Now Trending: Digital Media Needs Print Media to Extend Marketing ROI

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The advertising landscape is in flux. Marketers and media planners are moving dollars to follow their audience to ‘non-traditional’ channels, and focusing on how media is being consumed now and will be in the future. I have no doubt that print media has a crucial role to play in this evolution… if we step up and take it.

Let’s be real. Printing is not perceived as modern or cool by many people on planet Earth – especially the largest group of consumers comprised of Millennials and GenZ. WE KNOW IT IS COOL, and an effective way to communicate, educate and sell, however, we are up against many years of a reputational attack by digital marketers and eco interests.

Compounding that with a device in everyone’s pocket and ink on paper can seem like an antiquated choice for marketing dollars or a career path.

Exhibit one. The title of this TikTok video is “Man gets defensive about his job.”


Did you hear a man getting defensive about his job, or a comedian taking an opportunity to riff on the ‘dying print industry, and dead-end career’ of the print salesman in the audience? Regardless, this exchange is only possible because people embrace the foundation of the premise; print is on its way out.

The joke is on them.

Three significant trends in how consumers consume media position print as the perfect partner to establish, maintain and create long-term engagement with customers.

Streaming. Ads on TV are almost useless. Media buyers are looking at streaming platforms, video, and gaming channels to deliver ROI for advertisers. They have to bridge online and offline across many touchpoints.

Digital Publishing. The surge in the number of podcast and audiobook listeners, and digital book and publication readers presents an attractive data capture opportunity for digital and traditional publishers.

Phygital. Phygital is the physical manifestation of a digital asset. It cannot be accomplished without the printing industry’s support, cooperation, expertise, technology, and printing processes. The metaverse is coming, and m-commerce needs us to succeed.


Are you tired of playing defense for marketing dollars and competing for pennies per sheet?

Are you ready to be PROACTIVE?

Are you ready to educate and printspire everyone you meet?

Are you ready to develop printing programs that address shifting media and marketing trends?

Are you ready to PITCH your print partnership with digital media professionals?

YES, is the only way to secure the profitable and long-term success of a print business.

Print Across America Print Media Centr International Print Day

Schedule a brainstorm with your team on the trends above. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Streaming: Pay attention to how platforms and advertisers are working out if/where/how commercials can work their way onto Netflix, for example. In the meantime, QR codes on broadcast channels are trending and that means your customers have probably seen it on their screens. Capitalize on this moment and create a ‘response’ package for your customers.

A ‘response’ could be a reward, fulfillment of an information request, or the start of a sales process. QR codes can be placed on websites, on company social media pages, and shared through digital channels. Of course, they can also be included on printed materials, but in this case, we are jumping on a digital media trend, pitching print media to manifest requests, and establishing a spam-free and secure communication channel in the process.

Digital Publishing. Traditional book publishers have limited information regarding who purchased a book, more likely it is none. In contrast, the digital publishing ecosystem is overflowing with purchaser data and data-based marketing opportunities.

Noel Tocci, David Drucker, Deborah Corn, Digital Book World Podcasts from The Printerverse Making it with Print

David Drucker, Noel Tocci and I co-host the Making it with Print series playing on Podcasts from The Printerverse. We presented at Digital Book World earlier this year and created a promotional booklet for our podcast. It uses QR codes to bring people to the podcast channel, individual podcast episodes, and to our websites. Simple concept, but it blew the minds of the podcast and digital publishers in the room. They don’t know how print can support their messaging, marketing, and sales endeavors because their focus is on producing digital media. Once they knew, they were in.

Listen to this podcast for more intel and attend Digital Book World 2024 to gather it yourself. Team Making It with Print is presenting a session, too.

Phygital. Do not dismiss the Metaverse despite its stumbling start. It is coming, it will be all-encompassing, and it will disrupt and evolve human interactions and transactions. This revolution is only getting started, and without the support and partnership of the printing industry to manifest ‘Phygital’ it will fail. I have written about this before, click over for how to get started: Building the Future with Print.

Who is Laughing Now?

Fast forward two or three years and let’s recreate the moment captured in the video above. A comedian asks an audience member what they do. They reply, “I am a printing salesperson,” and the audience erupts in supportive, grateful, and envious applause. No joke.

Start to change the perception of print by hosting an open house event for Print Across America (and Canada!). Two webinars will help you get started and achieve success on Aug 9 and Sept 1. Info/registration here.

Share how ‘Print Connects’ through your social channels and join our 10-hour International Print Day 2023 Online Conference on October 25. It’s FREE and we are going to make print history this year! Info/registration here.

Jump in the podcast craze. Start your own or work with me and get on Podcasts from The Printerverse. As of July 1, 2023, there have been 236,049 downloads in 150 countries. That means 76.92% of all countries on Earth (195) have at least 1 Podcast from The Printerverse listener. Contact me for podcast packages.



See Deborah’s featured post: Why Print Businesses Shouldn’t Dodge Disastrous Reviews

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Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international industry speaker and blogger, and the cultivator of Print Production Professionals, the #1 print group on LinkedIn. She provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through education, events, Podcasts From The Printerverse, ProjectPeacock.TV, and an array of community-lifting initiatives including Girls Who Print, Elevate Print, #PrintChat, #PrintLife, International Print Day, and Print Across America.

Deborah also helps companies create more meaningful and profitable customer relationships by utilizing more than 25 years of experience as an agency, brand, and corporate print buyer who has assessed, hired and worked with a plethora of printers and service providers.

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