Trends in Cross-media and Variable Data
Now, more than ever before, print, mobile, and web-based media go hand in hand. Marketers and brand owners are looking for providers who can fulfill marketing campaigns that cross multiple media forms to reach a now multi-channel audience. In September 2013, InfoTrends, in partnership with the North American Publishing Company (NAPCO), surveyed 142 printer service providers, which included 99 print-for-pay and 43 in-plants. Because cross-media and variable data technology enables print service providers to help their clients build, distribute, and track their campaigns across web, mobile, and print, the goal of this research was to uncover how print service providers are implementing, expanding, and establishing a cross-media based business model.
As marketers and brand owners look to expand their reach to consumers across multiple media channels, cross-media has become a service that print service providers must consider offering. Offering cross-media services allows for PSPs to expand the value-add of their print work, while being given the chance to develop/expand a marketing services channel into their business model.
As cross-media reaches across various channels, the service cannot be driven by print technology alone. Print service providers are paying attention to the increase in mobile marketing, and 80% of those surveyed offer some sort of mobile barcode technology to their customers.
While still more commonly used than cross-media, our study found that less than half of those surveyed offer variable data services. Variable data print services provide a foundation for offering more advanced personalized services, such as cross-media production. Furthermore, the link between web-to-print and variable data is yet to be connected by those who do have the service—over 70% do not have the capabilities for customers to order variable data through web-to-print.
To become successful with cross-media, InfoTrends recommends that PSPs train their staff, inform customers of their new offerings, and choose a software solution that can grow with their business needs. Software vendors need to assist print service providers by providing support and education to internal staff on the benefits of their solutions. Furthermore, software vendors need to be aware of the challenges print service providers face when implementing cross-media and variable data solutions to insure success.
InfoTrends’ report Emerging Trends: Trends in Cross-media and Variable Data has an analysis of the results of the September 2013 survey, recommendations for PSPs and vendors, and more information about the cross-media and variable data markets. Contact Stephanie Tose at +1 781 616 2103 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.