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We all know that it’s a digital world and that print is in a state of flux.

However there is a new wave of creative marketers and publishers who see print through a very different lens to their more established peers.

So while we are experiencing a convergence of content, commerce and media these trail blazers recognise that print can be a fresh way to cut a path through the digital jungle.

Take a quick look in a New Zealand residential letterbox on an average week and you will find anthing up to 25 pieces of printed media and in some areas even more.

These unaddressed catalogues and flyers don’t just appear there by magic.They are the activation points of brands who really understand their audience and how to engage with them.They are not in the business of wasting money either.

So why in 2019 when the digital world is so entrenched in our lives is a printed hardcopy still a relevant and effective communication tool?



Print Demands Action: Bin it or keep it and read it. It really is that simple. Just like Instagram and Pinterest, print is highly visual content and todays consumers are visually driven.


Print Demands Attention


Print Attracts Attention: The marketers "art" is to capture attention and engage. In a digital world where consumers are bombarded with hundreds of emails and text messages on a daily basis, print inherently forces readers to slow down and absorb the content, making print an effective channel to create a deeper understanding of the content, which is counter to todays “swipe” culture.


Print Attracts Attention


Print Can Attract A Different Consumer: A print shopper often has a different mindset,generally more brand focussed than web shoppers who tend to be more price driven. Print shoppers more easily become brand loyalists and with that usually comes a longer lifetime value.


Different Consumer


Longevity: Brochures, posters, leaflets and magazines are physical artifacts. They can stay in homes, offices and handbags for days and weeks often pending a big purchase, think a new kitchen, car, or a house purchase. A printed pen could keep your brand top of mind for years.


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Everything Communicates. Everything: Luxury brands know that beautifully produced print work speaks to exclusivity, a banner ad won't do that. 




Print and Digital Working Together:  Often tactics as simple as making sure all marketing material carries the companys URL to technologies such as AR and QR codes “join the dots”and help to create a more immersive brand experience.


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You CAN Measure Print:

This is where print and digital really integrates. Here are just some of the techniques that can be employed.


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Call tracking: Assign unique phone numbers to specific direct mail campaigns, so when consumers make contact you can pinpoint where they came from.




QR (Quick Response) codes: Todays consumers look to gather as much information as they can before making a purchase, QR coding can deliver this information in an instant.

After falling out of favour QR codes are undergoing a renaissance due to most new generation smart phones now having a QR code reader built in to the device software, doing away with the need to download a separate scanning app. This means that by just taking a quick snap consumers are connected to a mine of detailed online product information. 




Augmented Reality:Integrating print and AR technology creates interactive and engaging experiences that bring a product to life, straight from a print ad, catalogue or any printed material.

When marketing a new car very little compares to offering potential customers the chance to sit in it and take it for a test drive. Porsche’s print campaign for the new Boxter 718 in Outside Magazine allowed readers sit in a virtual driver’s seat of its new car and explore every angle of its interior in 360º, straight from scanning the print ad. From here readers where encouraged to take a virtual test drive on a virtual test track. A truly immersive brand experience from the pages of a magazine.




Exclusive Offers: Create special offers exclusive for direct mail recipients, so you are sure they couldn't have found them anywhere else. Simple maybe, effective yes.




Personalised URLs: An easy and cost effective way to track responses is to have direct mail recipients follow links to unique landing pages created just for the campaign.


A New Dawn?

In 2018 exclusively online businesses such as Airbnb and Goop launched print magazines to compliment their websites. The same goes for vinyl records. After a 30 year break Sony has started producing vinyl again along with a growing number of boutique manufacturers around the world. Polaroid film is also making a come back. Combine that with over 800* new magazine titles launched in the US in 2017, could we be witnessing internet fatigue in some areas? *(Mr Magazine)

So while some may see print as a twilight industry, a whole new generation see print in a new light that may shine brighter because of digital.


Jon Dunn