10 Jan 2018

In a world where we have digital alternatives everything from chatting with a friend or reading a book, you may begin to wonder if printing will still play a significant role in modern life. As it turns out, there are many ways we rely on digital printing on a daily basis!

Learning

Some of our earliest interactions with printed material is during our childhood. Picture books present an opportunity for children to build their vocabulary. From kindergarten to college, a large chunk of a traditional education incorporates physical textbooks. Many educational programs throughout the country have transitioned to e-Learning, but many times these programs face a series of limitations. An e-textbook based program can only succeed if the school receives enough funds to provide the technology for their students. Students will also need to have the skill level to use the software, programs, and tech. Until we address the economic factors that limit a student’s success in their online coursework. Until there is a level playing field, it is unlikely that print will disappear completely from the classroom in the near future.

Communication

What is harder to ignore: an email or a letter? In many cases, that’s hard to judge, but letters tend to hold a bit more weight over their digital counterparts. Anyone can send you an email with little cost and effort. A letter requires a bit more assembly and cash to make it to your home. This difference means that you are more likely to receive junk mail in your emails inbox and it becomes harder to take an email seriously. It is not too surprising that newspapers, catalogs, pamphlets, magazines and even bills still use print to communicate.

Marketing

Thanks to new advertising channels in the digital era, ads can be found sprinkled all across the internet. Unfortunately, advertisements found on the internet have a bad reputation. In the midst of popups and new weight loss stories, it’s hard for viewers to understand what and who to trust. Viewers are more likely to find traditional marketing more trustworthy. The advertiser has made a considerable effort to let the target audience know about their products or services.

Price vs. Value

It is often difficult to choose between print and digital. When comparing the two for cost and efficiency, things become even more blurry. Many assume that digital will consistently be the better choice. Digital media like e-books, newspaper, magazines, or advertisements seem to offer a simple solution, since you don’t need paper, printing, or physical distribution. This isn’t always the case. In the article “Sorry iBooks, paper books still win on specs,” Dieter Bohn shares a few points commonly overlooked in the paper vs digital media debate.

Expenditure

It’s easy to forget that just like a print publication, a digital publication has a team working on the material. The digital publication will actually need a larger team made up of writers, editors, alongside skilled engineers and programmers. A digital product of this nature must be maintained and upgraded at all times. It wouldn’t hurt to mention that workers in computer science and software engineering fields are the costliest workforce.

Revenue

Whether we’re talking about print or electronic media, advertising opportunities impact the bottom line in a significant way. Many times a publication will find it hard to make a profit through ads placed on its online version. Online publications have prioritized their subscription model after struggling to bring in profit through online ads. But for many publications, the subscription model simply doesn’t work. They do not attract an audience willing to pay for that content.

In fact, electronic publications such as tablet magazines are in fact rarely more profitable or less expensive to produce.

Digitally Printed vs Plain Digital Material

There are a few fundamental factors that address the differences between digitally printed and fully digital materials. Take everything into consideration before deciding whether you want to see your product on the newsstand or at the app store.

Audience ability to adapt

There are many things about print products that don’t quite translate to digital including the look and feel of your publication.

It’s also quite an impossible task to do a perfect conversion of your audience. If you’ve spent a while building a print-based brand, your clientele may not all follow you over to the digitally published side.

This applies whether you are publishing books, magazines, catalogs, or anything, really. If you decide to go fully digital, you are dealing with a completely new audience.

Same goes for your advertisers. If you have an ad-supported, print-based publication, your advertisers may not be willing to create a new series of digital ads for you.

Probing the Market

The market you choose plays a major part in how well your product will sell. It’s important to choose a market that makes sense for the audience you’re trying to target.

The market for digital publications is still under constant change. There are many different ways to release a digital publication, making the process even more confusing. However, when it comes to digitally printed material, the tried and true methods for probing the market are still valid and work better than ever. The maturity of the digital print market makes it highly reliable.

Your Audience and Loyalty

Regarding your overall audience and its loyalty, digital releases do not offer the stability that releases in print do. In the digital marketplace, readers are easily overwhelmed with distractions. Consumers of printed media can stay more focused on your content and give it their full and undivided attention.

Authenticity

Whether it’s a book, magazine, or a marketing campaign you’re trying to put out there, the medium you choose is going to impact your success. What matters is choosing a medium that will promote your message well.

One of the main reasons people still rely on digital printing is the authenticity of printed material. Unfortunately, there is still a slight negative stigma attached to digital media. Some people consider digital materials residing on the web as less serious or less authentic. 

(Conclusion)

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