Online Brands Putting an Emphasis on Printed Content

Businesses of all sizes and in all industries are rushing to build web presences that allow them to capitalize on the boom of the digital age and growth of the online marketplace. However, some that have been powers as online retailers are actually doing the exact opposite.

Net-a-Porter launched Porter, a bi-monthly magazine, while Sports Direct also launched a new print title, Forever Sports. On top of that, customers of JackThreads, Rent the Runway, and Birchbox — which have all been online-only retailers in the past — have recently received catalogs in the mail. One Kings Lane followed suit by sending out “magalogs.”

“Putting money behind print doesn’t necessarily seem like the first thing you’d think of doing,” said Ethan Trask, One Kings Lane’s vp of creative. “But we all love products here, we love magazines and books, so I think that bringing our brand into that physical space is really important.”

He also added, “It helps people become more active with our brand.”

“The internet has certainly become a pervasive part of our lives, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the cure to all marketing strategies,” explains Scott Trueblood, President and CEO of BrandVision Marketing. “Successful marketing still requires a solid mix. Creating a solid variety of touch points across multiple channels – from TV and Radio, to brochures and other printed materials, to a solid web presence – is vital to the growth of a strong, profitable brand today.”

Marketing campaigns are spurred by the need to build more visible brands, and it seems that businesses looking to reach more of their targeted demographic are stressing a need to find balance between print and online content.

As Editorialist co-founder Kate Davidson Hudson notes, “Obviously the younger generation is conditioned to connect online, but there is still that customer who is well-versed in the luxury space but who wants to consume their media and shop in a hard-copy format.”

In addition to better interacting with both current and potential customers, there might be a practical financial benefit to shifting away from digital to print.

“There is a case to be made that print marketing still has a place,” retail analyst at Forrester Research Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali. “As a lot of other marketers cut back on print marketing, there’s an opportunity to stand out more. It’s not perceived as clutter—nobody has a bad impression of magazines—and it can be a very useful way to drive traffic to your core property.”

So though investing in printed content might seem like a step backward to a bygone area, as the marketing world moves forward, it might become imperative for growing businesses.

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