Reports of print’s demise are greatly exaggerated

print publicationwe at FCNews are clearly strong supporters of print publications and print advertisements. Of course we also have a full menu of digital offerings, but our print publication is our flagship and our main source of income. Our advertising partners recognize the value of print, especially as they recognize that our readers recognize the value of print.

Wherever you look, some expert is promoting digital as the future source of information. Digital is anything and everything on our phones and computers. Digital is social media. Digital marketing is anything that isn’t “traditional” marketing. But not only does the print publication never go away, but to the surprise of some, it is even making a comeback. Yes, print is experiencing a sort of renaissance and you won’t hear about it on TV.

FCNews is not in the least surprised. Our print advertising business has remained robust as we complement it with digital offerings. Our biggest problem is an ongoing paper shortage, not to mention paper costs, which have doubled in recent years. But despite these challenges, the print publishing business is showing signs of expansion. Chalk it up to the resilience of the written word or the determination of print publishers, but the word on the street is waiting for a revival of prints in the coming years.

Content marketing authority and entrepreneur Joe Pulizzi said, “Look out for some big brands launching targeted print magazines.” He suggests that people are tired of their digital devices, which gives publishers the opportunity to take advantage of the non-digital, more tactile space where print publications reside. FCNews is no exception as we always try to launch something new when we see a void in the market. Many turn to us for custom printed publications, and that will only increase.

This all makes sense, especially since the shift to remote work binds most of us to our digital devices for long hours at home. Distant burnout affected 69% of the US population last year, largely driven by digital interaction overload. During the pandemic, 61% of remote workers reported having problems disconnecting.

According to Pulizzi, “People want to disconnect from their devices… If you have the resources, printing could be an opportunity.”

Major brands are expected to introduce print products this year, especially as paper shortages start to pile up from 2021.

The numbers show a rising tide, ready to float the print boat. Two Sides North America reported that 86% of consumers (and certainly retailers) prefer print over digital. Printpower.com reported 63% consider printing news more reliable and able to provide a deeper understanding of current events. This plays into FCNewswheelhouse.

Then there are the statistics that support Pulizzi’s claim that we are burning down digital in favor of print. Data from marketingprofs.com shows that 92% of 18-23 year olds say print is easier to read than digital. When even the digital generation suffers from digital fatigue, it confirms what we do as print publishers and encourages us to do more. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on major retailers creating buzz by releasing traditional print catalogs – and seeing sales grow as a result. Major brand names include Athleta, Bonobos, H&M, IKEA and Restoration Hardware.

According to Retail Dive, marketers seeking a truly omnichannel customer experience are now dividing their spend between print and digital. It is another statistical indicator of print resilience. Today, younger generations consume almost as much print as their older counterparts. The data supports this:

  • Baby boomers read 9.2 printed publications per month.
  • Gen Xers read 9.1 print publications per month.
  • Millennials read 8.9 print publications per month.

Neither staff shortages nor paper stock disruptions will stop a good print publication. In fact, it won’t stop any of us from growing our business.

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