Smart printing, that fulfils a particular need or niche, will survive the digital shift into 2012 and beyond. I like to think that print will never disappear. With many people spending their entire working day in front of a screen or glued to their smartphone, easing the commute with a newspaper on the Gautrain or relaxing in the bath with a book after a long day are some of life's great luxuries.
Everyone's still talking about it...Two Sides Autumn Seminar, held in London towards the end of 2011, reaffirmed the popularity of print as an essential medium, citing print as 'the new cool' and having a unique appeal.
Speakers talked about how important print is and results from their surveys suggested the younger generation actually preferred reading on paper than reading on screens!
According to the November 2011 issue of Loyalty Magazine, editors found that when they transferred their offering from print to online, they received many concerned messages from readers who 'want to be able to flick through and browse' the articles. Many readers suggested that the online news service lacked the comfort factor of a 'real' magazine, so Loyalty decided to go retro and now publish a printed version three times a year.
We here at PocketMedia Solutions are strong believers that print will always be a reliable and innovative way to market your brand. As former BBC online editor Ashley Highfield suggests, "The trick is to help move those brands into the digital age and get the right balance between print and digital." Print is a crucial component to any successful marketing or advertising process.
Trends that I foresee in 2012
Chunky catalogues continuing to be replaced with small hand-held forms of print communication in 2012, directing consumers to websites or being used as quick reference guides.
Manufacturers finding more ways to become efficient at a lower cost through workflow changes, new equipment purchases and diversification.
More use of QR codes providing marketers with integrated marketing campaigns
The continued growth of ambient media; we are always looking out for something new.
Smaller print runs becoming more cost effective with digital print
Going Green - companies are turning more frequently to environmentally friendly solutions to lower their carbon footprints.
Shorter turn-around times - in print everyone wants everything yesterday; gone are the days of two week turn-around times.
All-in-one print mailing solutions became popular towards the latter half of 2011. I expect this trend to boom in 2012.
Return on investment - finding a marketing solution that consumers can keep offers a greater ROI for brands
For the FMCG market, interactive bottle hangs are becoming popular and I expect to see greater growth with this application in 2012 - especially those that include a QR code or UFO, which opens to reveal a prize.
Lyn Davis is marketing director and co-owner of PocketMedia Solutions and Z-CARD Africa, India, Middle East and Turkey (ZAMI) (www.zcard.com). She has spent numerous successful years in marketing and her research of the African market continually ensures new growth for the company, with offices already established in Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Botswana and Angola, among others. Contact Lyn on tel +27 (0)11 340 6737, email and follow @Pocketmedia_SA on Twitter.
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