This is part 2 of “Keeping up with Technology”
The printing industry is just one example of an entire industry movement that is changing while keeping up with the development of new technologies. The printing revolution is centered on the trend away from hard-copy publications towards digital media mainly because of its inherent convenience. Newspaper circulation has decreased significantly, newspaper jobs have been lost, and many newspapers have gone out of business.
The Internet has totally changed the way we communicate and the way the public is informed, while compelling businesses to listen to the demands of the consumer. We now live in a consumer-driven business world where instant and easy access to information is not only what consumers want – but what they expect.
Some printing publications are charging a fee for content on their sites to compensate for loss of revenues.
“New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system.” (Source)
Social media, E-Readers (Kindle, Nook and iPad), and blogging are becoming prominent resources for media consumption. New technologies will continue to emerge and enhance the way people communicate. With these new technologies, some doors of opportunity will open while others will close.
There is a hard-copy vs online battle driving the print industry revolution. Which side will prevail? Those companies that are changing their business and marketing models to keep up with the technology will be the winners.
The Emergence of Personalization with Cross Media Publishing Technologies and Processes
The proliferation of emerging technologies has dictated a re-birth of the printing industry. The printer’s role prior to this digital era was to put ink on paper. The printing companies that are successful today are the ones who realize that their role is to keep an eye on technological breakthroughs and evaluate how they can apply specifically to direct marketing strategies. It is no longer about applications, but rather about selling integrated marketing solutions. Having knowledge and experience ranging from traditional offset printing to the latest in personalization, QR code technology and social media has become a prerequisite for printers today.
QR Codes are an advanced bar-code technology with the ability to store a large quantity of various types of information. The QR code combines our physical world with the digital world. The code can contain contact information, a little bit of text, or be programmed to direct anyone anywhere on the web. With the widespread use of smart phones and mobile technology, people are sharing their physical locations on sites like Foursquare, Facebook, and Gowalla. QR codes make this sharing even easier. For more information on QR codes, read QR Codes: Connecting the Online and Offline Worlds.
PURLS (personalized URLs) can be originated from email broadcasts or can combine direct mail with a personalized landing page. They are mini websites as well as powerful lead tracking and marketing tools. PURLS provide unique web addresses that are easily incorporated into any marketing campaign. Totally customizable and tailored for each recipient using variable texts and graphics, PURLS can provide an incentive to drive customers or potential customers to their personal URL by including special offers or discounts. Tracking of marketing campaigns is enhanced tremendously with the use of PURLS.
Variable Data Printing personalizes digital printing. It is a form of customized on-demand printing that does not stop or slow down the printing process. Variable data printing allows for mass customization of documents via digital print technology. Rather than printing 5000 copies of the same piece of marketing collateral, variable data printing produces 5000 unique documents with customized messages for each recipient.
Web-to-Print is a cost-effective, convenient, and reliable method of ordering marketing collateral online. It saves time, adds flexibility, and reduces waste by allowing a company’s sales staff to order exactly what they need in the correct quantities when they need it.
Savvy printing companies realize that by utilizing cross media publishing platforms, they are offering their clients personalized, customizable, interactive, measurable, and powerful marketing solutions.
Article first published as The Printing Industry Transformed on Technorati.