Friday, January 24, 2014

Online and Print: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly? (*Plus a Throwback Video*)

Some self-appointed experts proclaim there's a vast difference between the brave new digital world and more traditional media like print. Although there are obvious differences in the way messages are delivered, fundamentally there are more similarities than it may seem.

At the core, it all revolves around communication. We are still trying to communicate the same things with digital and print media:

Persuading recipients to open our communication

Encouraging people to read our relevant messages

Convincing our target market to believe the point we are trying to get across

Driving people to take action on our message

There's no denying that the Internet has changed how we communicate. However, it would be a mistake to believe that digital should completely replace message delivery methods like print. As studies have shown, most people trust print more than email and social media. Anyone can send out a tweet, blast an email, or publish a Facebook post, but only legitimate businesses will invest the time and necessary resources to create a print campaign.

It's interesting to note the trends with many online retailers and other Internet-based businesses using print advertising to drive visitors and sales to their websites. Even Google uses direct mail.

Online and print work well together when there's a solid strategy in place.

There are some unfortunate side effects of the digital age too:

  1. SPAM: I'm sure you've noticed the exponential increase of spam and junk aimed at you - whether you're a businesses owner or not! The low cost barrier to entry has encouraged irrelevant messages to fill inboxes and clog the Internet with useless information. It turns out there is - ironically - a cost to free.
  2. TMI (Too Much Information): The other negative side effect of digital delivery and the Internet has been to give equal footing to the useless and the idiotic. Some things just don't need your attention, but because there is so much information in the digital world, it makes the job of having your messages stand out even more difficult. Be honest with yourself here: How many times have you gone online to do some serious research and gotten "sidetracked" by an ad or some silly article or game? Huge time waster, right? It happens.

Whether you're writing an email, a web page, or social media posts, it's a struggle to be seen and heard above the massive onslaught of junk and spam in the digital wasteland of today. Ironically, the new additional marketing mediums of today have made it much harder - not easier - to get your message across, from a sales perspective.

Despite the issues, digital is here to stay. But print is not going away either. There are strengths for both mediums. Smart businesses and marketers know that for any campaign to work as well as it can, there must be a combination of print and digital. 

Using print and digital together is a lot like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sure, you can have one without the other, but it tastes a lot better when you combine the two.

* Some people even get a little wild and throw bananas into the PB + J equation. Remember that video from 8 or 9 years ago that went viral? Yeah, we're bringin' it back. *

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133

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