The material appeal of print

Why hasn’t print gone out of fashion? There’s been some talk in the recent past about a “paper-free” future. But the fact is, it just hasn’t happened, and doesn’t seem likely to. As much as the digital has added to our lives in terms of communication and convenience, the fact is, we’re still human. The primary and deepest way humans interact with the world, form relationships, and create lasting memories is through the senses.

There is even a noted digital fatigue phenomenon among those who rely on devices in everyday life. Attention span, the ability to think creatively, and to feel more connected with those around us increases when we get breaks from the digital zone. This is partly why paper and other print materials are still so effective. Not only do sensory objects like brochures and packets create a stronger bond to memory, but also to the emotional, desire, and slow-thinking centers of the brain, where any marketing plan worth its salt knows it has to hit.

The things we touch simply make a more positive brain connection than things we see on a screen. And it gives the screen-addicted brain a break. When it comes to enjoying the colors, feel, and design of a well-crafted object, print materials hold the corner market.

When to hold is when to fold

So much information scrolls past our eyes several hours out of each day, we acclimate to screen life by browsing. So when you want to grab attention quickly, this is where you have to master your digital options. But the main purpose of digital marketing is to nurture a relationship through brief check-ins and calls to action.

There are other times when person-to-person information sharing, lingering, browsing, creative thinking, and slower consideration are what’s needed. In that case, you want to present your information in a medium that is going to hold that sustained, careful attention for a longer time, and is conducive to passing from hand to hand. When you want to hold attention consider the medium you can fold: print marketing materials.

This doesn’t mean of course that you neglect your visual and written hooks to catch attention. But you’re building the same brand, the same messaging, and similar calls to action through that highly relational, highly sensory medium.

Information sharing becomes product placement

Another benefit of print marketing is that wherever it goes, your business goes, too. This may seem obvious, but so obvious its importance is easy to miss. When a prospect or client is finished reading an email or looking at your Instagram feed, that information may go onto the mental “front table,” but once someone clicks out or turns off the phone, it is no longer seen.

Meanwhile, every piece of print marketing you share with a client or prospect can go on a literal front table: of their house, of their office, in the car, etc. Because your messaging will physically remain in a particular place, a great promo packet on a desk or a flyer in the briefcase is like an emissary.

It can be seen by others when the owner is not reading it. It can be returned to for reference and stay top of mind because its very medium is a reminder of its presence. If you do not neglect the commercial printing side of your marketing strategy, information sharing also functions as product placement.

Using print to complement digital

Print also holds a unique place in supporting and complementing your digital marketing efforts. It’s like kneading bread. To do it effectively, you have to work the dough from one angle, then flip it and work it from the opposite angle, back and forth. Digital and print have a similar relationship. The accessible and brief interactions of digital marketing and social media connect to your customers from one angle (convenience, frequency, instant gratification), while at the same time tangible interactions with print marketing connect with them from another angle (sensory appeal, browsing, processing away from screens).

However, though they complement from different angles, the roles of print and digital also interact in creative ways. Print materials, for example, can provide a portal to find more information or answer a call to action, such as reference to a website, an online catalog, a social media handle, or a scannable QR code. Even immovable print materials, such as banners, displays, and posters, can include these digital connection points. Likewise, a digital home base can provide opportunity for prospects to sign up for a mailing list, receive a catalog, or even receive a holiday or birthday greeting by providing their mailing address.

Trust Safeguard

Whether you are guiding from print to digital than from digital to print, the logic is to eventually lead prospects to a personal relationship and your clients to deeper loyalty, no matter where they start from. Commercial printing can make that work. To explore more about what commercial printing can do for your business, contact Safeguard Premier today. Our dependable and attentive team has been making print marketing customers happy for over 15 years. Let us do the same for you.

Tags: ,