The Power of Print

The Unique Qualities of Print Will Always Be Appealing    
The other day I received something increasingly rare – an actual Christmas card, made of paper and delivered to my mailbox (the one on my front porch). It was interesting to note how that “real” card gave me a greater sense of appreciation and connection than other seasonal greetings I have received electronically. It just felt more genuine and thoughtful and, well… real.

Despite all the speed and convenience of electronic communication, there’s still nothing like holding something made of paper. Be it a book, a brochure or a greeting card, people love the feeling of the stock, the visual flourishes of foils and varnishes, the tactile delight of embossing, and even the smell of the ink. There’s even a certain something to the sound of a page being turned. That means that a printed piece can engage four of your senses (five on a dare). Let’s see a PDF do that!

Some proclaim that print is dead. That print is ineffective, old-fashioned and irrelevant.

In fact, printed materials done right, with compelling content and striking design, are very powerful. The key is to recognize the strengths of print and to incorporate it effectively into an integrated marketing plan. A print ad can direct people to your social media pages, and direct mail flyers and catalogs can drive traffic to your website.

You can even use web analytics to gauge the effectiveness of a print campaign. If your website experiences a spike in visits immediately after the publication of a newspaper ad or the delivery of a direct mail piece, you can validate that your print efforts have been successful.

No doubt, given the business I’m in, I have a bias. But I love a well done annual report and will always pay attention to an attractive magazine ad, and I suspect many of you are the same. People will always respond to the unique qualities of print. The challenge lies in using its power to best advantage in today’s increasingly complex media universe.

Now I’m going to go and write some real Christmas cards. By hand. With a pen.