Kate Andersen Kate Andersen   |   07.21.21   |   4 min read
Kate Andersen Kate Andersen   |   07.21.21   |   4 min read

Is Print Making a Comeback?

In the race to have the best, most advanced digital marketing, it can be easy to toss aside the tried-and-true medium of print. But take note. Print is like the tortoise to the digital hare, and right now, the reptile is coming in strong and steady. 


As digital devices try to dominate the world, consumers have become bombarded with ads, emails, and online content. For companies who are simply trying to get the word out about their awesome products and services, it's extremely challenging to cut through the noise and connect with the right audiences. This is where print (ever so slyly) comes into play. We believe print is evolving into a medium every business should strongly consider in 2021. Here are a few reasons why.

Print is unobtrusive.


Print is void of the annoying pop-up ads or interrupted news feeds. When you hold a brochure or read a poster, it's automatically a more relaxed form of absorbing information. And in today's digital world full of bells and whistles, this relaxing effect is more apparent (and more appreciated) than ever before. 


Print is tangible.


Digital fatigue is real. Coming off a year filled with zoom calls and online learning, people crave human connection and in-real-life engagements. Many are unplugging from their screens for hours and even days at a time. This includes millennials, who are the largest consumers of print media right now. They simply enjoy holding magazines and engaging with in-store displays in a more tangible, retro-cool way.


Print has good vibes.


Consumers believe print media to be a safer, more trusted medium than its digital counterpart. And, it's not just older audiences who feel this way. Data shows young people implicitly trust print more than digital content. Print comes with legitimacy, credibility, and high standards. It can be quite refreshing to read, given the amount of misleading news, information, and brand reviews online that cause people to question it all. 


Print gets seen.


Did you know the average number of emails in an inbox surpasses 600 per week? That's a ton of mail to sort through. When you compare that to an actual mailbox, which receives just under 20 pieces of printed mail in a week, it's no wonder the direct mail response rate is 37% higher than email marketing.

Direct mail isn't the only form of print media that works. Data shows branding is 185% stronger in print advertising than digital advertising, and readers are 152% more likely to pay attention to print advertising than digital advertising. Also, for a small business with a local reach, print marketing can be highly effective at creating brand recognition. Bottom line: print can turn heads.


Print has a long shelf life. 


A well-designed printed piece has an average shelf life of about two weeks with audiences versus a message in a social post that's relevant for only a few hours. In fact, the average lifespan of one Instagram post is 19 hours and a Facebook post is only 5 hours. 


In addition to a longer shelf life, the retention of information is much greater with print. ​​Studies show people remember information better when it's read on paper versus online because the brain is able to process it easier, thus increasing recall.


Print is a team player.


While print may have high engagement, high recall, and offer a high return on investment, it can be further strengthened with digital efforts. Back to the tortoise and the hare analogy. It's not just a matter of who arrives first. Winning with customers requires having more than one player on the field, each doing their part to tell the full story of your brand. 


For example, a special offer or urgent message may be best shared in a quick digital format, while the history of your company or brand vision might be better savored in a printed piece. Then there's a website, which is a unique animal altogether. A professional site can offer all of the benefits of ‘print' while being served in a digital format. 


Exhaustive market research has shown companies that utilize offline and online marketing see much higher returns and conversions than businesses that rely only on one form of marketing. It can be a powerful combo to pair professionally designed print pieces with your digital efforts. 


Actually, this is one of the reasons we offer more than just websites at Matchstick. We're a creative studio with professional writers and designers who are skilled in all forms of marketing. So, if you're looking for a good partner, give us a call. And if anything else, we hope you take a fresh look at print because it's certainly alive and well!

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Kate Andersen
Kate Andersen: Kate is a creative leader with a talent for writing and passion for helping companies grow. She has spent more than 20 years in advertising helping some of the world's best-known brands. She has an in-depth understanding of how to connect with customers and build loyalty in today's ever-changing digital landscape.