How will Printing be used in the Future (Now?)

printerHow is printing changing?

It has been interesting watching the shift that is going on in society (yes, it is a society level change, not just affecting the printing industry) with how people perceive and use printed material. Companies are reducing the inventory (run length) of their printed marketing collateral, shifting their marketing efforts to more of an internet focus, and using more personalized print that is much more targeted than in the past. More and more catalogue companies are reducing, if not eliminating – like Penney’s and Sears have – their page count and using the printed product to push the consumer to their website for transactions. Then add social media marketing efforts into the mix, and you have reason believe that print is not long for this world? NO…NO…A thousand times NO! It’s just going to be used differently than in the past and that is ok and it is the right thing to do.

Printing advantages

What print has to offer, that other media don’t, is the tactile sensation of the feel of the paper and specialized finishing techniques, the expanded color gamut with the use of special inks and color separation technologies, and the permanence of the media. People use print to show the value of their relationship to the recipient. Print and mailing cost more than sending an email to someone (if they get it through their firewall and/or spam filter!), therefore it must be more valuable…right? The perception in the market is an overwhelming YES! BUT….there is always a “but”….you have to ensure that the media is delivering a relevant message to the consumer. If the message has no connection or meaning to the consumer, then you might as well send an email.

The key is to use printing for what it is best for. Don’t waste your time and hard-earned money on a wasteful strategy such as “spray and pray”. That’s the old way and not the “smart” way of the future. We all need to be smarter on how and when we use the different media that are available to us today.

Best of Days to You,

Audrey Ferrante
Ferrante & Associates, Inc.

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