Back to print? A paradigm shift in Marketing of the future.

· by Nat Banks

Nat is HTI's VP of Corporate and Legislative Affairs. He started his career with HTI in 2005.
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Social media is everywhere. Facebook is a real word, tweeting someone is normal, and instead of asking an inquisitive question to friends and associates, we just look straight to cyberspace.

Emails, texts, tweets, Facebook messages, blog posts, and websites are all valuable tools in marketing, but it leads me to question how much of this generation is inundated with so much social media, that they miss out on the messages trying to be conveyed. The days of brochures on glossy paper, printed newsletters with an antique finish, and hand written letters and slowly fading away.

In my years with HTI, I have watched the stack of mail on my desk diminish from a daily pile to 1-5 pieces of mail a day…or sometimes none at all. Instead, I spend my mornings sorting through emails with the fear of deleting a valid, work-related message in the midst of junk.  It is time consuming and often times, hard to immediately decipher what I need versus what is trash.

However, I realized my true love for print when I take time each day to open my 1-5 letters. Junk mail or not, someone has taken the time to build a document, find a printer, run the piece through a press, pass it on to the postal service and get it to the front door of the office. Sure…paper uses up resources. But with the accessibility and ease of recycling these days, I don’t feel guilty at all. In fact, if someone really wants to get information to a client or partner, a nice touch is to send it via email, but follow up with a printed copy in the mail. Print is a nice touch that is rarely used these days. It will always be around, as there is nothing like a good hardback book. However, I feel as if it could become more of a novelty than anything in the future of daily business.

The point for these thoughts is that it makes sense to send a printed piece or letter. Sure it takes more time and money, but from a Marketer’s perspective, it shows that you have made the effort to get more business. You care about your company.  And in addition to the use of online initiatives, print is beginning to make you stand out. What are the odds.