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Six Common Print Marketing Myths Debunked

by Vladimir Gendelman  |  
July 24, 2013

You know how these things get started: One person hears a rumor, then tells two people, who in turn tell two people, and so on. Print marketing is especially susceptible to the rumor mill.

A host of inaccurate myths surrounds the print industry, leaving many with the wrong impression—that print isn't eco-friendly or effective... and other misconceptions.

However, misinformation can lead to missed opportunities and a weaker marketing presence for your brand. Protect yourself from the harmful myths by learning the truth behind the power of print.

Myth 1. Not Eco-Friendly

The paper industry is often unfairly criticized for being harmful to the environment, and the idea of a paper-free workplace has been a frequent topic of conversation over the past few decades.

However, paper can be recycled, and it is also a renewable resource. Paper often comes from managed forests or farms, which replant about 4 million trees every day (four times more than they harvest). In 2010, 63.5% of all paper consumed in the US was recycled, and the numbers have been increasing.

Paper-based marketing also has a smaller carbon footprint than digital marketing, since carbon emissions are only produced once, during the creation of the product. Meanwhile, carbon emissions occur every time someone uses a digital device. Even the act of producing a CD creates more CO2 emissions than printing a 100-page report in full color.

If you are still concerned about the eco-friendliness of your marketing collateral, you can take steps to ensure a smaller impact on the environment:

  • Always use stock made from recycled paper.
  • Encourage recipients to reuse, recycle, or even compost your materials instead of throwing them away.
  • Using organic inks (such as soy ink) is a great way to avoid adding harsh chemicals to your marketing materials.
  • You can skip the ink altogether and use blind embossing or die cutting, which require no ink at all.

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Vladimir Gendelman is founder and CEO of Company Folders Inc. He has spent over a decade learning the ins and outs of print marketing and specializes in helping businesses create quality marketing materials they can be proud of.

LinkedIn: Vladimir Gendelman

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  • by Karin A. Wed Jul 24, 2013 via web

    Excellent article, Vladimir. Another great way to customize printed materials with amazing WOW impact is to find a good printing company that utilizes UV curing processes (instead of heatset process) to set the ink. UV can create vivid colors, super gloss or astounding textural feel to paper. I know of an excellent printer in the Chicago area that has made massive inroads in the use of UV. Let me know if I can mention that company's name here on this post.

  • by Melissa Curran Wed Jul 24, 2013 via web

    Thank you for this kind review of the printing industry! We do get a bad rap because of the common misconception of waste and eco-friendliness as a whole. The thing I would stress is that we are very proactive to our customers' needs in a digital world. Nothing beats the feel and look of a beautifully designed brochure or a business card on heavy linen stock - or whatever your preference. I truly believe the printing industry isn't going away anytime soon and we are working hard to be a business partner to our clients. Thanks again for your article!

    Melissa Curran

  • by Neil Mahoney Wed Jul 24, 2013 via web

    You don't need to convince me. Print media, when targeted to the right audiences -- as B2B pubs used to be -- is far more effective than the electronic media ever will be. Electronic media is a "push" method. Print is a "pull" method. The reader selectively comes to you. Neil Mahoney

  • by Davina K. Brewer Wed Jul 24, 2013 via web

    As an integrated communications consultant, I combo PR with Design quite a bit. There is big truth in Nos. 3 and 6; many, many small businesses make these mistakes, often at the planning stage. Print and Digital go hand-in-hand, so those creative and strategic teams need to work together from the get-go to make sure that the company is making the most of those resources, without wasting time and money. FWIW.

  • by Amber Wed Jul 24, 2013 via web

    This is very much similar to telemarketing. People think that telemarketing will not work but it still does and still will. Most people think that because of social media and online marketing, traditional marketing will not longer work but they are wrong. There are some things that the old can do that the new mediums cannot.

  • by Olin Smith Fri Jul 26, 2013 via iphone

    I mention this to prospects everyday. Good article.

  • by Roger Reece Fri Jul 26, 2013 via web

    great article

  • by Vladimir Gendelman Fri Jul 26, 2013 via web

    I appreciate everyone's feedback and I am glad to know that there are a lot of people out there who care about print as much as I do.

  • by Gracious Store Sat Jul 27, 2013 via web

    It is really a myth to say prints are ineffective means of reaching customers. Many customers remember to respond to brands' announcements such as sales period if they receive print announcement as opposed to if they receive the same announcement via email.

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