It seems that for the past five years, ongoing reports of the “death of print media” have made people wonder whether their local paperboy would be going the way of the dodo. With the rise of digital, social, niche, and hyper-local content and reporting, it’s true that “traditional” print publications don’t hold the same command as we’ve known them to have for the past 400 or so years. But to paraphrase the oft used quote “the report of its death was an exaggeration.”
If Print Is Dead, Then How Is It Serving Meals?
There’s no better example than the recent news that, going against the grain of print-to-digital transitions, AllRecipes.com is launching a print magazine starting in November. This version of the media crossover may be different than the current norm, but what it highlights isn’t so much a trend, as an acknowledgment that smart brands know that you can’t win through one channel alone.
Print is not dead. TV is not dead. Yes, mobile is growing and has helped chip away at traditional mediums…you’d be a fool to ignore it. Here’s a secret though…even mobile is not a magic bullet for reaching your audience. No real-life consumer solely uses one medium, be it mobile, print, TV, web, etc. The lesson that marketers can learn from Meredith Corp. (who have owned AllRecipes.com since January, 2012) is that constant testing and adaptation is necessary, and sometimes the results will point you in a direction that looks backwards.
I can only imagine the strategy sessions pushing for digital-only publishing methods and balking at the mere suggestion of printing. Of course, time will tell if this is a success. In the meantime, established news publications have also recently been in flux, with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post, and just last year Newsweek abandoning their print version to go all digital. Even with these shifts and adaptations, we’re a far way off from living in a world without print.
A fully-realized marketing strategy needs to mirror what’s happening in the real world. As new channels emerge, it’s critical to incorporate them into the mix, but it’s just as important to not leave traditional platforms by the wayside. Content needs to connect with your audience through a variety of methods. Where you choose to put the emphasis is another decision altogether…
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