Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

The future of interactive print

In my penultimate blog for 2015 I take a look at how interactive print can take us from the physical into the online world and make content we read more fun and entertaining. Print or digital? Do we really need to choose?

In this post, the transformation of print in a multi-channel world, I showcased innovations that are now available and essentially transform print into a work of digital art.

I hope I highlighted that print isn’t dead.

Like many of you, I live in the digital and physical world of online and print consuming content determined by where I am, what I’m doing and how much time I have.

Print has been doggedly fighting new digital technology and innovations, from email marketing campaigns to online banking there can be no disputing the fact that print dominance has gradually been eroded by new forms of media.

Why have the paper version when the mobile option makes it truly portable and flexible?

multichannelIn spite of this there is a growing reluctance to admit that email marketing and online marketing never really reached its full potential, with many of us reaching saturation point with overflowing inboxes full of junk e-marketing.

Increased awareness of the environmental impact of technology, print is seeing a resurgence particularly in direct mail and a real desire for the printed word.

Why is print often perceived as the naughty boy?

I hear comments like oh, print is finished or we’ve cut right back on all our print and so forth.

Why not look at print differently?

By utilising the benefits of new technology and delivering all the advantages of traditional print but incorporating the latest digital innovations that take print from paper into the digital world.

You can read more about that here.

Only 10 to 15 years ago print was seen as the traditional safe means Stacked Mail of delivering communications.

But with consumer habits changing almost daily, using a wide range of devices to access information from apps, to social media to contactless and apple pay purchasing, how information is digested has become fragmented.

With an audience that switches anywhere between smartphone, tablet to PC to view and purchase this makes it difficult for the marketing manager to create campaigns that engage with their customers.

Technology has helped marketers and brands to understand better their audiences and target them with personalised information suitable for them.

We have become so reliant on mobile technology and there is a generation of young people who have little interaction with print and I think it is really important that we don’t lose print altogether.

The challenge for the print industry is to be able to reinvent itself through new innovations like augmented reality/layar technology and capitalise on these developments by making print truly interactive so in effect the printed word speaks to you.

In the past five years there have been significant developments in digital technology working with print.

AR (augmented reality) transforms  print into interactive content with videos and more digital content.

Layar was one of the early mobile augmented reality browsers to come to market in 2009 providing augmented reality and interactive print bridging the gap between print and the digital world.

By scanning items with the Layar logo, items such as magazines, newspapers, movie posters and more, print is brought to life enriched with videos, web content, links to social media, websites and purchasing.

Layar is now part of the Blippar group and according to their website have had more than 46 million downloads by consumers who are keen to digest more content both from print and digital.

Video on demand gives marketing and brands the opportunity to deliver highly personalised advertising and content.

Think BMW or Mercedes Benz highly targeted and personalised print and digitalprint advertising with a AR allowing the user to scan and view how the car performs.

After you’ve visited the showroom, expressed an interest in a particular make and model, marketing then send you a highly interactive personalised piece of direct mail allowing you to scan and view the content.

Imagine how engaging that is for the recipient if combined with a limited discount offer or free servicing.

A badly designed print item will deliver a poor result much the same with interactive print, simply adding interactive content to a poorly designed print item won’t yield good results.

But create a great bit of print and then add an engaging interactive video or content will deliver great results.

print and digital

The challenge for the print and marketing industry is not solely the creation of content to drive revenue but encouraging the adoption of interactive content as another touch point for the audience.

Educating marketers to use interactive print and digital that will link all their marketing channels and engage with an otherwise fragmented audience is the challenge to making print interactive and engaging in the long term.

 

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