Is Print Dead?

By:Tracy Pell on:July 11, 2014
ABCO: Is Print Dead?

Is Print Dead? Short answer: No. Ok, blog post done. No? Ok, ok… Long answer.

Print is not over…

...but what we print and what we expect from it has changed dramatically. So much so, that print may be one of the most digital, data-driven, high-tech thing you can do.  The trap people fall into is thinking that print is an old-world, stagnant technology that is quickly being replaced by digital devices. So yes, when you think of print as the same old technology that put the Guttenberg Bible in the hands of the masses it does seem old fashioned and dying. The reality is very different. While the old model may be dying, there is something new and exciting springing up in its place.

It is not about generic, general mass-produce materials anymore.

The one size fits all approach is over. Today, the most effective campaigns (including print) are targeted and customized All of us expect even the biggest brands to know exactly who we are. Our patience for mass-market communications is nil. We are irritated when they don’t know we are single, or female, live in Dallas Texas or hate sushi. ALL communications are getting more and more targeted.  

Data…. this is the new foundation all effective print campaigns are now based on. New print technologies allow you to create print pieces so specific that no two pieces on a print run are the same. It is possible to not just address your consumer by name, but it is also possible to include photos that are relevant to them (maybe even photos of their own!) You can congratulate them on their recent engagement or offer to help them with their move, you can use their favorite colors, you can print millions or you can print 5, whatever makes sense for you. When married with cloud-based programs you can track how and when customers are interacting with your materials. The possibilities are truly endless. The key to effective print? Know your audience; collect all the data you can… AND USE IT. (Do watch your data though! Bad data is worse than using no data at all! As a few marketers learned the hard way)

Share a Coke

An example of personalization in print on a grand scale this campaign by coke integrates digital and print to create a consumer-centered campaign. Its fun, its social, your bottle of coke is like no one else’s. Your bottle can be virtual but what you really want is a can or bottle of Coke with YOUR NAME or message on it. Coke’s Share a Coke campaign delivers on both. Nothing could be more now from one of the biggest, oldest brands around. They are using print in a way you could never have even imagined even 10 years ago.

What do you know about your audience? How can you use that information of make your product, service or information relevant and interesting to them?

Interested in learning more? Let us know!

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