It’s no secret that the printing world has undergone major changes over the last twenty years. At first, the changes were hardware- and technology-based, but internet has now changed the very nature of the printing industry. These are a few of things you can expect to see in the next couple of years.
Integration with digital
To no one’s surprise, print and digital forms of communication will continue to merge. Print is less likely to stand alone, and print sales will be part of a strategic approach combining print and digital strategies into multi-channel efforts.
Keep in mind that even social media should fully integrate with print marketing campaigns. Print and social media can be a symbiotic relationship—use print media to draw attending to your social media sites and use social media profiles to strengthen your print campaign with well-thought out branding.
Other forms of multi-channel marketing utilizing print are variable data printing, qr codes, direct mail print pieces, and personalized urls (purls).
One very positive outcome of this integration is that companies will be able to use one vendor for print, direct mail, and digital marketing efforts.
3D printing will continue to advance
2014 was a huge year for 3D printing. In addition to already-discovered uses for 3D printing in the medical, fashion, and manufacturing fields, new ideas for 3D printing are being developed every day. National news recently showed a blind pregnant woman receiving a 3D image of her ultrasound so that she could “see” her developing baby. New developments are also being made in the creation of 3D organs, plus aerospace and automotive parts.
More creative and interactive pieces
Print is much more than ink on paper. It extends well beyond typical paper products and includes promotional items such as drinkware, magnets, stickers, and apparel. There is an important difference about printed swag to note: people are more likely to keep promotional products longer, which helps build your brand familiarity.
No matter if it is a paper or promotional item, a creative and unique piece gets attention. Design plays a large role: if the piece is striking enough, people take and post photos to social media, helping make the piece—and your brand—memorable.
Print remains an important part of the business world. While many of the traditional usages are present, new ways of using print continuing to evolve.