A recent online conversation moderated by Content Marketing World used Twitter as a platform to ironically boasted print's ongoing relevance. In no more than 140 characters, participants offered content marketing tips for the print industry via Twitter.
Print is particularly useful for customer retention, the ability of a business to keep customers. Tracking customer retention is important because it encapsulates an organization's customer service and how to improve upon business. Recent studies conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration show acquiring new customers can cost somewhere between five to seven times more than retaining customers. Several of the tweets explained joy that print media can produce in a sense of traditional nostalgia.
"Count me among them. When I need to read deeply – when I want to lose myself in a story or an intellectual journey, when focus and comprehension are paramount – I still turn to paper," said Brandon Keim, in an article published on Wired.com.
Indulgent in both print and digital media, Keim believes he has a better time remembering content read from paper. He stated it's time to marry digital and print media. Keim suggested digital is better suited for browsing and skimming but print is designated for novels, essays and complex narratives. According to the Associated Press, in 2013 the average attention span, the amount of concentrated time on a task without distraction, was eight seconds, down four seconds since 2000. The average attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds.
Print and Web, Friends to the End
Print drives traffic to all of your other channels (website, social media, etc). As reported in Print Week, a report entitled European Digital Media Landscape to 2020 – The Future of Paper and Print indicates a long lifespan for print. Jim Bilton, author of the report believes print and digital should be used in sync for cross-promotion.
"Digital doesn't have to be an enemy to physical, it can be a friend as well," said Bilton.
According to some participants, a print magazine became a competitive advantage for them. The discussion within the Twitter-verse eventually shifted to the accusation "print is dead". When asked if content marketers should see print as an opportunity, an overwhelming amount of the participants replied in one form or another, yes.
A Reply for 'Print is Dead'
For years, people have been condemning print to its deathbed but Bilton believes otherwise. The uptick in use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has created an environment in which people are using many media platforms, including print. Bilton predicts prints unique benefits will give it clout in the future. He concluded by saying a paperless world is as useful as a paperless toilet.