There is no getting around the fact that the world is becoming increasingly digital. For the most part, it’s a good thing. We have the ability to communicate easily with people, buy items and have them shipped to us from anywhere in the world, and we can use digital to organize our lives and businesses. However, there are moments when print media is preferred over digital media. This article considers why print-based communication is still relevant and why we should consider using it more often.
Imagine all the ways that you communicate with customers via digital media. E-mails, social media posts, your website, Skype or other online communication platforms. These are all great and they really do make getting a message out there easy. They provide a cheap and convenient way to reach the masses but how much of your message is being digested by your potential customer? There is no way that an online form of communication can compare to a physical copy that you can actually hold in your hand.
Imagine, for instance, holding a beautifully designed business card similar to the ones printed at HelloPrint. We all place more significance on something physical than we do something that is only ever going to be on our computer. For that reason that one business card is more likely to be the one that you will actually follow up on. That company is more likely to win your business simply because they have given you a physical piece of paper with their information on. Studies show that we have an emotional response when we see something printed as opposed to viewing it in a digital format. It is known to increase brand recognition and the information presented is more easily processed mentally.
Gain a Competitive Advantage
It’s not just business cards though, you have to think about it in terms of being the company that is able to really reach your customers in a world where other businesses are also screaming for their attention in the digital landscape. Consider the way that you look at e-mails, do you read every one, even if it looks like marketing? Probably not, most of us just delete them automatically, but do you read all of your newspaper? You probably do, there’s something exciting about having something pushed through your door. Digital communication can help you reach customers but perhaps print-based communication might draw them in better.
You may also consider the effect that using pen and paper has on your own productivity and whether there are other benefits to your work if you opt to turn away from digital communication. So, imagine the start of your working day, the to-do list. When we write something down it makes a deeper imprint in our minds than when we type it. The act of writing it, makes us remember it better, it has more meaning to us. If you sat down in the morning and physically wrote down your to-do list it would automatically mean more to you, making it more likely that you will actually stick to it and work through those tasks, rather than becoming distracted with something else. I’ve also seen this work well with notes taken in a meeting. Resist the urge to take in your laptop and type up your action points because handwriting them will make them mean more to you and will help ensure you get them done.
You using pen and paper could also have an effect on your co-workers. If you send them an email asking for some information, for instance, you are just another item that they have to tick off on a long list. Send them a handwritten note, though, and all of a sudden you are at the top of their list. By communicating in a different way to everyone else, you can really reach out and grab the attention of your colleagues. It’s a great way to get information that you need quicker, improving your own productivity in turn.
Digital communication will always have its place but foregoing it could actually help you work smarter and be more productive. Have a think about where in your workday, you could swap to using paper and pen and see if it has an effect on how meaningful those notes are to you. I think you’ll take much more ownership of those details you’ve handwritten and that you will prioritize them, giving you a chance to really work on what’s important.
There are also times when you may need to have something physical that you can hand out to represent your business. Having something physical means so much more to customers, it can help draw them in and can lead to increased brand loyalty.