To print, or not to print: that is the question

“Although digital seems to offer several benefits… print media has a very important role in customer behaviour”

Over the past few years, the digital age has had a major impact on how business is done. Many companies in our industry have shifted focus to email marketing, blogging, video and social media marketing to raise brand awareness, increase website traffic and boost sales.

The one medium that is largely overlooked is print media. As CEO of multiple companies embracing the digital age, why do I still believe that print provides incredible marketing opportunities and still has a place today within our education industry?


It is certainly apparent that the younger generation are addicted to their screens. Let me be more specific here, referring to Gen Zers, (people born between 1995-2012) even though they are obsessed with their phones they still enjoy reading print material. Although digital seems to offer several benefits, like being adjustable and interactive, print media has a very important role in customer behaviour.

Print is more captivating and people have a greater engagement with the brand since the reader is more likely to be impacted by it and remember it long-term.


A printed brochure can make your product tangible by communicating the services you offer and how you can help students succeed which is ultimately what they want as an outcome. It can also get across the ‘personality’ of your company. Customers are able to browse through a brochure, feel the paper and even distinguish between certain paper density. This tangibility that print has to offer also makes readers pay more attention to the content than digital does.

Different print channels have their own benefits

Each type of print has something to offer. Leaflets and catalogues are directed at the end customer to provide information before actually making a buying decision. A simple price list leaflet can provide all the information to a student without the need to scroll down or click a link. A flyer at a fair where there is multiple competitors offering products ought to stand out and provide instant factual information.

“A printed brochure generally has a longer-lasting impact on your audience than an online version”

A Message For International Marketers

A professionally designed marketing brochure lends credibility to even the smallest of businesses. It empowers a message of quality and professionalism. Moreover, an important advantage of a printed brochure is the retention factor and portability of the brochure.

A printed piece can sit on a desk of an agency for a while, or displayed at educational fairs and exhibitions. A printed brochure generally has a longer-lasting impact on your audience than an online version. I would go so far as to say that Print is certainly alive and retains its power.

There’s a feeling when you pick up a really well-produced print – you get an immediate sense of the company. Whether you are an independent language school, college, university or one of the well-known chain schools, print material is a direct way to convey your brand.

Whether you are printing a multipage brochure, a leaflet or a coupon you not only give your message but a visual experience, value of your service and brand perception. This means that the future for brands should not be considered as ‘print or digital’, but that they complement each other print and digital’.


Having invested in good quality printed brochures, now put them to good use:

  • Include them in mailings to prospective and existing clients.
  • Be aware of your audience. Some sectors and demographics are more likely to respond well to printed media than others.
  • Due to the proliferation of email communications, traditional hard copy mailing can generate increased impact, however effective targeting is absolutely key.
  • Take them to networking events.
  • Hand them out at fairs and exhibitions.
  • Display them in your reception area.

Printed brochures still have a major role to play in helping to promote your services to prospective and existing clients. Integrating your printed brochure with your digital marketing activities will help to increase the return on investment of your marketing activities

 About the author: Emre Barlas is CEO of DPP International, a company that specialises in print management, warehousing and distribution around the world.