A place for print?

I’ve been ‘in the market’ for a nice bit of print recently – as both a consumer and a creator.

I’m getting more briefs for copy for print items this year than in the previous three years combined. I’ve also recently bought a new car, and a new car brochure is almost as good to touch and feel as the car itself – almost!

So, it got me thinking: Even though it might seem as though all of our communications are online and digital these days, is there still a place for print? I think there is. And then I thought a bit more about where, when and why this might be…

  1. Protection of your brand and appearance

Ultimately you can’t control how anyone perceives your brand if they are viewing it with their own kit. You can control what you put out there, but you can never control how it is received. You can have a little bit more influence on this if you produce a hard copy, printed item, as you’re not reliant on anyone’s connection speed, screen quality or other techno-factors. If brand protection and appearance is really important then maybe a select range of printed marketing material is the best choice. Of course, you can still never control the reaction or feelings someone has, but you stand more of a chance if you are clever and professional with what you say, and how you say it…

  1. Perusing information and appraisal

Buying a car is a major purchase so I took my time and enjoyed the process. Yes, I did a lot of looking online and requesting brochures straight into my inbox. I love the immediacy of it, but I love the feel of flicking through a brochure (and if I’m really honest, I love the smell of a freshly printed piece of gloss!) even more. Even if what you’re selling or promoting isn’t such a major outlay as a car, then still have a think about the ‘peruse-ability’ of your marketing material – on and offline.

  1. Preference and age of your audiences

Are you wanting to reach people above or below a certain age? Do you know their preferences and how they go about finding more about anything they’d like to watch, buy, visit or do?  Where will people be looking, and finding, your information and messages? And where will you be ready to hand it over when they do? If you know that they’re going to be looking in the right place online – because of your clever digital marketing campaign and savvy social media skills – then a website or targeted email campaign is the best option. But if you know that they’re going to be browsing for information in the racks of the real world then a leaflet, flyer, poster or postcard might be worth considering, too…

  1. Pitching your offer and accessibility

Some of the work I’ve been doing for my client has been to support a field sales team, targeting a very specific audience in the retail and healthcare sector. The people they want to reach are busy people who are dealing with customers and running a business all day so anytime spent with a salesperson is limited and valuable. A presentation on an iPad or an email with a link to visit to find out more just won’t cut through the clutter and cacophony they experience day-to-day. They get a limited amount of time to talk face-to-face and then have to leave something behind that sums up their offer and invite them to find out more. Printed leaflets and brochures are the way to do this. I can’t see this changing in the next five years, at least.

  1. Permanence and aesthetics

A printed item just feels as though it’s designed to be around for a bit longer than an email or a web page, doesn’t it? Quality and cost are paramount, which is why I only work with the best in the business, and some of my recent partners have included Duran Creative and File Click Print. The environment is top of my list as well, which is why I’ll always recommended recycled and recyclable stock.

I hope you’ve found this useful. Please do post below if you’ve got any comments or questions.

And if you’d like to talk more about how I can help you with your words, and produce printed items that really work for you, please drop me a line.

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