The Value of Print in a Digital World

The Value of Print in a Digital World
Print Is Not Dead

“Anything that can become digital WILL become digital…” words spoken by Indigo founder, Benny Landa at the first Indigo Users Group back in 1995.  This was a defining moment for me in my career. As a former representative for a company that had made its money selling typesetting just a few years before, this was as brave new world for us. The ability to print high-quality images and content “on-the-fly” using personalization technology had just become a reality and we wanted to be one of the leaders in the industry. This was a new frontier for us and we were ready for the challenge…Heck, Al Gore’s internet was only in it’s infancy at the time.

What none of us in that room that day realized is exactly how the world would be impacted by digital technology.  Fast forward twenty years. Each of us every day is touched by at least seven unique media sources.  Our every move is tracked and utilized in a variety of ways to create a more “meaningful connection.” Our inboxes are littered with emails from a wide variety of advertisers and spammers promising to make us younger, smarter and more appealing to our partner overnight. Yet, according to DMA an astounding 98% of email sent to individuals not familiar with the sender go unopened. Yet, well -executed print medium can garner response rates upwards of 10%.

Over the past ten years, I have attended many meetings and symposiums on the fate of the printing industry. So many owners of “big metal” trying to justify their existence and fighting for every penny in a mature market.

Print is not dead and print is not even dying…but what has happened to print is that it has been transformed and it will continue to transform just as the other digital mediums all in a race to make that connection with timely and relevant content. Direct Mail has experienced a recent revival as it has been recognized as a powerful tool in the quest to get face time with the targeted recipient. A couple quick facts you may find surprising:

  • 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet.
  • 92% of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions.
  • Young adults, 24 years and younger, are among the most direct mail responsive.
  • DMA states that on average, direct mail advertising gives a business a 13 to 1 return on investment.

Data is King and marketers must do a better job of mining the data to more effectively communicate with their audience.

Print provides you the opportunity to take the offense and engage in face time with your audience. In a world that is primarily consumer driven, the material which lands in the mailbox allows the marketer an opportunity to start the conversation. And for marketers, the value of placing them in the driver’s seat? Well, that is priceless….

With a passion for helping clients find innovative ways to distinguish themselves from the competition, Kathi has spent the last 30 years in the graphic communications industry with a primary focus on advertising production services, and integrated marketing program development. As ImageSet's Vice President Marketing and Sales, her wide range of customers has led to key partnerships with Fortune 1000 manufacturers, retailers and corporate advertisers. Kathi played a key role in conceptualizing ImageSet’s IS Direct Source suite of products. Her goal was to provide clients with resources that could be easily understood and applied.