Enduring #PowerofPrint: How Print Stays Relevant in a Digital World

Written by Bill Michael
eMarketing Manager, Xerox Corporation

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Xerox will discuss the enduring power of print in a Google+ OnAir hangout on April 25 – details at the bottom of the post

We live in a digital world; always-on, always-connected, and growing more so by the day. Information disseminates almost instantaneously, yet our thirst for more suggests we are trapped in a desert. It’s come to the point where the hospitality sector has even dubbed a term, ‘Digital-Detox’, as a way to encourage guests to unplug and unwind. Yes, today’s digital world is having an impact on all industries; and the print, advertising, and design communities are not immune. Despite an abundance of digital mediums (email, social media, web, e-readers, mobile, etc.), print remains an effective, revenue-generating tool.
A blog post by Lisa Rawa, Marketing Manager for Printing Industries of America, spoke to the value of print as an integral component of a successful campaign. She stated that when combined with online, digital technologies – you have all the makings for an effective communication tool. In fact, recent studies showed 76% of small businesses stated their ideal marketing mix was a combination of print and digital advertising. It also found 67% of online searches are driven by offline messages, with 39% ending with a purchase. Research found by Printing Industries of America showed websites supported by a printed catalog yielded 164% greater revenue than those that are not.
The influential role print plays in impacting purchase decisions should not go unnoticed. The graphic design, print, and creative communities may find great interest in a March 2013 study conducted by VTT, gauging consumer response to advertising in various mediums. The effectiveness of print was clear, as consumers scored advertising in print media as the most trusted medium; higher than television and Internet advertising. Nearly 7 of 10 consumers said advertising in print was the most important and influential in supporting purchase making decisions.
So how does print find its place among all these digital devices and technologies that allow users to always stay connected…and what must print provide in order to stay relevant and effective? Susan Weiss, Manager of Worldwide Customer Business Development, discussed this in an interview with Hdemo Network, citing the unique applications enabled through digital printing. With personalization, augmented reality, PURLs, and QR codes – to name a few – print has the ability to cut through the clutter, engage with the recipient, and act as a bridge to the online world. This is critical for marketers and brand owners communicating their products and services.
By making this connection, print and creative communities can tap into multiple communication channels and deliver substantial value to end-users, as well as boost their own bottom line. InfoTrends found firms offering cross-media marketing services were able to boost their digital printing volumes by 14% on average. Alphagraphics of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, used a cross-media campaign of their own to promote an open house event and tout their services and offerings. The campaign incorporated a cross-channel mix including print, e-mail, QR Codes, and PURLs – generating more than eight new orders from current customers for new projects.
Want to learn more about the enduring power of print? Check out the replay of our Google+ Hangout, which discussed the future of design and print, blending print and digital approaches, innovations that are making print smarter and greener, and why good design is critical to business success.
Interested in topics similar to the enduring power of print? Check out:


Xerox was joined by Gordon Kaye, editor and publisher of Graphic Design USA Magazine (GDUSA), Ilana Greenberg, creative director for GDUSA, and Carlos Perez, creative director for Anderson Direct Marketing, during the Google+ Hangout.

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6 Comments

  1. Melissa Sienicki April 22, 2013 - Reply

    I love that this article states that A. print is alive and well when it comes to campaigns and B. speaks to what printers should provide in order to flourish. A must share!

  2. Jan Hiestermann April 22, 2013 - Reply

    Hello to the USA from Germany,

    We at CWNiemeyer in Hameln Germany produce with a CiPress 500 since July 2012. The revenue gains of our customers are not as high a percentage as for you in the States, but it gets better. Until now, the printed word or catalog is still a powerful tool for consumption. The printed word is believed more. Here in need of more consumer information through us. Gradually, the interest increases. There is a saying here: what’s happening now in the States, happened 10 years later in Germany. But it will not take 10 years more, it’s happening already. An important aspect is that we use the CiPress as a commercial printing press. Quality 600 dpi compere by our european colourmanagment about 70% of offset standard. When wax is used in conventional color offset roll paper. Energy costs comprise only 10% of a comparable offset web press. It is also the first 100% organic printing process as of today.

    BR Jan Hiestermann

  3. Bill Michael April 22, 2013 - Reply

    Melissa – glad you found the article informative and helpful. We hope you will join us for our Google+ Hangout this Thursday as we discuss the enduring power of print in much more detail!

    Jan – we are very excited for CWNieymeyer and everything you are achieving with your CiPress Production Inkjet technology! The story you can tell on sustainability and your ability to deliver high-quality on paper of all grade-types is very impressive. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback – it’s greatly appreciated.

    Bill (Xerox Employee)

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