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Here to stay: A few thoughts on print versus digital

Over the past few years, a number of analysts and industry professionals have been decrying the death of print. While it is true that newspaper revenue is down – in both circulation and advertising – along with paper demand and print marketing spending, print media will remain a crucial element of marketing, entertainment, advertising, publishing, mail correspondence and all other facets of communication.

In a recent article in BtoB magazine, Gordon Hocchalter lists some of the universal values of print media – points that digital or online simply cannot match.

"It provides immediate scale and reach," writes Hocchalter. "It can portray the essence of a brand in a highly memorable way through the synergy of words and pictures. It connects the brand's point of view with the unique world view of a very specific target audience. It creates an environment of contemplation and learning instead of simply sound-bite gathering."

What it ultimately comes down to is a process of specification. As digital media becomes the more flashy and easily consumable alternative, customers will follow. But there will always be a niche market for print. Text on paper, tactile business cards, heartfelt greeting cards and elegant menus designs – these are all appeals that, by virtue of their simplicity and traditionalism, cannot be trumped by digital technologies.

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