Printers as Media Advisors
Like everyone else in this field, I’m wondering what the printing industry will look like in 10 years. Heck, I’m thinking it will be quite a bit different in 2015. I’m getting whiplash watching one new media tool after another change the face of doing business — and turning print on its inky head.
My first thought is always, “What does this mean for print?”
Several weeks ago, The Boston Globe reported that Apple’s value had shot past Microsoft’s. One statement in particular stopped me cold:
“The rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds an important cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.”
It’s something I’d sensed — and here it was in print! (For the record, I like my newspapers the analog way.) As consumers’ tastes for all-things-digital expand, print’s function shifts. We know print volumes are down, and they may be down to stay. That’s the glass-half-empty view.
Here’s a glass-half-full view. I see growth for printing companies that appreciate the power of multi-channel marketing and realize that customers, including consumers, have a wide range of preferences for getting information. These printing companies don’t simply appreciate the power of multi media; they, like me, get an actual buzz from the opportunities they create.
Some printing companies are already pulling ahead of the pack — you surely know some (or are one) yourself. They offer customers a broader range of services than just printing (not that there’s anything wrong with that). A few services come to mind, including data analytics, creative strategy, mobile apps, mail management, social media integration, pURLs, email campaigns, cross-media campaigns and intelligent bar codes. Even the websites of these printers look different. Start paying attention and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a cause for rejoicing.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com