Monday, 10 October 2016

Is Print Relevant in the Mobile World?


However, printed paper is still being used everywhere. This blog takes look at the way printed media is strongly moving forward at a time when mobile devices are dominating the business world. 

According to International Data Corporation  mobile sales have increased by 13% with 341.5 million shipments in the 2nd quarter of 2015 . Printed media volumes have without doubt been affected by this mobile revolution and industry analysts believe that this trend would surely kill printed media. Mobile devices have replaced printed paper in lots of areas. 

However, printed media is still alive and is strongly moving ahead. According to a survey conducted by Document Solutions Company Nitro, 99% of employees review documents on printed paper at some point in time. 

Why do we still print?
People still print in a world with mobile devices for various important reasons. How much relevance each of the following reasons holds can be debated but all of them give paper a place next to mobile devices.

Engaging
While browsing the content of a webpage, most people skim through the page in 10-20 seconds. However, printed marketing material keeps readers more engaged. If the design is attractive and the content is informative, people tend to read through it and even keep it with them for further reference. To discard the material, readers have to put in some effort as well. 

Legibility
Paper documents are more legible and easier to read. This is especially true with long documents. Medical studies report that reading long documents on a computer monitor strains your eyes. It also causes fatigue and stiffness. 


Portability
Printed documents offer portability to readers. You can take them wherever you go. While it is possible to carry digital documents on a tab or a laptop, not everyone has this luxury.

Quality
A digital document is no match to a printed material when it comes to quality and appearance. Based on the type of paper and ink, print materials acquire elegance and style.
When you hand over an attractive brochure to a potential customer, it creates a huge impact on the reader.

Tangibility
Being a physical thing, a printed document can be touched or felt. This physical presence makes a huge impact on the readers. It brings more authenticity to the company branding. Moreover, printed materials stay for days and months in houses and offices, acting as a
convenient reminder. This is in contrast to digital notes which disappear within seconds behind windows and in various Apps.

Transferability
A printed document can be easily shared with others. Imagine you attend an event and meet new prospects. Instead of asking them to email you or visit your company website, it is easy and effective to hand over an attractive brochure or a flyer. You also don’t have to worry about whether the document you are looking at on your device looks as good on another device. If the recipient can read and understands your language a printed document will work without compromises.

Visibility
At times, you need to simultaneously check multiple documents to find specific information. This becomes difficult while working on a computer. Printed documents allow you to easily cross check multiple documents.

Annotatability
It is easier to make annotations on a printed page when compared to Word or PDF files. You can write in the margins, take notes, underline, highlight or strikeout a piece of content and quickly mark all the changes required.

Engaging
While browsing the content of a webpage, most people skim through the page in 10-20 seconds. However, printed marketing material keeps readers more engaged. If the design is attractive and the content is informative, people tend to read through it and even keep it with them for further reference. To discard the material, readers have to put in some effort as well. 

Bridging the gap between Print and Mobile Digital Media
Mobile devices are not a threat to the printing industry. Businesses can integrate both to achieve better results. For instance, you can place QR codes on the printed paper to create cross media campaigns to engage with your clients and prospects on the many different communication channels. 

For example, when readers scan the QR code, it would take them to your company website or to a specific page that you want them to visit. Or you can use document management so ware to digitise your documents. While digital files can be used online, printed paper serves offline purposes.

Conclusion
It is a proven fact that businesses that adapt changing technologies stay ahead of the competition. Mobile technology is not excluded. Mobile devices are taking over some of the roles that printed paper had but there are many good reasons why people still print. The best strategy is to integrate print and digital media to make the best of both worlds. 

Direct mail is also not dead as this article attests to. It is an important part of the marketing mix that, used intelligently, can produce amazing returns on you marketing investment. 

Yes, your data lists need to be accurate, your content relevant, your offer attractive and call to action clear and easy to do, but direct mail works.

If you need any help or advice in delivering direct mail campaigns and integrating them with your mobile marketing and CRM systems give me a call on 0333 012 4867 or email me at ian@ribbleprint.co.uk

P.S. Just one last thought. Despite our apparent reliance on our digital devices the number of new magazines being published is increasing , so maybe print is more relevant than we think.

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