Concerned about printing myths? The printing press has been around since the 15th century when Europeans improved on ancient China’s block printing methods. Today, print options include digital printing and more traditional offset printing methods. But even with the time-honored tradition of crafting beautiful books, marketing materials, and a host of other products in print form, printing myths about the how and why of printing persist.
This confusion is partially due to the relatively meteoric rise in popularity of all things digital, from e-books to digital marketing. And while digital communication in all of its forms has transformed the way we see the world, print is a critical part of professional and personal transactions across the globe every day.
So let’s talk about five of the most common printing myths to uncover the truth behind using print products today.
Printing Myths #1: Digital marketing is more effective than print marketing.
Anytime you have used a television, computer, or smartphone, you have most likely viewed or received some form of digital marketing. And while the main purpose of digital marketing is usually more refined than simply exposure to the information, many people see the proliferation of digital marketing as proof that it works best.
Everywhere we turn, we see messages flashed on screens vying for our attention, and our inboxes are flooded with digital messaging all day long. But surprisingly, research shows that marketing messaging is remembered more easily when it is delivered in print form like posters, flyers, or brochures over digital messaging alone. So marketing professionals know that maintaining a good mix of print products and digital messaging into a marketing campaign will ensure that potential customers will be more likely to remember a product, service, or brand.
In addition, people love the look and feel of print in their hands over digitally provided content. Recent studies by Two Sides found that 70% of people reported that they prefer to read on printed paper over electronic mediums and 67% stated they liked the way that printed media feels in their hands over other electronic platforms. Marketing messaging conveyed digitally may be quicker to deliver to the consumer, but customers love the look and feel of print products, making print messaging a must-do for a successful marketing campaign.
Printing Myths #2: Printing is bad for the environment.
One of the most prevalent printing myths is that the physical materials and production processes utilized in printing are not eco-friendly. But the truth is that while print processes are not zero-impact on the environment, printing companies and material sourcing is not creating a negative impact environmentally.
- Carbon emissions only occur at the time of paper processing, and worldwide only account for 1% of all emissions. Digital devices, however, release emissions every time that device is utilized, creating a much larger carbon footprint by comparison.
- Forests that are home to trees sourced for paper are now replenished at a rate of two-to-one. For each tree harvested for print or other uses in the US, two more are replanted. In the US, forests are continually replenished through sustainability efforts and the natural regrowth of this vital but renewable resource.
- Much of the paper used comes from recycled resources, further reducing the strain on our land’s natural resources.
Printing Myths #3: Print and digital designs are interchangeable.
It might appear that designs that are created for print use can easily be swapped into digital form, and vice versa, reducing the uniqueness of the print format. But electronic designs are not necessarily print-friendly for two main reasons: color and resolution.
- Color: Print media uses the CMYK color profile to ensure exact color matching across all products. Businesses rely on accurate brand color-matching across all mediums, but digital media most likely uses the RGB color profile and may not provide an exact match to print color.
- Resolution: To avoid pixelization of images in print, the lower digital resolution that is commonly used, 72 dpi, will need to be increased to up to 300 dpi. While lower clarity can look good on electronically created images, print photos and graphics must be much more defined to ensure a beautiful, crisp final product.
Printing Myths #4: Print is cost-prohibitive.
When creating marketing materials or other commercial products, the lure of digital materials can be strong. It might seem like just about anyone with a little experience can put together graphics and text into a digital format for little to no cost in both the production and delivery of the content.
But pay-per-click marketing campaigns can run into thousands of dollars, and the marketing budget can take another big hit from a comprehensive email marketing campaign. And effective and cost-efficient digital marketing can be hit or miss, especially when digital content like emails might not even be opened or seen by the targeted consumer.
The commonly held printing myth that print is the cost-prohibitive format for marketing is actually the opposite of the truth since digital campaigns can be very expensive and their traditionally low rate of sales conversions as a result of digital campaigns just adds to their cost.
With thoughtful planning, a physical marketing campaign can be crafted to be a very cost-effective option to use instead of, or in conjunction with, a digital marketing campaign. Part of the potential higher expense of print marketing is found in the cost-per-item to print.
Creating, printing, and sending out a small number of marketing materials can be expensive, but when the number of postcards, newsletters, or other print materials is increased, the cost per unit goes down. So putting together a large print campaign is actually more cost-effective than a smaller marketing effort that will reach fewer customers or potential clients.
And one of the big benefits of utilizing print marketing materials is that they won’t end up unseen in a spam folder, unlike their digital counterparts, so they are more likely to get into the hands of the intended audience.
Printing Myths #5: Print marketing can’t be personalized.
Another of the easily debunked printing myths is that print materials are impersonal and can’t be targeted or personalized. In years past, before digital printing, there was some truth to this myth, but the advent of digital printing has been a game-changer. Now, printing companies like Dazzle Printing can use digital printing processes that allow for more flexibility in projects, faster print turnaround times, and the ability to print large or small quantities of products.
And with new technology like variable data printing or VDP, businesses can work with printers that use automation to personalize groups of marketing materials. Businesses can send out the perfect message to each customer, increasing the effectiveness of print marketing materials by helping businesses target the customer with a marketing message that matches where they are in the sales cycle.
This personalization can be used to offer special deals to new customers, entice customers to come back or try a new product or even as a thank-you for a recent purchase or business interaction. The possibilities are almost endless with VDP, and this technology helps to even the playing field between agile digital marketing and print marketing strategies.
Understanding Printing Myths
A little kernel of truth is usually the basis for any type of rumor, and the origin of the top printing myths is no different. But these printing myths are all rooted in the way print technology used to be or the way processes took place in the past. But with rapidly improving digital technology supporting today’s print business, businesses can confidently integrate print communications and products into their marketing strategies.
Don’t get fooled by these common printing myths. Print products are an eco-friendly, cost-effective, smart way to reach customers and working with a trusted printing company like Dazzle Printing can help you make the most of your marketing budget with beautiful print materials that your customers will love to receive.