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Print vs Digital. Dead or alive?

The unstoppable growth in digital media in recent years has meant businesses have had to keep pace with advancing tech platforms in order to keep consumers engaged.

It seemed for a while that print media had been completely engulfed by the digital boom, but despite the huge consumer demand, the inherent need for print means that commercially, there is a place for both, and businesses now have the luxury of being able to maximise their impact across both print and digital mediums.

A quick hit

The digital age has meant that attention spans have reduced; consumers crave quick hits and an immediate information stream, short bursts of engaging content straight to their mobile devices. They skim, taking in facts at speed while scanning the screen for pop ups, adverts, videos etc. and absorb it all without any clear focus. For businesses, it’s a great way to share content to dedicated social media platforms and networks, being flexible and accessible to an immediate and lucrative audience. It’s easy to gather feedback through likes and shares and helps businesses to optimise their message more effectively, obtaining a better understanding of what is working using digital analytics.

A coffee and time to relax

Print media is the antitheses of the fast-paced digital platform but it’s not just about sweeping the cat aside to pore over the Sunday paper in peace. It remains a strong source of messaging in all its forms and still maintains its own niche of readers. People engage with printed material in a different way to digital; flyers, magazines, books, catalogues, something tangible, something they can read in their own time and with fewer distractions. There is a big difference between an e-shot and a flyer or a downloadable PDF and the actual printed brochure. Print helps to bring the brand to life in a much more tangible and often impactful way; a classy something printed on great quality paper automatically reflects the calibre of the brand in a way that digital just can’t and, more importantly, it doesn’t just disappear at the click of a button.

A perfect blend

Working with both print and digital creates a huge opportunity to reach customers across the whole media platform. As an example, magazines are still on the shelves but now combine the tangible publication with the digital trend and offer online versions of the publications to read on mobile devices, covering all readership opportunities. Ultimately, businesses can now offer a rounded communication strategy by combining print and digital. We need to embrace this rather than relying on one if we are to maximise our potential for effective brand awareness and customer engagement for both the short and long-term.

So, in practice, it’s more a case of Print + Digital rather than having to choose a side.


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