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Print is still the 800lb marketing gorilla

Print marketing is dead. Newspapers are finished. Physical books should be used for fuel as we read our Kindles by the light of books’ glowing embers in the fireplace.

I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve heard it all over the years.

But as Public Enemy once rapped, Don’t Believe the Hype. (For further effect you can click to play this tune while you read.)

Print isn’t going away

Advertisers and agencies just have to look at the numbers.

I was recently looking for some statistics on an unrelated topic when I stumbled across What I found reaffirmed what I’ve been telling clients (and friends and family) for a long time now. Print is a medium for the ages. And still has a unique place as an industry.

Print isn’t going away. Advertisers and agencies just have to look at the numbers. #marketing Click To Tweet

Because despite what you might have heard, the Print Industry is as strong – if not stronger  – than it’s ever been. When I attended this year’s Graph Expo in Orlando one of the staggering stats that stood out for me was that while manufacturing as a whole contracted by 1.5% last year, print actually grew by 1.5%!

Canadians continue to prefer their bills delivered by mail. Direct mail also has a higher perceived value to recipients over digital communications. And DM is second only to TV advertising for ad spend in the US. The election DM fundraising machine has been madness: This could give some scale to election direct mail. I recently read a resume of a former Obama fundraising consultant who worked on a small team that mailed 1800 projects in 2 months in 2012 with nearly 100 million mail pieces. That’s not from this election but it helps demonstrate the size of the effort — even amid one of the most successful online fundraising campaigns ever conducted by a Presidential candidate.

Print is still the dominant player

The Global Print Industry is worth a staggering $898 billion dollars annually. And it drives $3.8 trillion dollars in related business every year.

Compare that to online advertising which generates $133 billion annually.

That’s still a big number. And I’m not about to tell people that they should divert resources 100% from digital to print. Indeed, over the last year I’ve been very clear that the best way to get in front of an audience is to break down the silo and integrate your online and offline marketing.

Just the other week there was an article in that asked the question, “What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?”

The story focussed on a study written by H. Iris Chyi  that made a good case for what a colossal failure the newspaper industry’s move to digital had been over the last decade.

There is a parallel that can be drawn between the newspaper experience and that of the marketing world. And it’s this — you don’t simply scrap investments in time-tested technologies just because a shiny new entrant comes along and promises you the world.

The tactile experience that comes from a well-crafted piece of print marketing is something that still delivers. And when you augment that proven delivery mechanism with an equally creative online experience then you have a recipe for success.

Do you want to learn more?  Canada Post is delivering a session on their SmartMail Marketing at the DIA meeting this coming Wednesday evening (October 26) in Vaughan, ON.

If you are still on the fence about investing in a campaign that integrates some form of physical mail piece, I’d like to speak to you.

Did you see this?

Canada Post white paper shows the relationship between direct mail and online marketing using neuroresearch.

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