Print’s Interactive Potential
When was the last time you got a direct mail postcard and got excited about it? When was the last time you had an ad in a magazine you had to share with all of your friends and family? When was the last time you were moved to share a point-of-sale display on social media and watched it go viral?
The fact is, print is changing, and now, more than ever before, brand managers are looking for creative ways not just to sell something, but to get people talking. A large part of that is the changing generational landscape, which in turn is changing what consumers expect out of their marketing messages.
Doris Brown-McNally, Worldwide Brands Innovation Manager, and Jacob Shamis, Americas Brands Innovation Manager, HP. Inc., (Booth 613) broke it down into four major trends that are driving Millenials—which is one of the fastest growing consumer groups today, making up a quarter of the entire United States population, with more than a trillion dollars in purchasing power today:
- The desire to be addressed personally: This generation has been brought up in a virtual world where their computers and mobile devices talk to them personally. They have an expectation that brands should recognize them as individuals, and deliver experiences based on their personal preferences. This includes their name, as well as their communication preferences in terms of method, context, content, and visual stylings.
- The desire to be involved in the creative process and brand experience: Millennials are known as content creators and users, and 46% of them post original photos or videos online on a regular basis.
- The desire to buy from brands that reflect their values: 50% of Millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause. Brands that stand for more than their bottom line receive greater Millennial love.
- The desire to be wowed: Millennials are 2.5x more likely to be an early adopter of technology than other generations. 56% of Millennials report they are usually either “one of the very first” or are “among the first” group to try a new technology. Interactive print’s ability to deliver a connected experience has tremendous potential.
“Print, like any communication, is all about engaging your audience,” agrees Kurt Konow, Creative Director of Marketing Communications, Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group, Ricoh USA, Inc. And today’s audience, which grew up with screens in their hand and a constant bombardment of ever-changing content, just isn’t engaged by a static printed piece alone.
But while it does add a layer of complexity to marketing campaigns, it also adds to the bottom line. “It is important to understand that interactive print can potentially double revenue,” stresses Iris Shalev, Marketing Coordinator, Direct Mail 2.0 (Booth 3745). “Direct Mail 2.0 had an eventual success with its beta company; it took this company three years to double the revenue. However, they’re now on pace to break $2.3 million, after hitting $1.9 million in 2016.”
It might not happen overnight, and it has to be the right technologies integrated into the shop, implemented in the right ways for each campaign, but the fact is, interactive print has huge potential to completely transform how every shop operates. But like with any other growing segment, the early adopters who can do their trial and error early will be far better positioned to take advantage of this potential explosive growth—not just today, but well into the future.