Viva La Renaissance
In 2010 Apple released the iPad, it is an iconic device which epitomises the digital age with sales peaking in 2014 at just over 26 million units. Now though ipad sales are apparently dropping each year and even though Apple is the most valuable brand in the world the ipad is no longer revered as the must have gadget it once was.
The printing press on the other hand was invented over 500 years ago around 1440. In the 19th century steam powered presses allowed industrial scale printing. By the 20th century powered rotary presses had been adopted around the world. Now back to the 21st century and digital presses have opened up all kinds of possibilities for the printing industry.
The question is whether today’s consumers, most of whom have a smartphone or a tablet, prefer to read content from a screen or from a real printed document. Perhaps surprisingly it appears that millennials in particular, despite being raised with technology, still value printed materials very highly. I can certainly relate to this, my two young children love bringing me a book to read to them at night and it is a real treat for them when we take the train into town to go to the book store.
Recent studies show that most millennials pay attention to direct mail and are the most likely of any generation to read it. millennials also have a preference for receiving information via physical mail than email and are more likely to read direct mail than email, not surprising when you consider how efficient spam filters are now.
Printed materials leave a lasting impression and have a more authentic quality than a digital equivalent. The tactile experience of mail helps recipients remember the content of the message better by generating more emotion and more positive feelings about the brand.
The big problem for online advertising is ad blocking. Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular ad blocking extension has been downloaded over 500 million times. Google has even announced that it will establish an ad blocker for the Chrome web browser, which has become the most popular browser in America although it will undoubtedly still allow Google’s own adverts.
Another reason millennials are drawn to print is that it offers a much-needed break from sitting in front of your laptop all day. The volume of online content millennials and teens consume daily exacts a physical toll over time. Apart from the taxing effect screen text has on the eyes, it also affects comprehension of the message.
People prefer the touch, look, and even smell of books, newspapers, and other print, which makes the substrate you choose all the more important. The popularity of print with younger generations means print will continue to play an important role in the future. Print is far from dead. In fact, it may even breathe new life into to your branding and help your company make that connection with millennials.