Hi! I’m Chloe! This year is starting off with a bang – big projects, cool customers, even neater technologies… but I am afraid this is going to be a terrible year!

Why? Because this is a drupa year, and in a drupa year it seems like everyone is paralyzed with fear that if they make a decision before that big show in Germany they will be missing something. For most it’s just an excuse to not do anything, but I’ve already heard from some clients that they are going to maintain the status quo until they see what’s new in Dusseldorf in June.

This isn’t an isolated conversation, and it makes me sad.

This year should be a stupendous year! It should be a year where all of us get to enable our marketing pieces with more innovative Augmented Reality, add live video content to our printed magazines and books, add new overcoat and varnish options for variable-printed marketing collateral, and play with even more of those great FoldFactory fold ideas for mailed marketing. But every time I prose these options the answer is that it’s too hard, the learning curve is too steep, the ROI isn’t proven. The net result – you guessed it! Same old flat mail in muted colors in the mail stream. Nothing to intrigue or entice the people we mail to so that they will engage and interact.

All of this is especially painful after walking the aisles at CES and seeing all of the amazing tech targeted to consumers. All of those cool toys (well.. not the hover boards… ) mean that we have to fight harder to get and hold attention from every person we want to communicate with in print. How am I supposed to compete with Siri and Alexa when no one wants to do the cool things with unique print configurations that will actually compete?

By the time we get to drupa in Dusseldorf, with halls and halls of the coolest finishing, new print technology options, and amazing software from folks like locr to help us create custom maps, we will be halfway through the year!

My hope is that we won’t all wait. My hope is that we will look for opportunities everyday to create the best print communication possible, link it to all of our messaging channels, take advantage of the cool technologies that are already in our hands, and get the revenue cycle spun up to high gear. But I’m also worried that it won’t happen and that 2016 will be a terrible year for innovation in the mail stream.

Prove me wrong!

Until next time… Watch this space for more from the life of a Print Diva.

ChloeChloe Mahendra-Fuji practices the fine arts of design critique, content creation and editing, and communication consulting. She has decades of experience working in online content delivery, print delivery, and content development. 

Connect with Chloe: @ChloePrintDiva / ChloePrintDiva@gmail.com


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