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The Power of Print Marketing in a Digital Age

In a world propelled forward by a digital mode of operation, it is easy to push print to the wayside or, even more so, predict its exit from modern life all together. With the rise of internet in recent decades, and its usefulness to human efforts becoming more concrete, it is no surprise that the whispering idea ‘print is dead’ has growing louder in the collective conscious.

Even though the future of print may look grim from the outside there are some strong statistical indications that this longstanding method of communication may be as powerful as ever. In fact, for those looking for the most effective ways to promote their business, research suggests that print shouldn’t be left out from marketing campaigns but instead dovetailed in with digital strategy to supercharge marketing efforts.

What value does print add to your campaigns?

Both print and digital advertising approaches have their strengths, with each offering a unique set of capabilities when it comes to building brand awareness and generating sales. Based on digital vs print advertising statistics, print marketing drives stronger brand recall1 as well as being more trusted by consumers when making purchase decisions. On the other hand, while digital marketing is recollected less than printed, it is more effective than print marketing at converting engaged readers to act on messaging2.

It is no wonder then that joining these two marketing forces is a must for businesses wanting to multiple campaign results. According to a study conducted by Top Media Advertising, when implementing an integrated, multi-channel approach where printed marketing is combined with digital strategy, online campaigns have shown to be 400% more effective.

A matter of mind & emotion

Print can also be a point-of-difference in an era where consumers are overwhelmed with digital communication, becoming a ‘quite in the noise’. Visually less demanding than digital text, print provides audiences with spatial and tactile cues to help process messaging more effectively than digital reading. Research conducted by R.C. Brayshaw in 2020 also showed that print advertising requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital.

Not only does print influence our minds more effectively but it plays a significant role in affecting our emotional response to content. Ever since Gutenberg creating the printing press over 600 years ago, readers have craved the allure of the printed page and there is perhaps no better way to consume the depth of a story than in print. The tactile nature of ink on paper, like the sound of a turning page, creates a bond between readers and stories.

While we may live in an increasingly digital world, it is obvious that print has a timeless staying power as a dependable medium for business marketing. And, if you’re still not convinced, take a break from your screen, and look around. It won’t be long before you see how much print lives here in the real world.

  1. Print drives higher levels of brand recall vs. digital (77% vs. 46%) (Newsworks, 2020).
  2. Digital ads are less recalled than print ads but they are more effective than print ads at converting engaged readers into action takers (64% vs 55% for print) (Newsworks, 2020).

By Wade Larkin, Managing Director of NPS Print Co. 



Compiled by the BDmag editorial team