Take your partners for the marketing dance

Printed marketing is somewhat like Remain

Gareth Ward editor Print Business UK Photo Print Business
Gareth Ward editor Print Business UK Photo Print Business

How much time is ‘wasted’ watching the pinpoint coordination of two or three suited and booted guys dancing on TikTok, Instagram or other social media channel? It is ‘wasted’ because that time can never be recouped and at the end of it, while there is a sense of admiration that anyone could put in the hours necessary to achieve that precision, an emptiness remains. Then there is the sponsor, the advertiser underpinning and enabling this vignette to go viral. Who is it? If someone noticed it at the beginning or end of the performance, within two or three minutes, the advertiser’s name is forgotten. The same goes for spray and pray influencers. A number of printers do well producing the bespoke packaging that is sent out around a new product in the hope that the unboxing process germinates into a viral video and then big sales. Really? Really.

This the state of advertising and marketing today. Never mind that the generation that is best protected against a forthcoming recession and which already has the greatest spending power is the print appreciating baby boomers, advertisers want to snaffle Gen Z in the expectation that they might remain loyal customers for the rest of their natural: Once a Ford driver, always a Ford driver. Poppycock. Brand loyalty is the myth that acts as a comfort blanket to marketing directors. Digital is still the new kid in town in terms of marketing and it has to be indulged. Normal rules do not apply, even when mountains of research demonstrate that so much digital advertising cannot be effective.

Marketing for many brands remains in silos for each channel and the biggest silo is that labelled digital advertising. This approach results in disjointed campaigns instead of interlinked and coordinated messaging. The messages are hitting the wrong people, all because an eyeball for a fraction of a second counts as a view and that is what counts. The language the advocates of digital first, last and only marketing speak is impressive but deliberately obfuscating, just like the arguments proposed by the Leave campaign ahead of the 2016 EU referendum. Many have discovered painfully just how misleading those propositions have turned out to be and wished perhaps that they had voted instead to remain. Printed marketing is somewhat like Remain. It may not be as exciting, but is more honest, more accountable and more engaging and simply more effective than any bunch of dancing geezers in dark suits and even darker glasses. Smart brands are beginning to take note, discovering that print makes digital marketing more effective and that printers, like Go Inspire for example, should be in the driving seat.

Republished from the Print Business Ezine www.printbuisness.co.uk of 25 July 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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