5 Marketing Trends That Prove Print Isn’t Dead

author-img By Mashum Mollah 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

Marketing Trends
Digital marketing may be on a roll, but traditional marketing still stands the test of time. Here are five marketing trends that prove print is here to stay.

 “Print is dead.”

Sorry, Egon. But in this instance, Ghostbusters didn’t get it right.

The print is not dead. In fact, 39% of Americans read only print books and 29% read print books in addition to utilizing audio and digital formats.

And that’s just in publishing.

In marketing, print still dominates in several ways digital campaigns just can’t touch (in one case, literally). So don’t turn to all-digital just yet because you may regret it later.

Here, we’ll explore the recent marketing trends that show print isn’t just alive but thriving.

A Brief History:

Advertising began long ago with word of mouth, transforming through the ages into what we know today.

The first English advertisement appeared in 1648, but the first magazine ad did not surface until almost 200 years later.

During its origins, little thought went into marketing. That has certainly changed, with hundreds of studies exploring the impacts of marketing on the brain, decision making, and other behaviors.

Today, we know that marketing can not only boost profits, but it can also increase customer retention.

We also know that there is a new divide in marketing: the debate between digital and print media.

Is print really dead? Not so much. Current marketing trends prove so.

Bursting Off the Page: Print Marketing Trends

Did we say alive and thriving? Well, we meant alive and kicking, biting, throwing and a host of other actions. Print lovers, don’t worry your little hearts. Print media isn’t going down without a fight.

5 Marketing Trends That Prove Print Isn’t Dead:

1. Educate Me: Marketing to Students:

Marketing through word of mouth and social media is a key ingredient in grabbing the attention of potential students, but don’t count print out of the equation.

According to a 2014 study, 68% of students pay attention to posters and billboards. That doesn’t just mean a glance and a nod. They really pay attention.

Furthermore, print media still has its place in the recruitment process. In the awareness stage, where students are first being contacted by colleges, mailers are especially helpful.

According to the 2016 TeensTALK(R) study, “Print publications, direct mail, and college fair materials are most heavily used by students at the start of the college selection process.”

In the decision stage, personalized mailers with detailed and informative data about the school and invitations are helpful in influencing student decisions. Scholarship brochures, financial aid resources, and the school catalog are also highly effective.

Many businesses, like printing companies in Mississauga, offer unique services for schools and other institutions to create brochures, cards, and stationery especially suited to the industry’s needs.

In fact, mailing pre-completed applications was rated as one of the top ten strategies for persuading students interested in four-year public universities to attend.

When used in conjunction with interactive and digital resources, print is an invaluable tool among marketing trends targeting prospective college students.

2. Painting a Desire: Print Ads:

Ads in printed media still hold power over their audience. Newspaper inserts and ads have a higher rate of purchase influence than ones on digital platforms.

Print ads create an interaction that is simply missing in website displays. In fact, studies indicate they are easier to process and they increase brand recall.

How does this work? It’s all about neuroscience.

Print ads and direct mail require 21% less cognitive effort to comprehend than digital media. Furthermore, recall is 70% higher for print marketing forms than for digital.

Then there is the importance of visual content, with some research indicating that posts with images have 650% higher engagement than those without images. It’s no different from print ads.

However, there are even more advantages to print: Temple University researchers discovered that print marketing is more capable of increasing subconscious values and desires for a product, an invaluable power when promoting items and services.

It may be one of many marketing trends, but print ads aren’t going to disappear anytime soon.

3. It’s Personal: Variable Data Printing:

Direct mail is not going anywhere, either. It remains one of the most effective methods of increasing customer responses and gaining attention.

However, new changes are making that stack of mail you receive every day more personal.

Variable data printing allows companies to address household members directly, customize messages or even alter images and entire ads based on the receiving individual. The trend is growing, with market size of $29.255 billion expected in 2023.

Personalized marketing has proven to increase sales and influence purchasing decisions.

Combining it with direct mail is an excellent way to gain attention, increase brand recall and promote sales.

4. A Little Bit of Touch: Texture:

When bemoaning the rise of digital media, you’ll often hear print and book lovers claim they “just like being able to touch the page” they are reading. There’s a scientific reason for this.

Visual stimuli create a retention rate equal to that of textual stimuli. Our brains interact with images and tactile objects better than they do with other types of items.

This is quite literally out of reach of digital media.

Joann Peck, an associate professor at Wisconsin School of Business, discovered that combining touch with a campaign’s message is more persuasive than marketing forms without any tactile interactions.

It only takes reading some fuzzy picture books to see that this concept works–and not just on children.

Print media offers numerous ways to change the “feel” of an ad, from foil stamping to embossing. It’s a trend that advertisers are using to stand out from the crowd.

However, marketers can take this even further. Consider how print ads can affect other senses to create promotional items like aroma billboards.

5. The Birds and The Bees: Print and Digital Fusion:

However, one of the greatest marketing trends is a mix of digital and print media. Why?

Because put together, these two make one heck of a couple.

More than three out of four companies utilize a mixture of the two in their marketing campaigns, and the results have high response rates and excellent returns on investment.

Print marketing comprised 57% of B2B-paid advertising in 2015, falling just behind search engine marketing. It’s that important.

If you don’t believe us, consider the average catalog. Companies know that consumers will most likely purchase online, but direct mail acts as an initiator.

Entrepreneur’s Katherine Halek discusses additional benefits:

  • Fusion lets businesses reach multiple generations.
  • It allows corporations to test their ability to engage with customers.
  • The mixture increases credibility.

The benefits are just as bountiful as the many ways fusion can be employed.

Interested in More Trends?

Print marketing still has its place in business, but that doesn’t mean other opportunities aren’t at your fingertips.

Explore our site to read about the latest news in business, advertising, and technology.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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