Limited customer reach, minimal interaction, grabbing customer attention and environmental harm are some issues that a mix of digital and print media can solve.
4 min read
Print media has been around for over centuries. The earliest known instance of printing goes back before 220 AD to wood printing in China. However, it really took off with the historical invention of the printing press by by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. The fact that print media has been around for so long does not mean that it is without any disadvantages. This blog tackles the various limitations of print media and its recent decline in the world of advertising and marketing.
Decline of Print Media
The third stage of Marshall McLuhan’s Four Laws of Media states that every media eventually becomes obsolete, in order to make way for something new and more advanced.
For example, telephones outdated telegraphs and likewise, mobile phones are doing the same to wired telephones. Similarly, electronic media has started to not only overshadow print media, but made us aware of its various limitations and challenges.
Isn’t it ironic that we are moving away from what was once the Gutenberg printing press’s revolutionary creation? Other forms of expressing information are leading to our slow withdrawal from print media.
But why should we decline the use of print media and look for alternatives? Find out for yourself!
3 Disadvantages of Print Media You Must Keep In Mind
1. Minimal Interaction
Print media is defined as any physically printed content, such as magazines, newspapers, flyers and brochures. It caters to consumers, business customers, and other such prospects. However, since the advent of electronic media and technological development, our world is slowly transitioning away from this somewhat ‘traditional’ media.
One key feature that print media is unable to provide is the level of creativity and ease with which one can interact with information.
Creative media on the internet makes it easier for people from diverse societies and linguistic backgrounds to understand the same information.
An example of this would be the translate function that Google and some other tech companies provide on foreign pages.
While this would be absolutely impossible on paper, the internet makes it as easy as a gentle tap. Anyone and everyone can understand the same information, making it a powerful as well as unifying tool that helps bring people together.
2. Lower Accessibility and Ineffective Marketing
As compared to electronic media, mainly the Internet, print media does not have a global reach. Print media is usually restricted to a certain area or city. For example, most metropolitan cities have their own distinct newspaper with the corresponding news.
In contrast, the Internet offers content that needs to be published just once, but can be distributed throughout the world. Online content can thus be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. It is as simple as tapping your finger a couple of times to access all the information in the world.
To broaden their customer reach, the majority of print media organizations now manifest their work electronically, if not use the internet as their primary mode of publication.
Moreover, since the advent of social media marketing, pure print media marketing has seen a sharp drop. This is because social media is a far more personalized and effective way to grab customers’ attention.
However, there are products that let you take advantage of both the worlds. For example, a product like Interactive Print Play lets you deliver personalized live digital content through print newspapers, magazines, brochures, and business cards.
3. Killing our planet
Lastly, no harm can outweigh the alarming environmental sacrifice our planet undergoes to produce paper for print media. Did you know that it takes 500,000 trees to print the weekly Sunday Paper in the US alone?
You can use this interesting tool and find out how many trees you have cut if you’ve ever published anything - not only will it make you aware, it will make you think twice before you print anything next time! Also, If we look at the amount of paper consumed every hour, each person on earth would get at least two sheets!
Along with deforestation, print media results in tons of waste, that if not recycled, creates heaps of garbage. This leads to the slow destruction of our planet by adding to the ongoing global warming crisis. The protection of our planet has become vital, and saving trees is in fact, the first step in doing so.
Summing it Up
Print media has reigned the world for eons, but as all things, it must evolve too. It must evolve its accessibility, its creativity, its diversity as well as its compatibility with our fragile environment. It takes 10 liters of water to produce one A4 sheet of paper, proving that print media is also depleting our water at an alarming rate.
Many businesses are already evolving by using a mix of print and digital advertising. The time is now for the rest to switch to more efficient ways to convey information. And this must begin with being aware of the limitations of print media and adopting a combination of digital and print.