Trekking on through the misconceptions of the print industry, I’d like to address the second topic– younger generations and their interactions with print media. There are two segments we refer to here: Generations Y and Z. This is not a new topic. If you have yet to read the Open Letter to Marketers from an Old Millennial or Keeping Print Alive for Generation Z I hope that you will check them out after this article.
The misconception that younger generations are not affected by print is one of the biggest fallacies of the print industry. It is a definite contribution to the ongoing ‘print is dead’ movement. Counter to what people may believe about younger generations and, although, generations Y and Z have practically become one with their cell phones and tablets, they can still be reached through the print medium. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they can be even more affected by print than previous generations.
An article titled Say What? Millennials Prefer Print Over Virtual Media and published by Village Print & Media explains how “…a recent study found that teenagers between the ages of 12 to 17 prefer print.” The article continues, “According to John Richard Schrock, a professor of Biological Studies at Emporia State University, ebook materials are only used by 2% of college students.”
It cannot be a coincidence that young adult literature is the fastest growing genre in book publishing. Speaking from someone who worked ten years in a bookstore, Kids eat these books up like candy. Consider the article Adult Books Sales Are Down and Young Adult Soars in 2014 published by Time. “While the AAP didn’t track who bought what books, it did note that children and young adult e-books increased a total of 52.7% in the first nine months this year. And a December study by Nielsen found that even though teenagers are tech savvy, only 20% of them buy ebooks …”
Likewise TheGuardian.com says that 62 % of 16-24 olds who are addicted to the digital world of cell phones and selfies actually “prefer print books to ebooks” (you can read more of this article here). Based upon these statistics you can see clearly how the belief that print does not affect younger generations is an absolute misconception.
Personalization interaction, creation, realism, and collaboration are important to younger generations. This misconception that print does not affect them has a large impact on the way that print is marketed. As a result, print more often than not is marketed towards older generations rather than to younger generations.
In order to be successful in reaching a younger generation though print, it is important to understand what is relevant to them as opposed to older generations. Generation Z, as stated above, values personalization and interaction in print, so customizing your print and using that print as a gateway to their more comfortable digital space is a great way to reach them.
So there you go. It’s pretty straight forward. If you want younger people to read print, then create print for younger people! Thanks for tuning in. Happy printing!
Jennifer Grace is a proud to be millennial who works as a Sales & Marketing Specialist at The Dingley Press. Dingley specializes in catalog printing and Jen is lucky enough to be stationed in the manufacturing facility where the presses run 24/7. When it comes to print and catalogs, one thing is for sure, Jen does not lack enthusiasm. To read more of her articles you can check out Dingley’s blog site or connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.