Print has been declared dead so many times that the saying has become passé. And although print doesn’t compete with the instant updates of social media and other digital mediums, there are still plenty of instances in which print is preferable and more effective. This is especially true for marketing in business. These are five examples of print collateral that online media can’t replace.

Print vs Internet

  1. Invitations

There’s no denying the ease of using digital invitations for events. But when you put the time, effort, and expense toward creating physical invitations, you have the opportunity to truly impress. Think about how you feel when you see “good” mail mixed in amongst the bills and advertisements that clutter up your mailbox. When you give that feeling to clients, business partners, the press, and whoever else receives invitations to your events, you’re engendering goodwill. Plus, invitations bearing your logo are put up on bulletin boards and fridges, which reinforce awareness and branding to passersby.

  1. Brochures

The more you engage the senses, the more likely you are to make a lasting impression. When you hand out brochures in-store or at events, you not only allow prospective customers to see the information you’re providing, but you also give them something to feel. Brochures even provide other sensory components (aural and even olfactory) that digital experiences lack. In addition, you offer a physical reminder of your brand and your message that will go home with anyone who takes a copy. It’s easy to ignore an email or delete it before it’s even opened. But a physical brochure will be seen again once it is taken out of a purse or pocket and placed on a counter or desk.

  1. Note-taking tools

You know what’s a pain in the neck? Taking notes on your phone while you’re using your phone. Sure, there are programs that make it possible, but it’s still difficult. What’s worse is the mobile-note-taker at a meeting or luncheon who, even if they are actually taking notes, are seemingly preoccupied by their mobile device. Even for the most tech-savvy professional, this habit can come across as rude by giving the impression that you aren’t present or focused. Something unmistakable, though, is taking notes on a notepad. For businesses, branded promotional items like notepads, notebooks, and calendars are a giveaway that will never go out of style for these reasons.

  1. Business cards

Without a doubt, bumping phones to share business cards is kind of cool. But the novelty can’t supplant the longstanding tradition of trading business cards (especially since many phones don’t have the “bump” capability). In addition, handing over a business card gives you the opportunity to have a personal interaction. So shake hands, smile, and make an impression, complete with a physical reminder.

  1. Thank you cards

The personal touch is important in business. You have the chance to remind employees, business partners, clients, vendors, and others, that it is people who keep the business world running. People do the work, negotiate deals, and decide how business will proceed. When you forge personal connections, or take them for granted, you influence the course of business. There’s no better way to touch others on a personal level than by sending handwritten thank you cards acknowledging your gratitude for whatever they’ve done for you. Choose stationary that is personalized, cleverly branded, or unique to the touch (try linen stock or specialty paper, for example) to enhance the recipients’ experience.


Did we miss something? What is your favorite type of print piece that digital can’t match? Tell us in the comments below.