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Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog, “How Print Serves B2B In a Digital World”


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "How Print Serves B2B In a Digital World," examines 2019 data provided by printers and analyses from various industry reports. Most folks would assume that digital disruption, combined with the effects of the Great Recession, has all but decimated the print industry. That said, not only has the print industry stabilized, in some areas, it continues to be the go-to marketing resource that elevates marketing initiatives and response rates. The print industry has become progressively healthy.

As with any media challenges, such as television, radio, print, and now digital, the mold for success is being recast to focus on what works. For example, with cable and satellite providers, the DVR has changed the game. Think about the ramifications DVR creates for traditional broadcasts. US productivity is high, and to that end, working folks are no longer willing to sit and watch up to 20 minutes or more worth of commercials during an hour-long program.

Many cable programs are even more invasive, with some pod breaks containing upwards of 10 or more commercials. Yet, even with advertisements soaking up viewers' time, the television industry remains strong enough to show some growth.

To the extent that television must figure out its ad challenges, David Campanelli, co-chief investment officer at Horizon Media, states, "Conceptually, improving the commercial experience on linear TV is a great idea. It's a no-brainer; they have overloaded commercials, and you have to compete with no commercials or limited commercial platforms. But how you do that is the real challenge."

Fox plans to shrink commercial loads within episodes of its Sunday night animated and comedy programming for shows such as "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" by as much 40 percent next season, according to media buyers familiar with the network's pitch. If this reaches fruition, this synopsis represents a real challenge for television programmers competing in the digital age.

Print's Challenges

As with television, print also faces challenges from the digital world. Digital platforms are awash with customer offerings from various industry sectors, including paperless billing. Paperless billing is thought to be the ultimate, replacing paper statements with e-statements. In a perfect world, that makes sense. However, behind paperless billing lies the formidable digital challengers, namely Mr. data breach, and his partner, Mr. identity theft.

This led Congress to apply the breaks when it comes to passing legislation that supports mandated paperless efforts. Organizations like AARP, the National Consumers League, and others have lobbied that not everyone is paperless. Between breaches and thefts, email privacy, and access to reliable high-speed internet, the momentum has subsided; however, the battle will continue and rightfully so. The general sentiment is that printers want to be good environmental stewards while addressing the needs of its clientele.

Areas Where Print Is Flourishing

Fortunately, according to many marketing experts, the state of the printing industry has reached the recovery phase. In a nutshell, print has recovered from digital disruption and the last economic slowdown.

Print collateral, such as wrappers, packaging, and labels, are indicators for the industry. These areas generally serve as barometers for the overall state of the economy. If goods and services are being made and delivered, the economy must be stable or growing. A healthy economy will likely be reflected in the amount of promotional and print collateral as direct marketing mail is an effective tactic for premium and promotional media spends. The considerable spend levels also indicate that brands like Google, AT&T, Direct TV, Xfinity, are confident in the economy but also in the direct mail product set, especially postcards.

Some said newspapers, magazines, books, and informational editorial print collateral would disappear under the onslaught of digital. While many may believe that the print sector, for the most part, is over, nothing could be further from the truth. Books, brochures, catalogs, magazines, and other printed products are doing quite well, and according to a 2019 Print Industry Report, the following are key micro-trends:

  • Direct Mail
  • Package Manufacturing
  • Point-of Purchase Displays
  • Specialty Printing
  • Labels
  • Kit Fulfillment
  • Logistics Management
  • Database Management Services

These micro trends are expected to continue through year-end.

Top 10 Print Services Offered in 2019

The following is a list of the top 10 print products customers have demanded, and printers have shipped this year.

  • Direct Mail-70%
  • Brochures - 68%
  • Pamplets - 65%
  • Posters - 64%
  • Business Cards - 61%
  • Catalogues & Directories - 59%
  • Stationery - 59%
  • Inserts - 57%
  • Signs - 51%
  • Quick Printing - 49%

It is also important to remember that printers also offer an array of ancillary products and solutions that provide an extended marketing reach.

How Print Serves the B2B World

With all the digital conversions taking place, the B2B sales funnel remains a longer sales process. In most cases, the B2B C-suite level executives report to and depend upon a team of inter-department heads to reach purchasing decisions. The digital world helps to provide information for and about customers and prospects, and to that end, any information collected serves B2B organizations in terms of data analysis.

That said, B2B and B2C sectors have a massive amount of digital information to comb through, and that presents challenges for all. Print collateral and namely, direct mail thwarts the marketing challenge by cutting through the digital clutter and purposely directing prospects to a destination, that being websites, social media channels, video channels, brick-and-mortar, and more. Direct mail helps to shorten the B2B sales cycle while delivering a message in a safe and confidential environment that customers have come to expect.

The Net-Net

As the holiday season ramps up, print collateral can help secure the trust that authentic shoppers expect and need to make safe, informed purchase decisions. In a word or two, print is stable and effective, especially for B2B. Thanks for reading, "How Print Serves B2B In a Digital World."

Let's have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us for an hour or two, October 31, from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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