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Printing Industry Exchange (printindustry.com) is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Archive for the ‘Direct Mail’ Category

Custom Printing Is Still Alive According to Online Sources

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

I came upon a few articles recently that show various venues in which the printed word still flourishes.

Direct Mail Packages Just Work

The first article is a snippet from a commercial printing supplier’s website. I work with this vendor as a broker. Let’s call them “Printer A” so as not to give them an unfair advantage. To quote from their website, “This political season, [Printer A] printed and mailed over 24.5 million pieces in a three-month period.” To continue, this printer has noted increased spending on direct mail packages. Printer A attributes this resurgence to businesses’ attempting to attract new customers by using “mail that gets noticed.”

What This Means

Direct mail marketing still works, even in the age of email and tablet computers. Printer A was slammed and had to provide longer than usual schedules for some work prior to the election due to the vast number of print jobs in progress. Companies and political parties don’t spend money on advertising that is ineffectual. A coordinated, multichannel initiative directed toward individual prospects using variable data culled from demographic research makes direct mail a formidable tool.

Colourtone Aries Says Printing Is “Tangible”

BizCommunity.com Daily Industry News, dated November 12, 2012, includes a statement issued by Colourtone Aries that custom printing is still “a critical element in the marketing mix” due to its tangible nature. The BizCommunity article, entitled “Printing Will Not Die, Says Colourtone Aries,” notes that direct mail, point of sale pieces, brochures, and packaging are still dynamic marketing tools.

To quote from the article, Colourtone Aries believes strongly that “a brand’s interaction with the consumer is, and will always remain, tangible, either in the initial contact or when receiving a product. Printed communication, marketing and packaging, which adds to the consumer’s brand experience…is an integral part of the success of branding.”

What This Means

The key words here are “tangible” and “the success of branding.” The Internet is evanescent. It’s one useful marketing channel, but Colourtone Aries sees the “tangible” qualities of print as a necessary part of a brand’s connecting with a consumer on a personal level, forging a lasting bond and inspiring customer loyalty. Commercial printing is powerful and relevant.

Tablets May Actually Increase the Reading of Printed Periodicals

Media Bistro included the following article by Ryan Lytle in its November 15, 2012, newsfeed: “Tablets May Fuel Print Magazine Market, Report Says.”

This online article references a report by the United Kingdom’s Professional Publisher’s Association (PPA), which notes that tablet users read and respond to digital magazines. Furthermore, the PPA report notes “a positive correlation between print and tablet readership.”

PPA notes that while 80 percent of those surveyed had read a printed magazine within the past year, 96 percent of tablet owners had read a printed magazine within the last year.

The Media Bistro article suggests that readers have been using both tablet-based periodicals and printed periodicals. They want both formats, and in some cases the digital versions have even introduced readers to a new magazine or newspaper brand and have motivated these readers to subscribe to the print periodical, which they might not otherwise have done without the initial exposure to the periodical on the Internet.

Marius Cloete of PPA notes that: “Tablet owners are more likely to have read and purchased magazines in the previous 3 months than the national average, dispelling the myth that tablet owners are abandoning print in favor [of] digital.”

What This Means

Tablet owners are more voracious readers than the average person. They have embraced the tablet, but they still like printed periodicals. It’s not a question of choosing one over the other. Rather it is about exploring and celebrating the differences.

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