Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Print Marketing Benefits in a Disruptive Market," discusses how to enhance and strengthen marketing in a society disrupted by a pandemic. The printing industry is quietly evolving with technological advancements that may have gone unnoticed in the age of all things digital. However, it would help if you realized that while most brands suffered in 2020, the brands that did utilize print to strengthen digital response rates performed better than those that did not. Given the proliferation of e-commerce throughout society and the accelerating shift from lithographic to digital print production, marketers and brand managers continue to show a need for greater print flexibility to avoid obsolescence and better respond to changing buyer habits.
Our Quote of the Day: "Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by discomforts." - Arnold Bennett
In 2021, expect to see technological advancements accelerate and manifest in ways that impact and change both the consumer and industry. That said, print can deliver outstanding benefits in a disruptive market. For starters, there's the internet and how print improves engagement.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
We have covered the Internet of Things (IoT) and what the future may hold in previous posts. The print industry has dramatically transformed as a direct result of the IoT. Printing technology has become smarter. The advances have enabled commercial printing service providers to save resources, improve personalized engagement, and refine documents.
IoT is responsible for bringing AI (artificial intelligence) to the game. It is the combination of AI and IoT that is changing the printing industry. This double technology punch makes it possible for better personalization, increased breach warnings, and the ability to predict paper usage. These improvements have lowered costs, increased profits, and have made print more competitive in a digital world.
Think of AI and IoT as quarterbacks. Michael Vick was the first quarterback that could run, pass, and throw on the run. This year's Super Bowl will feature quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who represents Vick's upgrade version. Mahomes can run, pass, throw on the run, and break records in his third season. In other words, Mahomes has changed the quarterback position, as he is more effective than his counterparts.
Cyber criminality continues to rise and can attack anyone and everyone. The printing industry, like others, is not exempt from cyber malfeasance. Cybersecurity is a must-have for print providers that should protect their print services and solutions. Securing sensitive data for customers is of paramount importance. Marketers must take time to implement cyber-secure programs to guard against tampering or hacking. Document security needs to be front and center as the primary focus for the print industry, now and in the future. Commercial printers will benefit by ensuring a robust data security infrastructure. Printers who promote a secure data component as part of their offerings can extend to customers a higher security level for critical/confidential documents such as HIPPA, ID cards, exam reports, and other sensitive information.
As the discussion heats up regarding climate change, the idea of a sustainable planet is generating a need for businesses to adopt an Eco-friendly mission. The print industry is also under pressure to incorporate Eco-friendly printing methods due to consumer demand. One could assert that the 800-pound gorilla in the printing industry room acknowledges an environment that is becoming more unlivable day by day.
As a result, print sustainability methodologies are no longer an option. Informed consumers understand that everyone needs to embrace sustainability if we are to live on a cleaner planet. In particular, Millennials and Gen-Zers are keenly aware of the challenges earth's sustainability presents, thanks in part to fellow GenZ Greta Thunberg, who represents the youth climate movement. The good news, low-carbon printing capabilities are already underway. To that end, HP has taken the challenge of initiating low-carbon printing. The goal of HP's project is to reduce environmental impact. We will have to wait and see if other companies take up this initiative.
Consumer Eco-friendly conscious concerns will play a considerable role in mandating boycotts for companies that fail to initiate Eco-friendly policies. Simultaneously, the Biden administration views climate change as a national emergency. This may signal new legislation efforts that will likely present new regulations but also new opportunities.
The Explosive E-commerce Expansion
E-commerce has been on the rise for several years. It has also gained tremendous ground due to lock-downs and stay-at-home mandates. The pandemic will continue to drive people to the internet for most of their needs. This online barrage will likely continue, possibly all of 2021, then probably into the first or second quarter of 2022. This estimate could change depending on the efficacy of the vaccines, as scientists battle against newly identified variant strains of Covid-19, and more importantly, if there is a need to either tweak or reconfigure vaccines presently available.
Those who engage print vendors can forge opportunistic growth in the E-commerce stratus sphere. As printers that invest in, set up, or partner with an e-store can offer consumers the chance to purchase print products online. When marketers combine and extend an offer online, in print, and at brick and mortar, they can identify a new and growing customer base. The larger the consumer pool, the higher the potential for sales growth. Therefore, any print provider that takes the E-commerce plunge will likely rise above competitors that fail to do so.
Print on Demand
Print-on-Demand has a trend of its own, and to that end, print on demand is rising more and more as each year passes. More importantly, more and more e-commerce store owners partner with a print supplier, thereby investing in the E-commerce trend. What does this mean? The ability to print custom orders from your e-store will result in more profits from a new revenue stream. In addition, by offering print-on-demand services for e-stores, printers will increase the revenue stream.
If you notice, the iconic players in e-commerce are now inviting print-on-demand services as part of their e-store offerings. Commercial printers should be frothing at the mouth to nail down a successful e-store that offers an installed base of customers.
Digitization has been on the scene for several years and is increasing in every industry. That said, the print industry as a whole lags embracing digitization as a competitive offering. Yet, digitization provides methods to streamline how customers access a print vendor and perform certain functions, such as scanning, storing, and sorting documents using their smart devices. Further, these customers can send their documents to print suppliers for print jobs whenever they need to initiate a job request. This process serves as a more efficient method that reduces waste while simultaneously printing less or only what is necessary. More importantly, this digital method reduces the requirement for inventory management. That Liberty Insurance tagline, "Buy only what you need," comes to mind in the print world, where we could entertain a similar tagline such as, "print only what you need."
These print industry trends are continuing to bolster advertising and marketing efforts, from traditional to digital. However, brand managers willing to step out of their comfort zone will find that these trends will continue to make all the difference in 2021. Digitalization, AI, IoT, Print on Demand, eCommerce Integration, Print Security, and Print Sustainability are methods that B2B and B2C marketers can utilize to garner more revenue and increase brand equity. We hope you enjoyed this article and thanks for reading "Print Marketing Benefits in a Disruptive Market"!
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