Digital Print: It’s Not Technology—It’s Marketing

Do you think of digital printing as an output technology or a marketing model? The reality is, it’s both. If you don’­t think of digital printing this way, maybe you need to think more broadly about digital print.

Traditionally, marketers have used digital presses to save money and “right size” their print volumes. Print on demand and just in time document management save companies tons of money every year. Marketers who are thinking only in terms of production, however, are missing opportunities to think from a strategic marketing perspective, as well.

Say you take a booth at four industry trade shows per year and print 10,000 brochures to give away. From a cost and logistics perspective, you can use digital output to produce 2,500 brochures at a time. This allows you to minimize your upfront investment and update products between shows. Plus, you don’t need to figure out where to store the extra 7,500 brochures after the first trade show is over.

You can think about digital production from a marketing perspective, as well. Each show might draw a slightly different demographic of attendee. By capitalizing on the benefits of digital production, you can break down the runs into four highly targeted segments. This way, you can tweak the selection of products, messaging, and offers for each show based on who its attendees are and what they are looking for.

As another example, let’s say you are running on a tight budget. You can use digital presses to print and mail only to a portion of your list and have lower out-of-pocket costs. From a marketing perspective, you can also think about how you want to split this list. Do you want to mail only to your highest volume customers? How about your bottom 10%? Try to reactivate dormant customer relationships? By targeting the mailing by customer profile or demographic, you can get a better response from maiing to this portion of your list than you would have from mailing to the entire thing.

These are simple examples, but they illustrate the difference between thinking about digital printing as an output technology and as a marketing model.

How are you thinking about digital printing?