Resources to help sell printed communications over digital 

While 2020 was a difficult year for most companies in the commercial print segment, the return to ‘business as usual’ in 2021 is not expected to materialize. Most commercial printers, direct mail firms and digital printers produce a significant amount of branded marketing material (70.2 per cent of commercial printers, according to SGIA research). Gartner Inc. is a leading research and advisory company that has conducted studies on corporate marketing practices and trends. We all know that marketing budgets were reduced in 2020, but one key finding is that now 80 per cent of marketing budgets will be spent on digital channels. 

In order to help marketers make informed decisions, they need facts. While many digital channels have analytics and tools to demonstrate effectiveness, there are many studies about the effectiveness of printed communications that also can help sales reps overcome objections. 

Here are some resources that should be shared with the sales team to prepare for customer challenges. 

Choose Print 

This initiative was sponsored by the PIA of Southern California in 2011. The PIA is now the Printing United Alliance, and the CPIA, OPIA and other Canadian affiliates are members. While some of the material has been updated, there are links to other online resources that are current. They include links, material and studies from Two Sides North America, Domtar, International Paper, USPS and others. 

Print in the Mix

Print in the Mix is a clearinghouse of curated third-party research demonstrating the effectiveness of print, web, mobile, social media and other formats in the cross-media communications value chain. 

The mission is to advocate and educate for the value of print as a viable and effective return on investment in the marketing strategy media mix – alone and working synergistically with other media to drive results. 

Print in the Mix was created in 2007 with a grant from The Print Council and is housed at the Rochester Institute of Technology and published by the School of Media Sciences Cross-Media Innovation Center. The Print Council ceased operations in fall 2012 and sponsorship of the Clearinghouse was transferred to RIT.

Canada Post 

We can’t forget that Canada Post has conducted a number of relevant and current studies that contain facts and case studies on the benefits of direct mail. 

In addition to the information contained in the section Direct Mail in the Marketing Mix, you can also subscribe to Incite Magazine, which has excellent case studies that are great to share.

Unlike some politicians these days, we need to be able to make a compelling argument using facts to help our clients make informed decisions to choose printed media. I trust you can use and share some of these tools to make a difference. Please share your experience. I’d love to hear from you, so we can share your success stories. 

By Bob Dale

As seen in the PrintAction January/February 2021 issue