Former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, famously said in a 2008 Washington Post interview that “there will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.” We still have about 4 more years to see that is true so he might be right, but print media is not dead.

We live in the information age where everything is digital and everything is tracked. This is no great revelation to anybody. Gartner predicts that the mobile advertising market will go from $13 billion in 2013 to $42 billion by 2017. The Motley Fool says that by 2018 the market will hit $95 billion roughly.

Companies everywhere are reshaping their budgets to continue to allocate more and more monies towards digital forms of communication. Any time you see a massive change such as this you have to stop for a moment and ask yourself “am I really responding to my customers needs or am I just following the crowd?”

I think now with so much virtual communication that physicality now matters more. With print marketing and communication being used less it makes sense that it can now be used more effectively than ever before because it stands out. It seems like everything is an arms race to go digital, and rightfully so because that is the shift occurring. However this doesn’t mean abandon ship on print media.

We see print media having value in more concentrated efforts. Long gone are the days of AOL sending me discs every month for 1000 free hours of free “optimized” internet. Print media has lasting value.

My junk mail sits on my kitchen counter top  a lot longer, and gets the occasional flip through while the wife and I cook dinner versus the pop up ad on my phone that I rush to close out of because it’s taking up space on my screen. Virtual ads disappear into cyberspace, while print ads will tend to stay in my home longer. Is it just me or does everyone else actually find something I get in the mail to be more credible than the ads in my app? I can’t pin point why, but just the look and feel of a tangible item immediately feels more legitimate to me than the ad on my devices. Also, call me crazy, but I will actually read my junk mail to a degree versus the less than a nanosecond I give the ad on my devices before I rush to close it.

There are even more distinct reasons why print still holds value. It’s not a dead medium. In fact there is a lot of evidence to suggest the success rates of print media is greater than its digital counterpart. A funny stat I read the other day claims that you have better odds of  surviving a plane crash than you do of clicking on a banner ad. I don’t know how sound the research is, but I don’t think it’s far off. I never click on online ads. In fact, Smart Insights did a study and it revealed that click through rates on ads in the U.S. was 0.1%. Think about that for a moment. There is nothing in life that any of us would ever pay any amount of money for with knowing that our likelihood for success was 0.1%, and yet we do it every day with our marketing dollars. Again, are you responding to the needs of your customers or are you just following the crowd?

The bottom line is I am not advocating to drop everything and shift all of your marketing to print, but don’t dismiss it either. Take advantage while the crowd isn’t paying attention. The best way to market your company is to use multiple channels. Print media, with the proper layout and design, can still hit your target audience with a greater deal of success than a lot of different digital campaigns, and often times can send a more compelling message and call to action to do business with you.

If you’re thinking about getting into the print space let us help you. With the proper design and marketing message it can a very effective tool to help impact your business.