printing vs. digital media

The pros and cons of printing vs. digital media

Posted in: Opinion

We are living in the Information Age, a period of history that has made available instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously.

Similarly known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age, it started in the 1970s, and continues today. The Internet of Things, social mobility, and global network means information is at our fingertips. Social media, algorithmic digital marketing and electronic billboards bombard us with information, even when we don’t seek it.

Without doubt, digital media satisfies the human taste for instant gratification.

But is the world ready to totally disregard print media, and move to digital only?

At Galloways, we understand the importance of both printing and digital media. In this article, we look at the truths and the misconceptions of both, and what could work for your business.

Let’s get digital

Digital marketing, and digital content, has transformed the way we interact with each other, and how we do business. It may take 45 hours to travel round the earth’s circumference by plane, but digital content can be published instantly, and accessed in milliseconds.

According to Statista, more than 83% of the world’s population owns a smart phone. That’s a potential digital market of more than 6.5 billion people with access to your digital marketing. Marketing Technology (MarTech) trends include the use of algorithms and marketing automation that personalise feeds based on previous interests and sources, enabling targeted marketing of specific demographics.

Digital media is cost-effective and immediate. It can be less expensive than print media, depending on the graphic design. Campaigns and content can be produced, launched, and updated faster than print. Digital is interactive and can generate consumer information as well.

While there are pros and cons of print media versus digital media, it is possible to combine both forms. QR Codes and social media hashtags on printed materials, digital opt-ins for print content – with a carefully planned campaign, it is possible for digital and print media to work together.


Print is dead; long live print

China developed the earliest form of printing, the woodblock, around 200CE. The advent of printing presses in Europe, including the UK, during the 1400s, paved the way for an information age of its own. Printed texts became more widely available, not just for the wealthy. Lower class lifestyles improved drastically, as people educated themselves with this new wealth of material.

Other historical print methods included lithography, an early form of printing we still use today; the Rotary Press; Offset; and Screen Printing. Print has always been important.

Print media is considered by all demographics, including Millennials, as more trustworthy than its digital counterpart. It takes time and effort to create and publish printed content. This engenders greater feelings of trust, than do the instant and disposable nature of digital content.

With more businesses relying on their online presence, printed content can be a marketing advantage.

The physicality of print media draws attention, and is memorable. It has longevity, it has permanence. Print is easier to read than digital media, and you can fit more information on a page than in social media content. Advertisement recall is 1.7 times higher with print, and more likely to drive action than its digital media counterpart.

Digital media can never match the tactility of print media. Print is more engaging, and advancing technologies mean print media can now stir all the senses. Paper weight, thickness, and quality are important, and can be used to enhance to value of the products and services they detail. Specialist tactile printing methods, such as die-cutting and engraving, are possible. Galloways has even produced fragranced print media, for the ultimate print experience. Print offers an opportunity to disconnect from the frenetic world and immerse yourself in the moment.

Contrary to the trend suggested by the rise of digital, print media is very much alive. In this busy digital era, printed materials have the potential to be more potent and effectual than ever before.

Ready to make your impact? Contact our friendly team on 01625 870000.

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