Has Digital Content Killed Paper Marketing Collateral?

Has Digital Content Killed Paper Marketing Collateral?
“Video Killed the Radio Star,” written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, and Bruce Woolley, and performed by the Buggles in 1979.

Do you remember “Video Killed the Radio Star?” The kitschy pop song laments the fading glory of radio talent when the rise of music videos caused radio to lose much of its appeal. The same thing happened back in the 1920s when talking pictures stole the focus from silent movies.

Today, we’re witnessing a similar media transformation. Many magazines, including such notables as Time and Newsweek, have reduced or even eliminated their print publications in favor of online digital editions. Most of us watch the news, we don’t read it, and either way we’re likely doing so online. Much of the marketing content we consume is online. You’re almost certainly reading this on a computer screen, a tablet or a smartphone, not on a piece of paper.

But does that mean paper is passé? Should you still include print in your marketing budget? Consider a few areas where printed material still has value.

Trade Shows

Visitors drop by your booth and you explain your products and services. You get their email address and phone number so you can follow up with them later. You also hand them a brochure, a white paper, or at least a sales sheet. Having something physical they can hold in their hands makes your business that much more real to them. Sure, they may toss it in the circular file as soon as they get back to their office. But they might read it first. They might pass it on to their co-workers.


Will your attendees take notes? If so, will they take the right notes? Will they get the points you want to make? Make sure they do by giving them a handout with your main points, either at the beginning so they can follow along, or at the end so it doesn’t distract them during the presentation. But either way, before they leave, make sure they have something in their hands to remind them of your message.

Direct Mail

People are so used to receiving email and texts, that personally-addressed letters delivered by the post office, once the norm, now stand out as special. While an email message may be immediately deleted unread, an envelope with the person’s name is more likely to arouse curiosity and be opened and read.

None of these situations require an either-or approach. Printed marketing collateral can co-exist with digital material. One should complement the other. But however you deliver it, you still need a message that will motivate your readers to action.

There’s much more to producing effective paper-based marketing collateral than just printing out what you already have online. Give LightningStrike Studios a call. Online or off, we’ll help you get your message across.

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