Print is dead? Not so fast.
You’ve no doubt heard it hundreds of times—if not more—over the past decade: Print is dead. Makes sense, right? When a pipe bursts in your basement, you Google a local plumber. For a last-minute ride across town, you tap Uber or Lyft on your smartphone. And then you have the steady contraction of print newspapers, a decline that has seen dozens of once-proud titles shrivel up or close altogether in the last few years.
But here’s the thing: Print may be down, but it’s far from out. In fact, you can argue that it’s still a potent medium. Why?
People Still Read
For starters, a huge portion of the U.S. population still relies on it. Consider what’s commonly known as the “digital divide.” The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one out every four Americans lacks home Internet access. Those 70 million+ people are typically from lower-income families and/or over age 65. In fact, the Pew Research Center notes that 40 percent of seniors do not use the internet. If your practice involves, say, wills, trusts, or estate planning, maintaining a print presence can be critical.
Print Ads Connect
Then you have the tangible nature of print, something that can make an equally tangible impact on consumers. Studies have found that the average magazine reader will view an ad 2.5 times—and that two-thirds of those readers pay extra attention to advertising when reading print publications. What’s more, close to 90 percent of readers understand and retain information better when it’s delivered via print.
Not Dead. But Not What You Think It Is.
The real story with print is how the medium is used today. Previously, your print ads sat waiting to be discovered. These days, ink and paper are simply one more piece of an integrated online strategy. Ideally, you already have a multichannel strategy that features, for example, a website, word-of-mouth referrals and a social media presence. Print can support these efforts by delivering even more visibility to your practice.
In short, there’s no denying that traditional print consumption isn’t what it used to be. But it’s far from irrelevant. For a large portion of the population, print still has the power to influence their actions. You just need to understand its role in your larger marketing strategy.