Print marketing is adapting for the 21st century in new and interesting ways, and some of its classic features still cannot be replicated by its digital counterpart.

Despite the rise of digital marketing, print marketing is still hugely important to businesses all over the world for many reasons, new and traditional. Here are 5 ways print marketing is adapting to be as effective in the modern era.

1 – Print marketing makes customers feel

Touch screens are being incorporated into marketing campaigns, but touching a screen can never have the same impact as touching something real. Printed materials like business cards with embossing, foil and 3D elements at exhibitions have proven extremely popular, even in the world of virtual reality and iPads.

When it comes to business cards, print doesn’t even need to innovate to stay ahead of its digital competitor. Paper business cards are familiar and trusted, whereas digital business cards are still fiddly and complicated.

Veteran marketeer Vladimir Gendelman has found that targeting all five senses is the best way to make customers remember your brand. As digital OOH (digital out-of-home) experts Rewind say, evolving advertising and marketing techniques that involve the senses are more likely to engage audiences, enhance dwell time, and provide a personal and more meaningful user experience.

Printing in blue

2 – Print is becoming more meaningful

With the emergence of computer-based design tools like Adobe Photoshop and Affinity Designer, modern designs have often been geared towards the online world. However, this emphasis on digital formats sometimes leads to design choices that don’t hold up in print. form. Print is modern because it is digital. Digital design has is often tired and unimaginative. To compete with flashy digital techniques, print is playing up its real world elements like non-synthesised colours. The physicality of print posters is more meaningful and less transitory than digital. You can click an ‘x’ to make a close a digital advertisement, but a printed image is a part of the physical landscape.

Designing for print and digital, with all these things in mind, can be very different experiences. Therefore this print design guide from Ro-Am Posters can help you learn all you need to know about creating designs for all kinds of print formats.

3 – Print has more influence over ‘influentials’

The MRI Survey of the American Consumer recently found that ‘influentials’ (consumers who sway other consumers to make purchases) are heavily influenced by print media. Despite their frequent use of the internet and other digital media, the key demographic of 18-24 year old influencers are likely to be influenced by magazines and newspapers, and according to Conde Nast, they are reading more magazines than ever.

According to a Media Post survey of American consumers, magazine advertising is the second most influential form of advertising behind only TV, and crucially above online advertising. This suggests that even though we spend a lot of our lives online, we don’t necessarily take the adverts we see there too seriously, and sometimes print can still do it better.

4 – Print is more practical

Though digital displays now dominate our lives, there are some occasions when a screen just can’t match print. Giant screens may line the walls of Piccadilly Circus and Times Square, but these screens are so expensive to run and put up that using them anywhere else is just impractical. For the average business that wants to get a message across on a larger scale, whether it be at a convention, exhibition or on the street, printed posters are still the way to go.

5 – Print is more affordable

On a related note, when a campaign needs something like a billboard or poster that could be accomplished by print or digital, print is always the cheaper option, without necessarily being less effective.

As this comparison shows, print billboards do have many advantages over their LED cousins. They cause much less damage to the environment; they display your message solidly, without switching to other advertisements; and all of this comes at a much lower price.

Even things like business cards or brochures are cheaper than digital business cards or apps. And as we have seen, the print versions actually have more sway over customers, meaning if you’re targeting the right people, print is much more cost-effective.

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