Archive for the 'Printing' Category

Is Technology Paving the Way for More Print Marketing?


Digital technology could get in its own way, causing a print resurgence.

I’m going out on a limb and assert that digital technology will ultimately cause a resurgence of print marketing. There are two main reasons for what may seem like a crazy notion:

First, the sheer volume of digitally driven communications is crushing consumers. The spam call epidemic alone is taking a huge toll on mobile marketing. First Orion, a call protection company, conducted a study that predicts half of all mobile calls will be spam robocalls in 2019. The study analyzed data from 50 billion calls over 18 months. It found that spam phone calls increased from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to 29.2% in 2018. It further forecasts that number will reach 44.6% by early 2019, and then continue rising until half of all calls are spam by the year’s end. (Source: Nicole Lyn Pesce, “Here’s why you’re getting so many spam phone calls,” Moneyish)

And while there are aggressive attempts to combat the problem ranging from call screening apps to an FCC-created Robo Strike Force, the technology enabling robo calls is cheap (a fraction of a penny per call), which makes the barrier entry low. The culprits are difficult to track and obviously find enough success to continue the practice despite substantial efforts to stop them.

And when you consider that many of these calls are not just unsolicited and unwanted, but also scams, you understand why mobile phone users are beginning to fear the sound of their ring tone. The crisis is making consumers more guarded about how they use their mobile phones and what messaging they’ll accept—nothing that bodes well for legitimate marketers.

So, why not do more email marketing?

Companies did, chalking up an 18% increase in 2017 for a total of more than 30 billion emails sent, according to a comprehensive study by Yes Lifestyle Marketing. One of the challenges reported, however, is that the share of new subscribers in marketers’ databases consistently declined throughout the year. New subscriptions fell to their lowest point in the fourth quarter, accounting for just 3.5 percent of marketers’ mailable audience.

Plus, the benchmark study showed that 20 percent of brands’ mailable audiences (people who opted-in to receive emails) hadn’t opened an email in more than a year. That represents a 22.5% year-over-year jump in inactive subscribers. (Source: Amy Gesenhue, “Email marketing report: Email volume was up 18% in 2017,” Marketing Land)

In short, people aren’t exactly lining up to receive your newsletters and email promotions, either.

Second, technology and privacy laws are likely to give consumers more screening power. We currently can create great one-to-one email campaigns based on information we gather electronically at critical data points. But what if privacy laws or technology providers give consumers the ability to mask simple inbox behaviors such as opens and clicks?

“We can expect ever greater restrictions imposed on marketers,” says Andrew Bonar, Founder of deliverability consultancy Deliverability Ltd. “We can expect users to demand the right to opt-out of many tools and data points that marketers take for granted. Open tracking, device tracking, location tracking, click-through behavior and other data may all be subject to subscriber opt-ins and opt-outs.” (Source: Chad White, “These Are the Biggest Disruptors to the Future of Email Marketing,” Convince and Convert with Jay Baer)

Then there’s the whole issue of getting things smaller. With most emails now opened on mobile phones, you already need to make your message work on a 4” x 6” screen. Shorter copy. Fewer images.  Singe calls-to-action. Imagine if mobile phones are replaced by wearable technology such as the Apple Watch. How will you adjust your marketing messages?

I could easily go on, but I think you get the idea: digitally based marketing technologies could start to make print look like an even more attractive alternative.

Contact me if you’d like to explore how print might fit into your marketing strategy.


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