Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Benefits of Digital Printing and Its Processes," reexamines how digital printing and its advanced technological processes throw down the gauntlet in an overcrowded marketing universe. To begin with, marketing via digital printing can deliver increased engagement rates for all digital channels. You may find that hard to believe; however, there are scores of recent data and marketing surveys that have all come to the same conclusion. Direct mail marketing, a digital print product, drives folks to whatever destination the brand is targeting. And those destinations can include a physical device, or more succinctly, a variety of digital destinations in the wake of limited human interactions due to the effects of the pandemic. Consider the following.
eMarketer reports that the trajectory of digital ad spending will reach its highest point in history in 2022. Overall, digital marketing ad spending increased 17% over the past two years. Next, there are over 600 million blogs and nearly two billion websites. Take, for example, the term "auto insurance." While the US population is approximately 332 million, the term "auto insurance" generates about 200,000 monthly searches, yet, over 7 billion results! The number of searches and results reflect the level of interest and the amount of content available for the sample subject, "auto insurance." The new year will be no different. If the current pace continues, we will see more interest, with more results, for any given topic.
2022 will undergo a plethora of advanced digital technology from the IoT (Internet of Things) that will seep into everyday devices that drive communication and advertising initiatives to how we receive healthcare and beyond. Let that sink in for a moment. This brings us to print's technological capabilities that enable consumers and marketers to keep pace with current digital advances and allow brands and marketers to identify specific niche segments, complete with personal data personas. The ability to drill down to the exact target market will be outstanding. For example, marketers who previously never went through the expense of creating and delivering collateral for luxury goods to fixed-income retirees in hopes they respond can now identify the subset who should receive the material. In the past, marketers might have chosen to bypass that segment. However, the advancements in data management and variable digital printing make this group an affordable, reachable target. It is an example of how digital printing technology can segment niches based on data input for variable data printing. As we continue to face the unpredictable developments of Covid-19, we may need to arrive at new ways to live with an ever-evolving virus and its effects. This undoubtedly will place heightened pressure on internet networks lurching under the complexities of millions working, shopping, and learning from home. Under this microscope, we can view the benefits of digital print, especially in its ability to increase engagement and response levels for overburdened digital channels.
Our Quote of the Day: "The best way to create value in the 21st century is to connect Creativity with Technology." —Steve Jobs
What Encompasses Digital Printing? Digital printing is a process whereby one can print collateral from digital-based images and text directly onto various media. Digital printing presses now offer color output on par with offset four-color plate printing presses. For the most part, digital printing consists of professional tasks that include small/short-run jobs, or even larger ones, via desktop publishing or other digital sources that require large-format, high-volume laser or inkjet printers. Digital printing methods can also be less costly than the offset approach, depending on the print job requirements.
The Differences Between Offset and Digital Printing Offset printing is a method whereby etched metal plates apply ink onto a sheet of paper. The offset printing setup requires considerably more time and is often more expensive than digital printing at the outset. In addition, offset printing employs electrostatic rollers, namely "drums," as the resource that applies toner onto the paper. Depending on job requirements, offset printing presses mostly print on paper with output sizes between 29" and 40". Further, another consideration for using offset is when the print project requires 2,000 copies or more for cost efficiencies. Why? The offset process can print more copies faster than competing digital printers. When employing an offset printing press process, a hidden advantage emerges. The more you print, the lower the cost of the paper and ink, thus making the process a more efficient investment for larger size projects.
Various Types of Digital Printing Digital printing presses arrive in multiple formats and machines. These formats can include production printing presses with continuous feed printers, sheet-fed production print presses, cut-sheet digital presses, and of course, production inkjet printing presses. Now that your head is spinning from all the choices, no need to worry, as your professional commercial printer has the experience and is well-versed not only in the multiple forms of digital presses but also can determine the best-suited method that would align in the most efficient choice to deliver the most affordable decision.
Digital Printing's Advantages and Benefits It's close to impossible to set aside the advantages and benefits that digital printing brings to bear. The following is a shortlist of notable advantages and benefits:
Full color with divergent avenues for maximum color and gradation print
Reduced color matching time
Small volume production requirements
Low-cost savings and affordability
High value add
Quick delivery and turnarounds (full-color print output in a single process)
Short Runs (quick availability for additional runs)
More friendly for environmental concerns
Direct Mail Marketing with Digital Printing Digital printing is the driver that makes variable digital/data printing's process a reality. This is what is behind the personalization success map. Big Data is the driver that dictates how the marketing industry can conduct data capture and management for precise target marketing. Once the data points are analyzed and categorized, those data points can then be fed into a digital printing press, which can then print and output collateral via individual pieces or groups of data elements depicting personalized elements within a category. VDP (variable digital/data printing) provides the output for personalized direct mail marketing strategies, beginning with color assignments, messaging, layout, graphics, and various calls-to-action for both individuals or groups of individuals. The VDP process is relatively cost-effective when it comes to personal customized outreach.
Digital Printing Employs Files An additional benefit of digital printing is re-printing short runs after the initial run, drawing on the digital files utilized from the original job. Short-runs support marketers' ability to call up additional short runs as required to continue or update any direct mail marketing campaign. In addition, any edits, updates, or changes that may be necessary for an evolving offer, call-to-action, or any other edited element, can be edited into existing files and applied to the next job run. Marketers are under the gun to get sales moving, and to that extent, sales offers are changing in some cases by the moment.
For example, a 15% discount offer can be upgraded to 20% with additional incentives if the initial response is below expectations. A corresponding direct mail piece can reflect the new 20% call-to-action in the files and then short-run in a matter of hours, ready for a subsequent, direct mail marketing mailing. VDP allows for multiple changes on the fly. It's that easy.
VDP Cuts Through and Improves Digital Marketing How can an organization lift its marketing collateral above the paramount digital overload and numerous digital channels, including social media, websites, blogs, videos, and emails? The most reliable, effective, and efficient method is to select a process that ensures your advertising and marketing messages are received, read, and generate a response. That requires mailing targeted contacts a personalized, custom direct marketing mail piece.
For example, Xfinity subscribers received a January direct mail piece best described as a three-page postcard/brochure outlining the latest offer for the new year. What is vital in this context is to comprehend that Xfinity is a digital-based company that offers many digital products, including multi-media internet/wifi, mobile phone subscriptions, online streaming, television programming, movies, and more. That said, Xfinity kicked off the year with a direct mail marketing piece! Why? Like Google, Xfinity understands that a targeted recipient who receives a direct mail piece can avoid an overburdened online environment.
Furthermore, the recipient is likely to read and act upon the offer, including the option to visit an online destination and follow through with the call-to-action. Digital printing technology is the most efficient and productive marketing tool representing the backbone for all Direct Mail Marketing strategies and tactics. As previously stated, it is critical to remember that even the most iconic digital brands use direct mail marketing as a vital piece of their marketing mix.
The Net-Net Digital printing technologies will also improve over the course of 2022. And regardless of the tendency to place print's direct mail marketing on the back burner, small businesses up to enterprise-sized organizations, including start-ups, will rely more heavily on direct mail marketing tactics as an integral part of the total marketing strategy. Digital printing and thus direct mail marketing will continue to rise in value, with some experts stating it will be the differentiator for achieving marketing goals in 2022. Thanks for reading "Benefits of Digital Printing and Its Processes."
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