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Print in the Digital Age

 

In today’s hyper-connected digital world, where attention spans are short and every Tom, Dick and Harry is a self-confessed online publisher, getting yourself noticed and creating the right impression is no mean feat. Having a great website, creating a personality for your business on social networking sites, and making yourself easily accessible to customers online, has become a top marketing priority for many businesses today.

And yes, if you don’t have an online presence you will ultimately be missing a vital slice of the marketing pie. However, let us take a step back for a minute and remember our good old friend – humble print media. From print ads, brochures and flyers, to business cards and letterheads – the importance of print in the digital era, must not be overlooked.

Print media still provides an effective, and altogether powerful way of getting your message across. Whilst many see the arrival of e-mags, social media and phone apps as a threat to traditional print publishing, these advancements in technology should be seen as an opportunity to get creative and really push the boundaries of print.

A well though out print ad, with a striking image, and clever-copy, has the power to cut through the digital chaos and promote a strong marketing message. Whereas digital marketing often requires people to ‘tune in’ and engage by liking a Facebook page, reading a blog post, or following a brand on Twitter; an appropriately placed print ad, on the other hand, needs little extra involvement from the consumer, it can be easily digested and quickly get a message across.

And not just advertising, but having good marketing collateral too – a swish looking brochure, product manual, whitepaper or company flyer, is a great way to build a strong brand and image for your company. It is tangible marketing, something ‘real’ that people can keep hold of.

Plus, advancements in technology mean the quality of the finished product has improved. Technological advancement has brought with it far more intelligent design software, graphics tablets, faster, more powerful computers and better quality printers. Now a simple flyer can have a quality, high-end look and feel.

Print is not simply being replaced by digital, but the two have to work alongside one another. Print can be a powerful portal to your online world with links to your website, social media or phone app. Nowadays 85% of people will research a company or product online before buying and with the advent of smartphones, iPads, and tablet computers, the digital response to a print ad can be instant.

One of RONIN Marketing's client’s, Kitchen and Bedroom Transformations (KABT), provides a great example of how to integrate offline print with the digital world. Whilst KABT is no stranger to social media and online marketing, the company recognises the need for good printed collateral too. A brochure we recently designed reflects the personality and ethos behind the company and provides the online consumer with something tangible to request from the website. A-boards designed to be placed outside KABT’s shop front and current projects, as well as a van wrap, provide a visual portal to the website and links to social media, so anyone driving or walking past can instantly go online and connect with the company through multiple channels. Digital and print needs to not only communicate with the consumer, but communicate with each other.

When delivering a marketing campaign, it is not enough to think solely about how a design will work offline, it is important to consider how your messages, images and branding will work across multiple platforms – be it digital or print. Print still holds a very powerful place in an effective and integrated marketing campaign and utilising it to its best advantage in an increasingly digital world requires strategy, insight and well-thought through design. Sound like a challenge? That’s where we can help.