Print Media: Is it a wise business investment? For years, businesses have relied on print media in a variety of ways. Sales brochures, product literature, catalogs, printed mailers, stationery and advertising have all been used to support the marketing and branding efforts of business. But a new report from Strategies in Management shows that commercial print media shipments declined in May, both from the previous month and from the previous May. Does this signal a trend that businesses are going “printless?”

Print media is still important for your business

While commercial printing shipments are down, and show a downward trend in the first five months of 2013, overall employment in graphic design and public relations – two big drivers of commercial printing media orders – are actually up. Businesses aren’t moving away from design, but many are moving toward strategic expenditures for printed media.

Businesses are also developing better ways to identify and contact interested customers and business prospects. Professionally designed personalized emails, invitations and print mailers are taking the place of non-specific, broadly aimed postal mail pieces. Businesses are becoming more selective about whom they send print catalogs to, and how long a prospect remains on the catalog mailing list. They’re relying more heavily on well-designed websites for initial sales contact, providing product information and offering self-help storefront services.

Print media is by no means dead. Businesses logged more than $7 billion in commercial print orders alone in May 2013. There is still a significant demand for printed brochures, rack cards, sales and marketing materials and other printed items.

At the same time, the most recent estimates by the telecommunications industry shows that about 95% of US consumers have high speed Internet access. Customers and potential prospects can easily visit a website, review potential purchases, comparison shop, download electronic catalogs, product information and white papers.

This dual approach to design actually works better for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers who aren’t looking for print media can still locate information quickly and easily on a website. More active prospects – those who are most likely to buy – still want and request printed materials. Businesses win because they can make the most of their print expenditures, even to the point of providing highly customized and printed-on-demand materials.

Businesses are making exceptional use of graphic design in electronic media, not only to attract new customers and open new markets, but also to better target their marketing and branding efforts. If you would like to know how you can put print media to work for your business effectively, contact our creative director, Dave Ramsell by email or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 for a consultation.

Photo Credit: martwork, via StockXchng