Is Print Really Dead?

How many obituaries do we have to read proclaiming that print is dead? I call BS on that, and here’s why.

No matter where you look, print is everywhere. You see it all day long, from the moment you wake up in the morning – it’s on everything from your tube of toothpaste, to the cup of coffee you bought on your way to work.  Pretty much every item you encounter in your daily life has print on the label, the box, or the instructions. You can’t avoid it!

For well over three decades I’ve been hearing about the paperless office, and while it’s an interesting idea, it doesn’t fully reflect the reality of how businesses actually operate. Granted, you can email an invitation, a brochure, or a newsletter, but print delivers more, and I can prove it.

We had a client call us in a panic. After months and months of advertising, marketing, public relations – all digital – seats remained unsold for an event. Obviously this was a huge cause for concern. The client called us and said that they needed postcards, thousands of them, as quickly as possible. So Stafford Printing produced some snazzy postcards that could be returned without a stamp . . . and suddenly the responses flooded in. Within the first week there was a 3% response rate from prospects saying that they wanted to buy seats, at an average price of $1,000. With an anticipated conversion rate of 10% – meaning one out of every 10 respondents will purchase – a minimum of $100,000 in revenue is anticipated on a campaign that cost $19,000 to produce. It will be interesting to see the final numbers . . . but print came through in a pinch to generate revenue for the client.

The key to the program was a targeted audience. This was not a shotgun approach, but rather a purchased list identifying demographics that would be interested in the product.

Print isn’t dead; it’s just being utilized differently. The value of print is not only that it’s beautiful, but that it can evolve along with the marketing landscape.

Clients have a vision for what they want to achieve; it is up to print service providers to demonstrate how print can be the best way to make that vision a reality.