People have been finding excuses not to do a digital prospectus for years. If you’re looking for an excuse not to put any real effort into a digital prospectus, then we’ve got your back. We’ve collected the most common excuses for avoiding a switch to a digital-first prospectus right here.
Most of these excuses sound totally believable too. So long as your stakeholders don’t scratch beneath the surface, you’re golden! Follow these tips, and you can probably just get away with uploading a PDF.
People over the age of 35 don’t use the internet. It’s just a fact. They prefer a simpler life, where things were slower and harder to find. They want their information printed on paper, so they can really feel the connection to your brand.
Just ignore the fact that the ONS reported that internet usage continues to rise across all age groups – with much steeper rises as the age demographic gets older. And that some of the biggest baby-boomer-skewed brands (looking at you, Argos) ditched their archaic printed catalog in favour of a digital-first approach. I’m sure some people still yearn for a printed catalog, but it also seems like Argos is doing just fine. I guess just because someone wants something, doesn’t mean that they need it. Or maybe the whole digital things is just… better?
Boxes of prospectuses that prospective students will take and almost immediately throw away into the nearest bin, are a staple of our society. If you don’t mindlessly hand them out, how will anyone ever remember who you are?
Just ignore the fact that they’re out of date (causing more problems than it’s worth) and has even less information that your website does. Or that it just keeps pointing them to your website anyway. But even on your website it’s hard to find all of the relevant information in one place.
I mean, think of the alternatives. You could give students something meaningful to keep. Or create an experience worth queuing for, where you could showcase the unique character of your institution. That’d be rubbish, I suppose.
I mean, yeah sure, the paper is recycled or whatever.
The oil-based inks aren’t sustainable? Shhh.
The gold foil finish is… plant-based? Oh it’s not?!
And you’re delivering them in electric delivery vans, right?
And the international ones are delivered by… environmentally sustainable… teleportation devices?
Ok, maybe a truly sustainable print-first strategy doesn’t exist, but it’s not like Prospectus Plus is going to be run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, is it. Wait, it is? Ah, crap.
You know, like all of the other premium brands in their life. Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, Shein, Apple – they go mad for their printed catalogs.
They’re not at all resentful of how annoying it is to find things quickly in a sea of irrelevant pages. They want to find their course information, and they want to take their sweet time about it. It’s not like your competing with a searchable index of literally almost anything ever made in their pocket – Google is overrated, that’s what I heard. And anyway, if it does take a bit longer to find their course listing, they love it because that slightly thicker, uncoated paper stock you chose really makes it all worth it, y’know?
Finally! It’s what we always really wanted: The ability to view a video in a tiny corner of a page. Who cares if its horrendously inaccessible, or works like trash on a mobile phone. People don’t even use the internet on their phones these days. When people view a PDF, what the people want is to be reminded of how much better the print experience is because the pdf is so damn awkward to use.
I can’t believe that these soundbites are still doing the rounds. The bias in the ’research’ that I see to justify these excuses is astounding. I mean it’s no shocker that research commissioned by a print-house states that “there’s still demand for print”.
And yeah, I get that I’m doing the same thing. Shocker: Person selling digital, says digital is worth investing in. But come one, I’ve got a pretty good point, right?
What brands does anyone still interact with print-first anymore. Screw-fix? SCREWFIX? Is that who you want to align yourself with? (No shade Screw-fix, but you’re just not hitting a cool brand list anytime soon. Hit us up if you wanna change that.)
But, these excuses will work. You can continue to roll these off in senior leadership teams, and you’ll get a ton of approving nods. But one day, someones gonna notice what we’ve been pointing out. And by that time, you’ll be on the back-foot.