Are Millennials the Future of Print?


Many see the modern era as the "Digital Age," where computerized media has overrun analog. The trend can be very obviously seen with music sales: CDs replaced cassette tapes and vinyl records (not to mention 8-tracks), then MP3s made CDs obsolete. Now, consumers have the option of not even buying music with streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. Many have also speculated that books will be a thing of the past, regarding the rise of eBooks on various tablet devices. Some welcome the rise of digital, while others are pushing back on the shift away from analog.

The trend toward analog over digital is especially apparent in the rise of vinyl records. Millennial consumers have revived the vinyl record industry, bringing the sale of physical copies of music back on the charts. After the mid-2000's, vinyl record sales have seen exponential growth.


People still enjoy holding a physical object rather than looking at a digital one. They learn better from them, too. In a recent study, 88% of participants retained, understood, and used information better when it was obtained from a physical source, rather than from a digital source.


A 2013 survey found that 92% of college students will choose to buy the paper version of a book rather than an eBook, assuming the prices are the same. Millennials are also the least likely age group to buy eBooks, with the majority of eBook consumers being over the age of 50.


What does this information mean for business owners and advertisers? While there is a lot of emphasis on digital marketing, print may be the way to go in order to attract a younger demographic. Research has found that while Millennials have been raised in a digital world, online advertising is not as effective for attracting interest as it was previously thought. Millennials are used to glazing over an advertisement if they don't feel that it's relevant to them or their interests. Studies have shown that only 45% of consumers act on digital advertisements.

However, print still generates a response.

Millenials (those age 18-34) are opting to spend less time on digital devices for reading

Millenials (those age 18-34) are opting to spend less time on digital devices for reading

Print advertising is still an extremely effective method of marketing and advertising, generating an 80% response rate. Individuals are much more likely to explore a product or service through print advertising. Mailing lists, newsletters, brochures, and post cards are all still effective means of reaching clients and consumers; despite the rise in the digital world.

Print is still extremely effective for brand recognition and consumer outreach. Participants in a study who saw a brand or product in a physical form had 75% recall, as compared to 44% who saw it digitally. Physical products generate higher recall rate and stimulate more areas of the brain than a digital product.

Direct mail is one of the most effective methods of reaching a Millennial audience. 84% of Millennials read direct mail, and 63% have made a purchase based on what they received in the mail. 82% have claimed that print media is a part of their "purchasing journey." Print and mail is still effective because Millennials are bombarded by digital promotions. In a normal week, the average Millennial will receive 19 promotional materials via mail, compared to over 560 email promotions each week.

Whether it's a postcard, newsletter, business card, coupon, or voucher, print media is still king. For brand recognition and instilling a name or date in someone's memory, print is king. Print media will remain relevant, especially with a younger generation that is becoming immune to digital media.

Millenials and Media Infographic
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