Two out of three Americans prefer print media

Posted by on 03 Nov 2009 | Category: Industry Trends

An article recently posted on WhatTheyThink had a lot of thought provoking comments on the use of paper, environmental issues and the costs of outsourcing print. Highlights include:

Use of Paper

  • According to new research, digital media is no substitute for traditional printed media.
  • Most adults reported that they feel more comfortable when they have something on paper than when it’s on screen, suggesting that we make an instinctive association between things we can touch and feel and things that are ‘real’.
  • Nearly two out of three (64 percent) workers prefer ink on paper to a computer screen when it comes to reading.
  • You can exchange a dozen emails in the time it takes to find a stamp for your snail mail, but a handwritten birthday card in your mailbox somehow means more than an identically worded email in your inbox.


  • Two in three U.S. adults (67 percent) agree that they care more about saving money than "being green".
  • BUT only 11 percent of employed adults report that their company is less likely to choose "green" products if it means spending more money.
  • For many small businesses, outsourced printing is a cost-efficient way to be green.

Outsourcing Print

  • In addition to investing in print hardware that rarely operates at capacity, otherwise cost-conscious businesses regularly find themselves paying more than they have to for ink, paper, and other consumables
  • The cost of maintaining extensive in-house print capacity is compounded by gratuitous usage.
  • Because printing out-of-house bears a more obvious – albeit lower – cost, it is rare to find people using a print shop unnecessarily.

The full article can be read here

A challenge for Agencies

Posted by on 18 Mar 2009 | Category: Industry Trends

The Secret to High Response, Super-Effective Marketing is being able to migrate from a traditional mass market advertising model (i.e. ‘Spray and Hope’ ads or mailers), to one that helps clients receive relevant, personalized one-to-one communication – Direct Mail pieces (paper or email) that are WANTED.

But adopting this new strategy brings many new challenges:

  1. Most clients have not collected the right data, or any data, on their customers, and if they have it, they are reluctant to share it.
  2. Companies that have successfully produced programs using new bells and whistles are not sharing their results for fear that their competition will learn how to catch up to them.
  3. A majority of creative content providers (writers and designers at the agencies) are totally without any understanding of or how to write and design for variable, versioned pitches, let alone Web-print-to-Web programs, or database mining.
  4. There is the commoditisation in the products offered by a majority of print providers, and how it affects content providers, like creative firms.

(N.B. Above list derived from an amazing article by Harvey Hirsch)

Although challenging, none of these issues are insurmountable. The blueprint for success, although not widely known, is there and well proven. And like all successful marketing or advertising campaigns, expert planning and execution is the key.

Show me the money!

Certainly in our tight economy, the financial incentives to improve business results is strong. The question here is why continue using a largely ineffective, unprofitable marketing and advertising model, when a better, more cost-effective one can provide many times higher sales results?

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