[Updated for 2021]

In today's digital marketing landscape, it's common to hear the question, "Isn't print dead?" The answer is a resounding "no." Despite the digital revolution, traditional marketing has not gone bust.

The world is now full of digitally connected devices that are always on. Businesses send and receive marketing messages, alerts, and ads via numerous platforms, apps, devices, and websites.

Peter Weinberg's thoughts on marketing trends revealed a thought-provoking idea. He postulates that a company that bases its marketing strategy on consensus opinion, such as "print is dead," is destined to fail. If you do exactly what your competitors are doing (i.e., moving exclusively to digital marketing), then by definition, you lose your competitive advantage.

So Is Print Still Dead?

It's 2021, and print is very much alive and presently facing a resurgence. It should be noted that general consumers favor it to a larger degree than the B2B marketing sector. According to a report by The Guardian, eBook sales fell by four percent in 2016 as the younger generations drove an appetite for print.

The future of print remains bright as long as there is a need to communicate and find novel ways of doing so. Whether it morphs into 3D, VR-related, or AR-related, print has an enduring power that will always give it a firm foothold in the global communications marketplace.


How Print Fits into B2B Marketing Today

Printing is now cheaper in some instances, and like most things in business, various factors affect its price. Which means you get what you pay for.

When using print for B2B marketing, consider the following ideas:

  • Take your most popular content piece and create a print asset. Formerly, a brochure would do just fine. However, today's printing options are more flexible.
  • Print your most popular or universally-applied eBook as leave-behind booklets for meet-ups and presentations.
  • Use print to support your online presence and digital marketing.
  • Collect your top performing digital pieces (e.g., blog posts) and edit them for print publication. Creating a tangible representation of your best content, such as Ironmark does with our printed magazine, Image Nation, will let you get your most impactful content right into the hands of your customers.
  • Reinforce your customer relationships using printed content. You can produce small batches of select printed content and send it to valued customers. It will be a welcomed surprise when they find a high-quality magazine or book in their mailbox.
  • Physical branded assets, such as books or magazines, have an intrinsic value. For example, having your printed content sitting on the desk of some of your biggest clients is a form of promotion, especially when it acts as a conversation starter between decision-makers.
RELATED POST: Top 100 Commercial Printers

The Bottom Line

So is print still dead? Far from it. It's presently enjoying a resurgence as one way for individuals to disconnect from a noisy online world. It's also a trusted and tangible medium that provides an emotional connection and longevity that you cannot replicate by screen.

In fact, it's safe to say that print has the potential to disrupt other digital media channels. It can prove quite useful for B2B marketers. It's unique enough to command the attention of your target audience and compel them to explore something they otherwise might not have.

To learn more about how our print, creative, digital, logistics, and web development services can give your business a competitive edge, contact us today.


Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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