This article first appeared on Enterprise Nation: a free resource to help you start and grow your business at home.
Doing business today means customers never have to see a piece of paper. Companies make their products available on the website rather than a catalogue. We Google rather than search the Yellow Pages. Kindle ebooks are outselling print books on Amazon. With digital on the rise you could be tempted into believing print is dead. Here are 4 reasons to think twice:
- Portability. Email has in fact raised the use of paper in offices by 40% as people tend to prefer reading printed documents instead of on screen. Companies continue to print internal magazines because employees prefer to read away from their desk. And hang onto copies for future reference, which is easier than searching an overcrowded inbox for an eZine. The intranet can’t be read on the bus, in the bath or in bed. Yet.
- Cross selling. Online searching is limited by the current knowledge of the searcher. How many times have you opened up a newspaper and stumbled across an article you weren’t looking for? A brochure offers the reader information about the other services or products you provide.
- Customers are more receptive. The quick fix of a glance at the news headlines on the BBC website meets one need. Print presents an opportunity to engage readers at their most receptive, when they are relaxed. Many business flights are spent catching up with professional magazines, industry reports and brochures, away from the constant interruption of mobile and email.
- Print proposals beat online. Holding a print document reassures decision makers that your business is not some fly-by-night operation, unlike your online competitors. A traditional printed proposal shouldn’t, but does, count for more when choosing suppliers.
For all these strengths print cannot work alone. The solution is digital and print. Each has a part to play in an integrated campaign:
Digital Immediacy of the communication. The ability to search text makes finding information faster. Best for reading email, scanning news and searching for products.
Print Engages the reader for longer. Can be stored without the risk of the format becoming obsolete. Best for long articles, reports and brochures.