Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is Print Dying?



I don't want to burst your cyber bubble, but it's not.

Careful where you stand in the digital wonderland.

As a marketer, perhaps you've experienced the fervor and futility of the newly enlightened who rely solely on digital and social media to build their business brands.

In one category I know of, marketers target their audience exclusively with online media. They shower them with digital content that's devoid of a compelling, unifying creative idea. The net result is that awareness and familiarity of each of the competitors in this category is less than ten percent. They've been marketing like this for almost a decade and no one knows who the heck they are. There is no perceived leader. Even worse, virtually no one knows what the category is about.

Print helps people remember.

Too bad they haven't discovered some of the persuasive qualities that make print powerful in its own way:

* It forces us to synthesize brand and buying concepts into one simple and compelling idea explained and illustrated. As a result, people can easily grasp what the brand is about in their first exposure to it.

* It can portray the essence of a brand in a highly memorable way through the synergy of words and pictures.

* It provides immediate scale and reach.

* It connects the brand's point of view with the unique worldview of a very specific audience.

* It encourages its audience to read and picture themselves in a brand story that it tells.

* It stays around. People can easily put their hands on it when they want it.

* It creates an environment of contemplation and learning instead of simply sound bite gathering.

Source: Gordon Hochhalter, Creative Strategy Connectivity

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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