“Who died and made you king of anything,” sang Sarah Barielles.
Print died. Consumers made digital king. Or at least that feels like the consensus opinion at first glimpse into this battle of the media channels.
It’s a debate I think only time will tell, and I prefer to act as Switzerland in the face of conflict, so I did some further research and found a few influencing factors that brands could consider when working out where to spend their marketing budgets.
In quite a volatile business environment (the one we have found ourselves in these past few years), it’s never been more important to define and redefine your core purpose as a brand. Having a coherent strategy that you live by every day makes you a “super competitor”, as Forbes put it.
So, what’s your strategy? Who are you trying to reach? The decision on whether you should use print or digital, or a mix of both, all comes back to your strategy and not a consensus opinion.
When you know who you are trying to reach, figure out how you’re going to reach them. How do they find what they are looking for?
A quick-fire question to the people in my office screamed that we are all a bunch of millennials. As the first generation to grow up in the internet age, it wasn’t a surprise that every single one of them said they use Google to find and research basically anything they are looking for.
But that’s not to say that we’re who you are targeting. Understanding how your target market behaves will help you to reach them in a way that will actually reach them.
Speaking of digital natives, when you think of your own behaviour in relation to digital media, how many ads do you truly acknowledge? Research has shown that online ads are becoming more and more ignored. Like, actively ignored. Popup ads are the most disliked and the digital space has been getting increasingly crowded for a while now.
Are people in your target market getting over digital or are they ramping up? Do they want to disconnect from a busy online world or immerse themselves further into it? Would another channel help you to reach your target market in this loud, digital space?
On one hand, traditional media channels have shown to be more trustworthy than online media. On the other hand, there has been a massive paper supply issue and we’ve even seen large-scale printers and mills shut down. The costs of print have soared through the roof and many brands are moving to more sustainable practices by reducing their print or eliminating it altogether; Ikea and H&M have both stopped using print catalogues. So, where does this leave the future of print? Will it start to look different from what we are used to? Think about how audio has transitioned from radio into podcasts. But again, let’s take it back to your strategy, who you’re trying to reach and how you will do that. What fits? Print, digital or a mix of both?