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

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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