If you relied solely on the trade press and Twitter, it would be easy to think that marketing and sales organizations have moved beyond print to a world where everything is digital. But actual data shows that print remains near the top of the list for many marketers.
Why? Because it works, and there are times when nothing less than a beautiful piece of print collateral will do. Whether it’s a brochure, a business card, or a poster, the range of options available to marketers for printed collateral has never been broader or more accessible.
In our survey of marketing spending plans for 2012, we found that 47% of the marketing leaders we surveyed planned to spend at least as much next year on print as they did this year, with 12% planning to increase the budget for print.
The Aberdeen Group wrote in its report on Sales & Marketing Alignment that ready access to marketing collateral (print or digital) by field and local sales people is a good predictor of sales success.
But what do multi-channel and direct marketers really want in an on-demand print solution? Of course, first up on the list is the ability to print what they need, when they need it. No one wants to warehouse thousands (or millions) of print pieces, and no one wants the nightmare of having every local or field sales person using a different printer for short-run print jobs, either.
The goal of an on-demand print solution is to reduce costs and delays. An often hidden and valuable benefit of the process is to turn brochures, ad slicks, flyers, proposal templates, direct mailers, postcards, posters, business cards and other printed materials into digital assets customized at the local level and delivered in a variety of ways.
The best solution is a central, web-accessible on-demand print studio that offers:
- Print-ready digital asset upload for customizable assets of all kinds
- Profile-based user access that controls what assets the user can see, what they can customize, and how payments are processed
- Dynamic image and text customization
- Downloadable PDF’s of print collateral that can be included on web or microsites
- Email deliverability
- Optional insertion into an interactive presentation (digital sales kit, flip-book, PowerPoint, or Flash presentation)
- Customized collateral printing and shipping to multiple locations
- No creative design restrictions and compatibility with most design applications
- Vendor management component for tracking print relationships, budgets, compliance and approvals
Do you have a reliable on-demand print solution? Do you still rely on printed collateral? We’re actively seeking stories from marketers and marketing automation vendors that detail how they use technology to solve marketing problems. So leave us a comment, or send an email, if you have a story to tell our readers!