We may well live in a digital world, but print is still an important factor when it comes to communicating the values and personality of a business, and for building new revenue.

Its tactile nature makes it a more memorable experience and when combined with good design and linked to a website or social media, creates for a far greater return, pound for pound, that email or online marketing alone.

In January 2020, an international survey of over 10,700 marketing professionals showed that most decision-makers prefer and gain a greater degree of reassurance and understanding from print over any other media.

The research examined reading preferences for different forms of communications and the conclusions indicated that people given the choice wanted to read a printed version (72%) over digital options. With 65% of the respondents indicating that as well as absorbing almost twice the content than reading electronically they trusted print and gained a deeper understanding when they received a printed piece.

There is no getting away from the fact that websites and digital are a vital part of the mix, and especially when they are combined with well-designed print, such as brochures or newsletters. But that’s the point, there is no one right channel anymore, it’s about creating the right combination to achieve the results wanted.

What has remained, is the importance (whether printed or digital) of good design. The reason being, as we all have become exposed to more and more visual messages every day, we now recognise what’s professional and what is not. This means that good design is a prerequisite for effective communications. Sending out something that looks amateurish is not only bad for business but bad for reputation and can do more harm than good by reducing the number of referrals and leads.

We (CPI London), having been around for such a long time (established 1976) means we have been able to build up a level of expertise and skills in design, print and digital communications, and knowing how to strike the right balance for each customer. By being able to offer the complete range of channels and not having just a single method we have to champion, we can be far more objective and help our customers identify which combination is right for them, rather than just trying to sell print or websites. Maybe that, and having great customers is why we are still around when so many others in print, design and website development have disappeared!

It is also why we are such advocates of the printed word because experience has shown us that despite two decades of email and social media marketing, the transfer to the internet alone has not happened because digitisation works so much better in harmony with print as opposed to replacing it.

On a personal note, if I wanted further confirmation of this, I look no further than the buzz I get when a really nice piece of printed marketing drops through my door, or I come across some amazing brochure or packaging that wow’s me with its presentation or relevance.

There’s something else, and we’ve probably discovered this because of our own desire to drill down and find out the reasons why our customers want their marketing produced in the first place. They have told us that the very exercise of working with us on the design, pulling together the content and finding the right mix has been an intrinsic part of the process because it’s not only great for brainstorming but as a sanity check before spending a whole lot of something that may or may not work.

This alongside our capabilities to actually produce stuff and always being dependable is seen as the major factor when it comes to our customers choosing us to help them build and sustain business.