The value of print in a digital world

8th October 2016, 09:24pm

What role does print play in an increasingly digital-obsessed world?


Paper and print remain versatile, engaging and results driven in today’s digital landscape. To argue the case, TSA Limited Executive Director Kellie Northwood was the special guest speaker at Canon’s PrintEx roadshow event.

 Northwood shared insights from the Value of Paper and Print (VoPP), an industry campaign promoting the effectiveness of print media. “We are now more than ever moving into a digital-first media era, but this does not mean the end of print,” Northwood said. “Print is a $7 billion dollar media industry.”

 Print’s popularity

Northwood pointed to PwC Media Outlook figures that uncovered letterbox marketing as the fourth-largest media channel in Australia, just behind newspapers.

 Furthermore, Roy Morgan data in recent weeks found catalogues are more highly read than newspapers, Northwood said. “This could soon see letterbox marketing as potentially the third-largest media channel in Australia.”

 When it comes to what media is most useful for when making a purchasing decision, Roy Morgan found print ranks either first, second or third across all 28 market segments.

“Those are pretty strong odds when you’re talking to a customer who is not quite sure how to split their advertising spend across eight media channels.”

 Print also ranks as the top media to use when making purchasing decisions on household items. “This is good news for the print industry because the decision-makers for household items are generally women, who have a greater affinity with print.”

 A bespoke medium

 In a digital-heavy media environment, print is becoming more bespoke and targeted, according to Northwood.

 Major retailers such as Myer and David Jones are using high-quality paper stocks for their catalogues to build brand equity. Sensory marketing is growing in popularity, this year, Target used chocolate-scented paper for its Easter print campaign.

Meanwhile, digital is increasingly being used in combination with print. In some instances, digital technology is embedded into paper campaigns.

A recent Nivea Sun Brazil ad campaign did just that by creating a ‘location bracelet’ for mums to stop their kids straying on crowded beaches. The clever idea began as a magazine ad that contained a humidity-resistant strip that could be torn out and turned into a bracelet for kids.

Mothers could then download a Nivea app on their phones that linked to the bracelet and let them set a distance that their children could wander before an alarm was triggered.

“This sort of technology is where we are headed in Australia,” Northwood said. “The greatest strength of print is it can be delivered very easily, and using digital with it means we can explore multi-channels more successfully.”

Ideas to stimulate your print business

Earlier this year, Canon created a fictitious business called Coffeco Coffee Company at tradeshow PrintEx15 to demonstrate the different types of applications businesses can produce on Canon printers.

Brochures, menus, loyalty cards, posters, A-frame signs and point-of-sale stands were just some of the applications Canon created for Coffeco.

An expert representative from Canon Professional Print stated that there are many new application opportunities, with wide-format print growing at 7.9 per cent and digital print rising at a rate of 11.5 per cent.

“The question to ask is: ‘Are you printing all your customers’ needs?’ You may think you are, but start thinking of signage, point of sale, décor and furniture – the print business can be a lot bigger than we think it is.”

Will your business explore these new possibilities? Delve into the benefits of print and paper and see how you can integrate them into new digital channels for a truly forward-thinking approach.

Article by Heather Jennings

Freelance journalist and content producer

View all articles by Heather Jennings
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