Now if you know who I am, or who International Minute Press, you know that I am in the print business. And because of that, you may very well think that I am going to spend the next 1,000 words (yes there really are 1000 words in this article) explaining that print is not dead. But that is just not true, you see, I will be the first to admit that Print is changing, and YES, some areas of print are dying.
I know the print business inside and out; my father has owned a print shop since I was 5 years old. He hired me for the first time at age 10, for $2 an hour. I started really working for him, doing door to door sales at age 15, then he hired me full time as a graphic artist. I learned the business from the perspective of a graphic artist. I am now the Marketing director at International Minute Press and the first thing I will tell you is that print companies who are learning, improving and innovating are growing. However, print shops that are still trying to sell the same print that your Grandpa used… well they are dying.
The areas of print that are dying.
Areas of print like phone books, text book, newspapers, and magazines have seen a huge decline. These are the areas of print that have been replaced by screens. You should be glad to see this innovation because you can now you no longer have to lug large books to college classes. An entire corner of your house or office is not taken over by a precariously tall stack of phone books. There are also disadvantages to having these categories of print move to digital platforms, and the biggest disadvantage is most prevalent in newspapers.
Print is a much more permanent thing than a website. Because print is so permanent, and a direct representation of your company, there is always and editing process. In a newspaper, this looks like have multiple levels of editors, fact checkers, and experts making sure that the articles that end up at people’s doors are accurate, easily understood, and well written. With a blog, often times the only “editor” is a tool named spell check. This means that when we make large decisions like what president to vote for, or what stocks to invest in, we may be doing so with information that has no validity.
What does this mean for the rest of print?
When you publish something in print, like a newsletter or ad, vs. publish the same work digitally. Your viewer, very possibly your potential customer, respects and believes the information or offer much more when it is print. Here is that data that brings me to that conclusion; In its response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) analyzed Bizo and Epsilon data and found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email. Overall, the DMA found that direct mail's response rates are actually anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital (DMA, 2016). The interesting part is the since 2012, the response rate to Direct mail is increasing, whereas the response rate to email is decreasing (DMA, 2016)
What that means is that when you mail an offer to someone’s house, and they get to hold the offer, write on the offer, and keep the offer in a stack on their desk. People are more likely to responding to the offer (buying your product or service) than if you send an email to them with the exact same offer. And it is a massive difference.
So, what it really comes down to is that print is changing. But far from dead, I get direct mail offers at my business from Google and Amazon. If the biggest marketing brains in the world see the value in print, then don’t you may not want to listen to that 20 something year old “marketing expert” who’s blog you read, telling you that you should spend all of your marketing dollars digitally.