There’s this ongoing internet joke among Millennials about how many industries they’re able to kill simply by investing their money in different things than the generations before them. Some examples of industries that Millennials have mercilessly destroyed are: paper napkins, diamond jewelry, real estate, and chain restaurants. The list goes on and on, but those are just a taste. When discussing industries Millennials have killed, the part of the conversation that gets left out is usually the emotional factor that plays into WHY Millennials are no longer participating in these industries. Most of the time, it comes from financial insecurity in that Millennials want to make sure if they are going to spend their money (which has become increasingly hard to come by thanks to an unstable job market, stagnant wages, and mountains of student loans), they want to make that a memorable experience or they want to spend a little extra so they know they’re getting quality and durability.
But one industry that Millennials are actually saving is print. This may seem unbelievable since Millennials are notoriously connected to technology; they are digital natives, after all. But studies have shown that millennials love print because it gives them an opportunity to escape the barrage of digital stimuli they are constantly facing. Canon USA led a study that showed millennials actually favor print and they see its future value.
Unlike digital media, print media can last. It can be stored on shelves and coffee tables and folks can come back to it at another time. Is anyone doing that with what’s being sent to their email inbox? Definitely not. If something is printed well, with good design, it can even feel luxurious which increases its value even further.
92% of college students reported that they prefer printed reading material over digital and if the price of both were the same, 80% would still choose print. Part of this preference has to do with the connection between touch and memory. People make stronger memories when more of their senses are being engaged. We feel more connected to the things we touch. Which is why print is still going strong among digital natives.
Studies are revealing that print promotion like catalogs and direct mailers are finding success even with the boom of digital and social media advertising. 65% of Millennials bought from a catalog, 63% bought from a mail piece, and 23% bought because of a direct mailer. So we see that Millennials like physical media because it helps build memories on a deeper level that turn into purchases. But we can’t forego digital advertising either. So what’s the solution?
Use both! Brands have discovered that using email advertising as well as print, makes sure all the ad gaps are filled. There is less pressure on email marketing campaigns to do all of the heavy lifting because consumers are still being reached via catalogs and mailers.
If your business has been scared about the departure of print media, it’s time to take a deep breath and relax because print is on the upswing! And you can thank Millennials for that.