Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Utilizing Your Printer During COVID19," dissects the pandemic's impact on the print industry and how print buyers and customers can best utilize print as an essential tool. In this day and age, essential means necessary.
It is clear from the most recent data that the print industry is experiencing a similar downturn like the broader economy, which contracted 4.9% in the first quarter, and 25% in the second quarter. Every industry has seen the impact with the closings, shelter-in-place, illnesses, and overall concern. That suggests dark days still lie ahead; this on the heels of the latest data confirming that COVID19 infections are rising again, this time to its highest numbers yet. However, many nation's including our own, have faced dire situations in the past, and Americans have always risen to the occasion.
Case in point, Apollo 13. When the spacecraft suffered a potentially deadly situation with technical malfunctions and partial inoperability, the Houston flight director, summoned the crew and demanded to know, "What is still good on the capsule?" In other words, what is still working?
In the print industry, what is still working is the fact that printing is an essential service. Customers need and require information in a format that is transactional, scalable, and mailable. Andy Paparozzi, Printing United Alliance's chief economist, says, "This will be essential in establishing the trust needed to open the economy, manage the crisis, and maintain safety. A lot of it is going to have to be printed."
Our Quote of the Day: "The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armory of the modern commander." - T. E. Lawrence
PRINTERS ARE READY TO SERVE
As organizations attempt to return to a new normal, the need to communicate with all stakeholders, including employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers, will be critical.
As a commercial printer, Dove Direct anticipates demand will expand, particularly from the political arena, healthcare, education, finance, and government. These industries and others will have key messages to deliver for consumer consumption. While industries will have their own reopening strategy, new print strategies and objectives deployed by commercial printers around the country are panning out in positive ways.
To reengage customers, brands are promoting and printing content for organizations, associations, non-profits, and various foundations that fall within their respective commands. Signage, graphic designs, and posters are just a few of the print offerings that enable them to maintain a level of communications and directives that perform in a variety of settings. While the coronavirus has negatively impacted many industries, the stakeholders are keen on solutions that can provide trust between members, constituents, and organizations.
Customer engagement is critical during this period, and to that end, organizations can adopt various communication methods to engage and communicate with customers and stakeholders. The overall goal of content marketing is to drive awareness via eyeballs and to deliver a message or generate revenue for the organization ultimately. That said, once awareness has been achieved, the organization must move in the direction of developing trust, which then translates into brand commitment and brand equity. Print collateral is one of the most trusted forms of communication in the marketplace today.
Your commercial printer may be in the best position to create and disseminate thoughtful literature and directives, depending on what your organization needs to achieve. That literature could include your organization's methods for safety, social-distancing, hours of operation, staggering engagement, and more. We are in unprecedented times, and there is no such thing as over-communicating. Additional marketing messages for your clients would include collateral that advises and reinforces how to social distance, or how to properly wear and dispose of face masks, hand washing techniques, and why goggles and face shields are necessary for environments where social distancing is challenging.
Nearly every organization, news outlet, and essential service provider continues to say that "We will beat this thing together," or something to that effect. That may be true; however, it will be a daunting challenge to get all of us on the same page, with a good number of folks who falsely believe that the virus is either fake or something similar to a flu virus.
Your commercial printers are best suited to deliver trustworthy information distributed throughout the country. Any print organization that can dedicate a portion of its resources to help stop the spread will go a long way toward attracting people towards their brand, both now and in the future.
The Future is Unknown
How COVID-19 will ultimately unfold is the question of the decade. The timeline for allowing people to return to their pre-pandemic lives safely is unknown. The idea of reopening without a vaccine or an effective treatment continues under debate.
Politicians are at odds with the medical community, while the nation grapples with what would appear to be untenable circumstances. We are all too aware that the economy must continue to operate; simultaneously, people must feel safe at work if we are going to turn the economy around. Meanwhile, talk has begun about a second wave of the coronavirus, which leads people to consider another lockdown. In contrast, some medical experts have stated that there is no second wave, as the original demarcation of the virus has never abated.
We will get out of this pandemic eventually, and to that end, we all need to work together to arrive at a safe, pandemic-free zone. We can start by observing to do all that the medical community is advising. First and foremost, COVID19 is a medical issue. The medical science professionals have the lead, and we should listen and govern ourselves accordingly. Meanwhile, Print buyers and customers will do well by promoting best practices during this pandemic. Brands that follow that directive will fare better and could help mitigate and eventually contain this virus. We hope that you found value in this article. Thanks for reading "Utilizing Your Printer During COVID-19."
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