored content or ad revenues.

So, is print dead? Not at all, but, we have seen a definite shift to digital; we have been here to support it and to ensure that our clients are successful in their marketing advances in ways that we cannot through print. From where I stand, digital analytics provide an unmistakable lead over feedback sourced from non-digital sources. After all, the digital is immediate, it is targeted, it is ever-evolving. Sure, print has it’s charm, but from the perspective of better business sense, the digital is what will ensure a symbiotic relationship between business success and customer satisfaction.

Links for your enjoyment

  • Laurie Varga

    Hey Andrew, thanks for writing about this fascinating topic and for the pingback.

    While it does seem clear that we can gather loads of intel from out digital marketing efforts, it seems we fall short when it comes to analyzing and interpreting the data. Over time we might improve in this area, though by then glittery new technologies will likely distract us from that task and pull us down a new rabbit hole.

    I’ve seen many people get distracted by analytics when the time would have been better spent actually working on the business.

    It’s not so much that one type of marketing is ultimately superior to another but that a business owner and marketer must carefully consider (and experiment) to determine what options are best for that business. It could be digital, it could be print, it could be events, a combination of all three or it could be exclusively word-of-mouth, as is the case with my own business.