It is without question: online communication has changed the advertising landscape sustainably and influences how we see and how we design print advertises today. But next to the advantages agencies have made good use of, many advertisers have started to recognise the challenges and drawbacks of the well-loved online communication. The possibility to advertise quickly, precise and personalised does not change the fact that often the information gets lost in the massive data stream. To say it differently: we often do not even notice online advertisements any more.

This shows that the first question is not if print advertisement can still exist next to digital, but we have to discuss, how to use print advertisement to effectively reach the intended target group. The wide-reaching answer has to be: “Quality is important.” That’s the truth: the advertisement of the future has to have a high quality and needs to be tailored exactly for the target group. “What” and “how” has the same relevance.

Combining the requirements of the target group with the advantages of the advertising media

Which content you present to your target group is of course an individual question that depends on the intended message you want to convey. This means using the advantages of each advertising media. Classic print media does not have to hide behind online channels. On the contrary!

Print, for example in the form of adverts, is best suited to grab a target group’s attention. In the middle of the overwhelmingly quick data stream print adverts stick out. Print profits from the way we perceive it, which is distinct from online forms because of its tangible feel.

Print products are not only suited to raise awareness, but can also keep people’s attention. That makes it possible for the advertising message to actually take hold. Print products can be designed creatively and very individually, they are independent from digital devices and readers often give them their full attention.

High-quality print products with an as high-quality content are a welcome change to our normal digital daily life. It is a rather tempting form of retreating from the daily flood of digital information. An elementary part of customer communication can therefore be done in an analogue way. Additionally to online campaigns and the print product a dispatch can be enhanced when a message or accompanying letter is written by fountain pen and also has the handwritten address on the envelope. Here Sophie’s handwriting service can be of real help.

This of course does not mean to naively think that print advertisement can simply continue to exist just the way it always has. Of course, the digitalisation will advance even further and the print volumes will change in future. That print advertisement will completely be diminished or go extinct is not a realistic scenario, though, especially not when we stop seeing print and online as an either-or-scenario.

Asking the future a question

The question that seems the most important is: “How can we use and combine the best of two worlds – the digital and the analogue?”
A marketing mix is the topic, which will accompany us in the upcoming years. The task is an effective combination that focuses on quality before quantity. Creativity, aspiration and the willingness to innovate are core elements in print advertising. It is not a static entity, but an innovative addition to our online communication – which works the other way round as well.

A target group oriented development process

Print and digital form a symbiosis that has to be actively shaped. This not only means to use a variety of communication channels, but also to convince with content. This leads to the fundamental task to actually satisfy the demands of our target group. Online channels and print alike make this possible. This is why print products indeed will not go extinct. Or how a German proverb says: “Those declared dead, live longer.”