The Future of Print Marketing

September 5, 2013

Credit: Image by Stuart Miles/

Credit: Image by Stuart Miles/

OK, so by now we can all agree that print isn’t dead … at least not yet, right? I mean, print is a big beast, and will die a slow death for lack of purpose. At least, that’s what many proponents of the digital age preach. But it’s time for digital pundits to step down from the pulpit and be baptized in reality. Print is not dead. Print will never die. The problem with so many “print is dead” assumptions is the belief that print can’t be repurposed. The fact is that print now has more meaningful purpose than ever before. Print has served as the world’s primary marketing tool for five centuries. It’s also served as the world’s primary informational tool. The digital age has swept in and all but eliminated the need (if not the desire) for hardcopy books and purely informational literature, and “big data” has created incredibly targeted and effective digital marketing opportunities. There are no more print encyclopedias, and online marketing has taken a mighty role in the world of advertising. These are the reasons misguided people believe print is dying a slow death. I’ll give them that print marketing is no longer needed. No question about it. And there’s the rub: for 500 years, print was needed. It was expected. It was, as they say, business as usual. But now the digital age had relieved print of the burden of delivering all required information. And when it comes to marketing, creatives no longer have to tell the whole story. They only have to intrigue, to create desire, to motivate response. Sure, these have long been goals of print marketing, but now print marketing doesn’t have to shoulder the task of doing everything. Thus, printed marketing materials can focus on a single purpose for a single target audience – and let the digital collateral take care of the rest. The digital age isn’t killing print marketing. It’s liberating it. And there’s more. Since print marketing is no longer needed, it is more powerful. It is unexpected. It is noticed. Print marketing is unbound by square screens. It has texture and shape. It is an object, as we’ll cover below. The printed material can convey information that design and copy cannot. It tells its own story, and it makes customers feel special. Because now, print marketing is special. It’s no secret that younger generations believe more in the power of print marketing than older generations. There’s a reason for this. Big data isn’t putting print to rest, it’s revitalizing it by allowing print marketing to take advantage of the best demographic targeting the world has ever seen – and it’s only getting better. Companies that want to differentiate themselves and make their audience feel special will turn to print marketing. And a lot of companies want to do that. Like, all of them. That’s why the future of print marketing is so bright. For a more in-depth look at some of these concepts and the reasons print marketing is here to stay, check out this sweet Slideshare presentation by Sudhir Pandey:

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.