While I may be new to the paper industry, I’m not new to marketing or printing. In my short time at Blueline Magazine, I’ve had the opportunity to look at print and paper differently than how I used it before. I think what we are currently seeing in the industry is a rebirth of print but not just any kind of print design. It’s not designing something just because it looks good. It’s print design being deployed in a tactical fashion powered by creative and strategic data usage. Let me take the pulpit for a moment.
Can I get a Witness?
I’m here to tell you that print is innovative. Digitally born companies are jumping on the print bandwagon such as Airbnb with their newly published airbnbmag. However, their approach is founded on user data as well as data points on what their members search for on their site. They are serving up to their users the information they want with the permanency of print.
Brian Chesky, chief executive of Airbnb, inc noted that while Airbnb is a tech company, he embraced the idea of a print travel publication because “there’s the possibility that it can be saved. It isn’t ephemeral, as opposed to content on a feed that expires.”
Can I get an Amen?
Tactile experiences create credibility and engagement. Several online only companies have employed print tactics to drive traffic to their sites. Companies such as One Kings Lane, Shutterfly and Minted. Catalogs are in demand and with digital printing the options are endless. According to the 2016 DMA Statistical Fact Book, more than 10.6 million print catalogs were mailed in 2015.
“Direct mail continues to serve as a key driver in most omnichannel marketing plans,” expert Lois Brayfield explains in the DMA Statistical Fact Book. “It’s complemented well by online efforts, and fills a much-needed niche. Where online is generally low-cost, low impact, print is higher-cost, higher impact. Where online marketing is passive, direct mail is active. Direct mailings are proactive and tactile — demanding that the recipient DO something with it.”
When Branding is done right, it’s truly a way to dominate your niche. Successful marketing in 2017 requires a balanced, integrated approach. The creative use of big data is a key driver in how to take print solutions to the next level and ultimately, connect with customers.