The end of print? Or the beginning of the future?At the end of June Design Week announced it would no longer be producing printed copies of its weekly design journal, favouring online delivery only. To us this seems symbolic of the direction the publishing industry (and to some extent the printing industry generally) is taking, as more and more publications look to online delivery of their content. The recent scandal with the tabloids may also add to the demise of printed news delivery, but that’s yet to be seen.

As we all know, web-enabled mobile devices have become so common, delivering content via this medium is cost effective, instant and measurable.

So what does the future hold for print and it’s role in marketing and the wider world of publishing? From our experience over the last couple of years it’s all about fully understanding your audience and communicating to them in the appropriate medium. Some audiences are still only reachable via printed collateral and this will remain the case for some time to come. Others demand online communication, as the nature of their work and home lives suit the ‘access anywhere’ nature of this medium.

Print still has an important role to play in marketing but is now one of many tools available to the marketeer, whereas historically it was the main delivery vehicle for your message.

The main benefit of digital communication as we see it, is the opportunity to strike up a two-way dialogue with your audience. Rather than just broadcasting your message to the world you can now tailor your communication to match the exact audience you are talking to, dependant on where you’re publishing your message.

Good data has never been more important and this requires real investment in getting to know your markets, their pain points and how your products or services can really address their requirements. Blogs, feedback forms, online surveys, forums, triggered e-campaigns; these are the new tools at your disposal and if used well, will give you and your organisation a real advantage.

Print isn’t dead by a long shot. It just has some competition. And competition is a good thing as we all know. Embrace it we say!