There's an interesting discussion going on in one of the LinkedIn groups I am member of. The question seems simple enough: "Is print still a viable part of the marketing mix?" The answers however are many and varied. As the medium continues to morph, I guess the word "viable" remains subjective. Below are some of the insights from the discussion. Care to share your thoughts? Leave us a comment.
"With the advent of new technology usage such as QR codes, print and on-line are becoming interlinked. We have only just begun to see where this will lead us."
"It really depends on the client. For example, we transitioned one of our clients from a print-based marketing mix to an online-based one with no loss of business and huge cost savings. For others, we recommend a complete marketing mix including online and traditional print-based media. Many of our clients are in retail or the non-profit sector and print is an integral part of the mix.
"We're seeing a dramatic decline in print from just three years ago with our retail clients. Business to business still seems to be more viable, but it too has dramatically declined. Online has all but taken its place as the go-to media as customers search online and rely on their industry's online publications."
"In some industries there is definitely a place for a well designed piece of printed literature. To hold a piece of quality print work in your hands is something people instinctively get. They know what this piece is trying to say to them."
"A good marketing strategy should always include both online and offline media, by only concentrating on one you will exclude part of your market."
"My clients are migrating away from gratuitous print to a more responsible use of the medium. There is no substitute for some print leave-behinds, but there is more discretion in what is printed and the quantity. Money saved by not going to press so frequently often justifies the exploration of Variable Direct Mail tied with a Personalized Landing Page - very compelling way to track ROMI."
"My belief is that the next generation of business people will be totally familiar with online comms, and that print will be perceived as niche and novel... A bit like email/SMS/social network sites when they first landed...and look how well this has been received and used daily..print will rise again."