Print is still relevant for business

Even though some of us could find it hard to believe, print still holds a sizeable share of brand communications to customers. It's not all digital yet, and it won't be for a good while.
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Print is still relevant for business
posted 21.03.2023
Sergiu Iscu
Sergiu Iscu
Article Author
First things first. And the first thing is product data.
All product data that leaves a company and goes to its customers so that they can use it for ordering, has to fulfil two main conditions: it has to be consistent no matter the communications medium or sales channel, and it has to always be up to date. And for companies that act internationally, there is additional complexity in the fact that in all product marketing there is a local, as well as a global component. Getting marketing right is no easy task, especially when you use multiple channels or even omnichannel communication. As such, a prerequisite in managing complex product data and showing it to the market in a meaningful way, is to use a good PIM.

Digital or Print? Digital and Print.

Print and digital marketing both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. The choice between the two depends on a variety of factors, including target audience, budget, and marketing goals.

In recent years, digital marketing has become increasingly popular due to its ability to reach a wider audience and the ability to track and measure results more effectively. Digital marketing includes tactics such as social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Print marketing, on the other hand, includes tactics such as print ads in newspapers and magazines, brochures, direct mail, and billboards. While print marketing can be effective in reaching a targeted audience, it can be more expensive than digital marketing, and it can be more difficult to track the effectiveness of print campaigns.

Overall, the choice between print and digital marketing will depend on the specific goals of your marketing campaign, your target audience, and your budget. Many marketers find that a combination of both print and digital tactics can be the most effective way to reach their desired audience and achieve their marketing objectives.

Here is what Christian Broel, who is responsible for Product Information Management at international pharmaceuticals supplier B. Braun Group has to say about digital vs. print in his line of business:
"This actually varies greatly from country to country and from customer group to customer group. That's why we have installed all these processes, so that we can meet every output format requirement. There are countries in which digital is mandatory for product information, especially on the part of the authorities. And there are also haptic high-end products that certainly make sense in marketing. Roughly speaking, I would currently say: 50% digital, 50% print. But as I said, that depends on very specific factors and specifications."

Print-On-Demand is the new Print

Instead of being forgotten, print keeps finding new ways of proving itself useful to brands and customers alike. Large runs of printed materials done in big typographies are largely a thing of the past. Now is the time for small, customised print batches.

Being able to carve a tailored portion of the product range (and product information) is a must, both for digital and print marketing. A good PIM will allow users to do this with ease and in a timely manner. On the print side, technology now allows having small runs at a reasonable cost, so print-on-demand is embraced by more and more companies, some of them even using their own printing equipment.

For certain lines of business, there are often local regulations or specifications from authorities that prevent a product's information from existing entirely digitally. There are also users who prefer having product data or marketing collateral in printed format, and companies need to accomodate that. Futhermore, for specialized users or narrow product lines (as would be, for example, highly specialized medical professionals buying pharmaceutical products that cater to their specialty), there may be a need to print customized brochures in very limited runs. Database printing processes with data originating from the company PIM will allow for a great flexibility in printing how much is needed, when it's needed.

Programmatic Print is one of the latest smart marketing tools that personally connects consumers, customers and brands. Programmatic direct mail is considered one of the most powerful conversion tools in e-commerce. More and more brand owners are turning to dialog marketing tools, such as programmatic direct mail, to improve customer loyalty and increase their return on investment (ROI).

It basically seeks to transfer the mechanisms of automated digital marketing, which have been working very well for years, to physical marketing and combine them with the attention-grabbing and credible medium of print. In order to achieve this, a data-driven approach is used to identify taget recipients and appropriate content of customised print materials.

Currently, brand owners expect Programmatic Print to lift data collections of varying depth and from different sources, including users (online) behavior, for campaigns. This is to produce print products that are relevant and emotionally engaging for recipients. Delivery to recipients doorsteps is within 24 to 48 hours.

When setting up Programmatic Print campaigns, different groups of recipients are targeted, e.g. prospects who make or cancel a purchase, customers who no longer buy, or particularly loyal customers.

Good Print needs PIM

Last but not least in this article, we bring to your attention 4 reasons why PIM software is a good solution to help businesses efficiently manage and present product information, which in turn can be very useful when creating printed materials.

  • Centralized product data: PIM software allows businesses to store all product data in one central location. This makes it easier to manage and update product information, which is essential when creating print catalogs.
  • Consistent data: PIM software ensures that all product data is consistent and accurate. This is important when creating print catalogs, as inconsistencies in product data can lead to confusion for customers.
  • Automating data formatting: PIM software can help automate the formatting of data for print catalogs, making it faster and more efficient to create these catalogs. For example, PIM software can automatically resize images and format product descriptions to fit within the layout of the catalog.
  • Streamlining the review and approval process: PIM software can help streamline the review and approval process for printed materials. With all product data stored in one place, stakeholders can easily review and approve the information before it is included in the catalog/brochure/leaflet and sent to print.
Sergiu Iscu
Sergiu Iscu
Article Author
Tags e-Commerce | PIM | PIM

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