In today's fast-paced digital landscape, it's easy to assume that print and paper are a thing of the past; but according to Mohammed Vachiat, head of sales and innovation at Konica Minolta South Africa, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he's adamant that print is not only alive, but it is thriving like never before.
Mohammed Vachiat, head of sales and innovation at Konica Minolta South Africa
Vachiat is certain that print is far from dead. "On the contrary, it's a medium that is gaining momentum, with its unique qualities and strengths being harnessed by forward-thinking organisations to elevate their brands and customer engagements to new heights," he says.
He explains that the days of flat, mundane printouts are long gone. Today, print media is a canvas for creativity, a tool for innovation, and a catalyst for captivating customer experiences. With dynamic colours that make communications pop, unique personalisation opportunities, and innovative embellishments that add a touch of luxury, printed media is an art form that captivates and inspires.
"From where we stand as a business, we view print as more than just ink on paper," Vachiat emphasises, "it's a medium that allows businesses to tell their stories in a way that resonates with their audiences, leaving a lasting impression and forging deep connections."
Konica Minolta is leading the power of print to help businesses unlock their full potential. With cutting-edge technology, innovative solutions, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of possibility, Konica Minolta South Africa is empowering organisations to break through the digital noise and captivate their audiences with the beauty and impact of printed media.
Despite the doom and gloom predictions about the demise of print, it has adapted and changed its role within society to remain a viable and valuable media format...– Mohammed Vachiat, head of sales and innovation at Konica Minolta South Africa
Vachiat believes there are many reasons why this resurgence in print is taking place, but he points to six that he feels are the most significant:
- It’s disruptive. According to Vachiat, one of the great ironies of the digital age is that print has now become a disruptor. “As businesses recognise that, to make an impact with their marketing they need to do something different, print is increasingly becoming that ‘different’ approach,” he explains. He points to the growth in popularity of printed brand magazines as proof of this statement, with companies embracing the value of putting good content into what is now a unique and valued hard copy format.
- Print is tangible and tactile. Vachiat says that one of the main advantages that print has over digital media is its tangibility. “Print allows for dynamic colours, tactile embellishments and a level physical interactivity that you can never get from a digital format,” he explains, “which means it has the potential to make a lasting and highly memorable impression on your customers.” He points to the power of printed material in sales and marketing particularly, and says that the tactile experience of a printed client ‘leave-behind’ can be much more memorable than documents stored on a USB drive or sent via a post-meeting email.
- Print doesn’t add to digital overload. Vachiat argues that print can be a calm oasis in a storm of digital overstimulation. “With so much digital content vying for people's attention, it's easy for them to feel overwhelmed,” he says, “but in contrast, printed material allows for engagement on the reader’s own terms, helping it to stand out. thanks to its basic lack of intrusiveness. This makes print a great way to get, and hold, someone’s attention in a credible and honest way.”
- It can expand your marketing reach. Vachiat emphasises that, while many people are connected to the digital world, certain demographics are not; and he says that by integrating print into a broader marketing strategy, businesses can ensure these people are not left behind. “Printed media allow for highly targeted distribution, rather than the shotgun approach often employed by digital campaigns” he explains, “and by carefully selecting where and how print materials are distributed, the publishers of those materials can ensure that they reach their desired audience and engage them with precisely the right messaging.”
- It’s still essential for labelling and packaging – Vachiat also points out that print media still plays a crucial role in labelling and packaging, particularly for food and beverages and medicines. “Innovative packaging enhances the customer experience, and labels provide essential information such as ingredients, nutritional guidelines, and food allergies,” he explains, “ensuring that consumers can make informed decisions about what they are consuming.” And he highlights that printed labels can also contain innovative features, like QR codes, which link to additional product information, campaigns, and giveaways, showcasing how print can complement digital innovation.
- Print has proven its resilience. “Despite the doom and gloom predictions about the demise of print, it has adapted and changed its role within society to remain a viable and valuable media format,” he says, “and as a result, with so many businesses now opting to engage digitally, print actually stands out from the crowd. It's a clever way to rise above the white noise of a digital world.”
While Vachiat makes a compelling case for the longevity of print, he is also quick to point out that it is more important than ever for businesses to find ways to integrate print and digital into a cohesive marketing strategy.
“Print and digital should never be seen as competing with one another,” he says, “rather they should be seen as complementary. They are both stronger when they successfully coexist, and Konica Minolta South Africa has the expertise and experience to help businesses effectively harness print as a key component of a broader marketing strategy, enabling them to leverage the dynamic colours and unique personalisation, and use embellishment to bring their client engagements alive in the hands of their target market, while also reaching a wider audience and clearly standing out from their competition.”