Moms Provide Insight Into Print’s Advantages
My local online moms group recently got into a discussion about whether paper or digital invitations are preferable for kids’ party invites. While they were discussing consumer printing (and in many instances production printing for consumers), it got me thinking about how many of their comments are also relevant to the world of business printing.
First, let me show you the main points addressed by these moms. In summary, they cited the following advantages of printed versus digital invitations.
Advantages of printed vs. digital invitations cited by local moms
The value of printed documents
The value attached to printed party invitations aligns with top reasons for print in the office realm. Not only is printed color output perceived as making documents easier to read, but it also adds significance to the document. One can imagine a client or customer appreciating a personalized, glossy, and well-designed brochure over a mass-produced email, just like a child may enjoy a fun invitation he or she can touch and feel.
What is driving the need for more optional color printing?
Source: Future of Office Printing Survey (Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, 2016)
That said, in many instances business print is being fueled by its accessibility. Clients, customers, and suppliers may not have access to an email address or social media account, but they likely have a mailing address. They may not have a computer, but they have the means to read or transport a piece of paper.
Consequently, providing them with printed output is a way to ensure that everyone receives (or at least has a chance at receiving) an important communication. This is reflected in the education sector, for instance, where printed material is the most common method of parental communication.
What is the preferred method of common classroom/school communications/notifications to parents?
Source: Business Process Automation: Education K-12 Survey (Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, 2017)
The universality of print is also valued by consumers. Moms in my online group brought up the point that paper invitations can easily be distributed to, and taken home by, all children, and no email address is required.
The value of digital documents
The advantages of digital invitations cited by my local moms also reflect benefits of digital communications found in our office-focused research. Digital content can save time, trees, and money. There are also ways to track who has viewed the content, as well as interact with the content over time (e.g., through updates, edits, comments).
Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends opinion
Understanding why consumers and employees still print is key in helping maintain print volumes. The blending of consumer and business worlds has narrowed the gap between why these two groups print; this is reinforced in the alignment of consumer viewpoints and business research highlighted in this blog post. While digital communication has many benefits, the thoughtfulness and universality associated with paper are reasons why print persists.