Unique Benefits, Creative Uses Mean New Life for Print
If you read all the “print is dead” doom and gloom, you might think it’s a bad time to be in the printing business or to be printing anything. Truth is, the self-proclaimed experts who constantly trumpet that fact have a vested interest in promoting that point of view. What they don’t have is all the facts.
Has the landscape changed? Certainly it has as it always does and that goes for every media channel and every industry and business. Did cable TV impact network TV? Did the Internet change radio? Did cars have any impact on horses as transportation? Yet TV, and radio (and horses for that matter) are still very much here. So is the print media, and will be for years to come as today’s entrepreneurs discover its unique advantages.
The most exciting thing I’ve seen recently was an article on CNN. It talked about an interesting phenomena…new magazines. Yes, beautiful, four-color, quality-stock magazines are being launched. These magazines are being sold or distributed not by traditional publishing conglomerates, but by online retailers as part of their overall marketing and customer relationship strategies.
Digital Is “Now”…Print Adds “Wow”
Two of the businesses referenced in the article, menswear startup Frank and Oak and e-commerce women’s fashion site Net-a-Porter, are using their new magazines to connect on a deeper level with their customers. The magazines permit more engaging storytelling, interviews with influential figures, and beautiful photography of a diverse range of merchandise and lifestyle imagery.
By taking their message to a different format and rendering it in a dramatically different way, they connect with a broader range of prospects and present their product lines in the best possible light. Rather than advertising in a traditional magazine, they have chosen a route in which they control the content and topics, and deliver them with an arresting “coffee table book” kind of appeal.
Well-known travel industry phenom Airbnb has also launched a quarterly magazine that will highlight three cities in each issue. The company sees it as a way to reinforce its brand, but more importantly to encourage people to appreciate the things to do and people to see in many different places, in short, to travel.
Clearly, print has plenty to offer. These new magazines aren’t the only evidence of print’s staying power, of course. It’s no surprise that as marketers find that people are quick to delete and avoid the blizzard of email efforts targeted to them each day, direct mail is growing in popularity. (In fact, research shows that they are twice as likely to read a direct mail message as compared to an email.) Interesting also, a study by our friends over at TwoSidesna.org shows that a large majority of people would still rather read things on paper than from a screen.
Effective Marketing Efforts Give Print a Prominent Place
We don’t have our heads in the sand. There’s no question that print isn’t the only game in town these days, but there’s also no question that the most effective marketing efforts give print a prominent place. It can do things no other medium can. And fortunately for all of us, today’s smart marketers are beginning to remember that fact. Why not give me a shout? I’d love the chance to talk with you, and strategize some ways it can add an important dimension to your marketing program.
In the meantime, take a look at my post on 10 Tips for a Successful Direct Mail Campaign and have a great work week and an even better weekend.