Think Twice Before Recommending a PDF

February 16, 2016

Why this trusty, familiar format is unfit for our new mobile-first world.

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, as most everyone has come to know it, has been in existence since…wait for it…1991. The same year the World Wide Web was invented by Al Gore! That’s 25 years ago. Yet, this little Adobe-invented format has managed to stand the test of time, and remain prevalent in our day-to-day to lives. But, is that a good thing?

Here are the key points:

So, do we stop producing PDFs altogether? I don’t believe so.

There are still good use cases for PDFs, such as lead-gen incentives (so long as the content is truly worthwhile) and certain long-form content. The above points should remind us though that in some cases, resorting to a PDF can cost you…big time, and in more ways than one. If we seek to be modern marketers, then we should be considering the many other available, and far more engaging, content formats and channels before we say, “Let’s make a PDF.”

Hanley Wood Marketing
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Minneapolis, MN 55401


Mary Jo Haugan Lindholm


Vince Giorgi


Front Desk