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Print vs. Digital

Over the past decade, digital communication’s exponential rise has left print media out in the cold. Mutters of “print is dead” and “everything is digital now” might lead people to assume that print media is, well, dead. But is this really the case? The argument that digital has superseded print over-simplifies the psychology of the way people engage with your brand. While digital has the potential to immediately connect you to existing and global audiences, print engages customers in a more tactile way.

When it comes to designing consistent and memorable brand experiences, both print and digital platforms need to be utilised. Research by JWT shows that over 50% of millennials would prefer for print to remain a significant factor in their lives, even in the face of ever-increasing digitisation. They love printed pieces because physical media are more conducive to deep reading. While this applies most readily to books, the tangible connection established with all sorts of printed information is important, says JWT.

Despite the notion that print is dead, research shows Australian retailers are still spending approximately $1.5 billion annually producing catalogues. Catalogues equate to roughly 60 percent of retailers’ advertising budgets. With your more tactile consumers satiated, you can take your catalogue online to look after the more digitally-minded. PDFs or small, specific websites which create an interactive experience with your product are a great solution. Avoid page turning animations at all costs. Combining these two approaches gives your customers a chance to have a powerful, immersive experience with their preferred media.

There’s no question that digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are the easiest, quickest ways to connect with your customers. But how can we integrate social media with print? If your social media content strategy is consistent with your brand’s imagery and tone of voice, which is further executed through all print media, creating synergy between the two mediums is easier than you think. In print, referencing hashtags, handles, and iconography through good design calls your audience to action. It offers them a chance to pick up their device and spend more time connecting to your brand or buying your product.

When it comes to determining how to balance print and digital, your marketing budget should not be the decider. Designing an experience that is relevant to all customers must bring both print and digital into play. Knowing your audience, their behaviours and wants is the key to finding that perfect balance.