Print is for Losers!*

Trending: A new concept to many—most social media sites—including LinkedIn and Facebook and others uses a variant of trending to define thought leadership. No matter how short or long your personal or business “upward trending curve” is, being on top of the pile is a powerful position to hold and when used correctly a powerful tool for your business.

Print has not been included within the trending universe for some time and I doubt that it will ever make its way back to any of the top trending lists in the future. Not because print is dead (for it is not), not because print is an old-fashioned technology (again it is not), but because print will not get back in vogue until the “identity” of print is changed and updated.

Print, according to the latest Flash Report from Ron Davis of the Printing Industries of America, is defined or combined into three segments based on the intended function of the printed piece—a very smart division of the industry.

Those three segments are: Inform or Communicate (essentially newspaper, magazines, book financial, business for and greeting cards), Product Logistics (includes package printing, converters/labels and wrappers) and Market, Promote and/or Sell (political needs, marketing/promotional including general commercial printing, quick printing, direct mail and signs/signage). Combine these three segments and they will provide the projected shipments of print in 2021.

Expected Print by Function 2021
Inform or Communicate 46.23 percent
Product Logistics 14.79 percent
Market, Promote, Sell 38.98 percent

Why is this important? Well if you ask a myriad of “trade” people, I think you will find that most cannot provide an accurate definition of print. This definition becomes more difficult to determine if you move to the creative, marketing and advertising segments. From my experience those who lump or silo print into “print media—advertising” don’t seem to care if that definition is correct or not.

Thaddeus B. Kubis is an integrated marketing communications, media convergence, and experiential marketing evangelist.

A passionate believer in the integration of all online and offline media, inter-digital integration, unified communications, the measurement and ROMI of any marketing program based on results, Thad acts as profit advocate for his myriad of clients.