As I have mentioned I am no marketing maven, but as a provider of print and digital communications I have been much more aware of how people communicate with words.
Contrary to fifty years ago, there is a pervasive shift to delivering information in shorter and shorter bites, whether or spoken or written, and the explosion of media methods to deliver news and information means that we are hearing/seeing more information everyday than our parents were probably exposed to in a week. And I am not even seeing/listening to most of it. My kids are exposed to more channels than I am with Twitter and text messages and regular focus on the screens of their mobile devices.
But there are inherent problems in communicating without printed reference – we plain old don’t remember more than about 20% of what we hear once. And it is hard to go “look up” something that didn’t appear in print. Enter the Internet solution – one can search for more information on something that is only vaguely remembered!
And what about advertising in retail? Gone are the days when adults lolled over the newspaper ads while drinking their morning coffee. Again, fifty years ago, store fronts carried mannequins displaying clothing and samples of hard goods for sale in the store. But without print advertising to draw customers to the store to “see” the displays what you find is that more and more store displays contain printed material – banners, sale information, product brand names and logos. And, in recent months, more and more QR codes to direct shoppers to the Internet to get more information on products and offerings.
More print, but less printing. Banners on lamp posts, signage on storefronts and building walls, scrolling news on flat screens in elevators . . . and an explosion in electronic devices that let you “find” and read the more printing. Our challenge is harness what we know about producing that printing for our clients and getting it into the new mainstream!