Print For Marketing: A Comeback in 2011

With the advent of digital print, many have predicted the demise of traditional print and a trend towards the digital experience. Not so, says Joe Pulizzi, founder of the content matching site Junta42. According to his latest blog posting, marketers and agencies are talking up print for 2011. Joe lists many opportunities for the marketer, as well as reasons that there might still be a role for print:

1. Getting Attention: The decrease in magazines and print newsletters means the quantity of your mail is shrinking. Since there is less mail, that means more attention is paid to each piece.

2. Customer Retention: Historically, the reason custom print magazines and newsletters were developed by brands was for customer retention purposes. Since marketers are all about customer retention when it comes to content marketing outside of basic brand awareness, you have a fit here.

3. No Audience Development Cost: Publishers have to spend huge amounts of time and money qualifying subscribers, marketers do not. If marketers want to distribute a magazine to their customers, they just use their customer mailing list.

4. What’s Old is New Again: What excites marketers and media buyers is what is NOT being done. Since social media, online content and iPad apps are all part of the marketing mix today, reverting to print is “something new in the marketing mix.”

5. Customers Still Need to Ask Questions: Joe says that “the print vehicle is still the best medium on the planet for thinking outside the box and asking yourself tough questions based on what you read. It’s lean back versus lean forward. If you want to challenge customers, print is a viable option.”

6. Print Still Excites People: Many people perceive the printed word as more credible than anything printed on the web.

7. Unplug: More and more people are choosing to disconnect themselves from digital media.

According to Shachar Meron, marketing guru and copywriter at BatesMeron Sweet Design, print as it pertains to marketing and communications will re-surge going forward, but will be permanently transformed. He posits that cheaply printed materials used primarily to convey information (newspapers, etc.) are on their way out and high-quality, high-impact marketing pieces are in. Since printed materials cost more to produce than digital items, there will be an increase in usage by high-value brands who take advantage of benefits unique to tangible pieces: special papers, sizes, formats, foldings, die-cuts and printing techniques.

This is seconded by Kassia Krozser, who says that user experience is – after the content of the book – the most important place for publishing types to focus attention.

Print for 2011 will be all about impact, quality and reach. As consumers tire of digital interruption in their lives, marketers will gravitate towards print again to grab their attention.

(photo courtesy of Spike Print Studio – Spike Island)