Digital vs. Print: Which One Will Save Your Marketing in 2015?

Posted by: Katherine Halek

In today’s business world, the name of the game is staying relevant — not an easy thing to do when the top trends and desired skills are constantly changing. Which medium will better promote your relevance and keep your sales from stagnating: digital or print?

Is Print Promotion Even Relevant Anymore?

Superficially, it looks like electronic media is preparing to replace print for good. A closer look reveals that print hasn’t yielded; it has instead shown new potential in the arena of promotion that it might never have developed without the digital age. This is useful information for marketers, who often have to evolve one step ahead of the current trends.

Emerging trends in millennial marketing include, for example:

Research by JWT shows that over 50% of millennials would prefer for print to remain a significant factor in their lives, even in the face of ever-increasing digitization. They love printed pieces because physical media are more conducive to deep reading. While this applies most readily to books, the tangible connection established with all sorts of printed information is important to almost eighty percent of millennials, says JWT.

Promoting your business through print is a convenient and tangible way for millennials to acquaint themselves with your product or service. Thus, it is a perfect time to refine your own print sensibilities such that you appeal to millennials without excluding other mediums.

How Can I Keep My Digital Promotions from Looking Just Like Everyone Else’s?

While print is an often-overlooked secret weapon for many marketers, millennials are still very much plugged in to the minutest shift in online trends. Being trend-savvy is good for showing your awareness of the current market and ability to identify what people are responding to. However, trends can sour quickly, and yesterday’s hot topic can become tomorrow’s joke. Make your online promotional efforts both timeless and fashionable with these tips:

  • Make sure your personal social networking accounts are such that you are proud to have people associate them with your company. Drunken antics or long political tirades will reflect poorly on you if people can easily trace your company’s online footprint back to your personal interactions.
  • Know that your branding requires long-term commitment and consistency.
  • Promote yourself tactfully, and go for genuine engagement. Show interest in others instead of humblebragging about yourself and your company.
  • Find out the best practices for the social sites you use and implement them wherever you can. Specific tips for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may help.

At the end of the day, being cool and trendy is a little overrated. Originality is more likely to be remembered.

What Will Make Me Stand Out?

All of your promotional efforts should show how you can add value to the lives of those who patronize your business. While you already know you would be an asset to your customers, sometimes the savvy consumer needs a little more persuasion:

  • Lifelong learning isn’t just for academics, so urge your department and company to stay relevant by educating themselves on various markets.
  • Make sure your business as a whole can connect with customers who speak more than one language. This will make you more potentially useful in international settings. If you already have multilingual personnel, promote that fact!
  • Prove that no one on your team is a one-trick pony by having everyone develop multiple skills common in your industry. Gaining an aptitude for something new makes you exactly the kind of contact that clients want — a group of continual learners who are willing to help.

Now that you know some ways to set yourself apart from the crowd, the question remains: should you rely on print or digital means to get the word out that you’re awesome? The answer is yes, actually. Harnessing the strengths of both will give you your best chance at being found and growing your customer base.

Which medium do you prefer? Share your personal promotion experiences with us!

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About Katherine Halek

Katherine Halek is the lead advertising and print strategy advisor at Signazon, leading online printers that provide marketing collateral for thousands of small businesses around the United States. Katherine enjoys writing about retail, entrepreneurship, and...See Katherine's full bio.