Print vs Digital? No! It’s Print+Digital+Other Media!

How many of you have goals? How many of you write down your goals on a piece of paper? An old friend of mine, who happens to be a sales trainer, would open his group sessions with these questions. As you might expect, almost everyone raises their hand after the first question. But nearly 90% lower their hand after question #2.

The lesson is simple.

My friend would continue by sharing that if you write your goals down, your chance of achieving your goals increases from less than 5% to nearly 90%.  If we write down our goals it promotes memory and accountability and the likelihood of success increases by a wide margin.

Why is this? Some would say it might be because humans are tactile creatures and require touch to ensure that things embed in their conscious or subconscious. It also might have something to do with why brand recall, as some recent research indicates, is improved if consumers see advertising in print, especially when compared to digital media. Haptics* is a field of study that considers what happens within the brain when we touch things. The theory behind Haptics is that reading from print resonates more because of such tactile engagement.

It’s not a print versus digital discussion we should be having.

If you publish informative articles, produce great events, create valuable video or TV programming, utilize social media responsibly, even podcast, you will grow your audience. It follows then that the advertising of anything is going to perform best when a variety of media is used. A media mix will always deliver more impact than using a single medium exclusively. This seems to be increasingly so for many reasons with respect to advertising in digital media.

When I was a youngster, my father used to tell me that I had the attention span of a gnat. He may have been right. But I think it’s safe to say that when a user of digital media is engaged, they are engaged with many different things within very short bursts of moments and instances, compared to a reader who is engaged in a magazine article or a book. So who is the gnat? And who will the ads you sell resonate more with?  Your readers or your users?

As my old friend the sales trainer says, your goals should be SMART – Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Trackable. Thinking about your audience’s tactile nature will help you increase your margin of success by engaging with your audience in a variety of mediums in order to maximize your audience, build your brand and increase your revenue.


*  “Haptics is any form of interaction involving touch. It can mean: Haptic communication, the means by which people and other animals communicate via touching. Haptic perception, the process of recognizing objects through touch.”  As currently defined on Wikipedia.


More about Dick Ryan: Dick Ryan has worked in the publishing industry since 1980, starting his career as a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal. Today he works from the Louisville, KY headquarters of Publishers Press, Inc., as the company’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, responsible for more than $200 Million in magazine and catalog printing sales annually. Prior to becoming the VP Sales for Publishers he headed up content management product and service development as the company’s Director of Business Development.  He has been with Publishers Press since 2008.


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