Put Up or Shut Up!
Print is for Winners, Thinkers, Enablers, Educators and Futurists; Integrators welcomed as well!
To fulfill the statement in my last blog, the three critical “next steps or best practices” for the print industry are all strategic decisions. Decisions based on the long-term health and rehabilitation of our industry and linking it to other supportive industries.
For the sake of brevity the three needs based on my research and review are the following:
1. Valid, Benefit Driven, Inclusive, Integrated Cross ALL Media Metrics, Response and ROMI data.
I think that we within the industry can all agree that print is or can truly be considered “The Marketing and Communications Integrator,” but what about those outside the industry? Those marketers (and others) that use, select the media and enable the media decision to be made, they too need to believe in print as “The Marketing and Communications Integrator” as well.
We also need to separate the title “print media” as in advertisements/publishing from print media in commercial printing, digital printing, collateral, packaging, promotional, direct mail and related print services. The big difference is, print media—as in advertising—is declining, while commercial printing and the packaging sectors are growing.
Sector growth is of great value, but return on the investment, qualified leads, enhancement of a multimedia program all need to be credited where credit is due. This failing is a serious issue for our industry. We do not have a central repository for integrated media result data. I suggest the creation of a cross-industry (channel) approved source to initiate and maintain the flow of empirical, qualitative, quantitative data linking print and other media.
Most industries have their industry-centric groups, ours is in part npes.org, printing.org, gasc.org, nalp.org, and printinthemix.edu, but we need more! We need a neutral source, like a college or university outside the industry, to gather and host this data library. The key word is NEUTRAL!
2. Enterprise/Vertical Based Centricity.
Many industries, particularly those that have integrated manufacturing, supply and distribution chains, keep in touch with this supply chain to MAXIMIZE the planning and their future needs. Why does print not have such a network? This network would be the link, the liaison between those industries that use print in all segments to those that not only develop print technology—manufactures, but to those that provide the hands on, day to day needs to related industries, industries that use or could use print.