Posts tagged: Communication

Move Over Millennials… It’s Time to Think About Generation Z!

Eve Padula
 Mar 13, 2017

Over the past several years, marketers across all industries and categories have become obsessed with Millennials—what are the best ways to reach them and help them form meaningful connections with brands? Because Millennials have a unique sense of self and a non-traditional approach to life stages, marketing to this captivating generation has been a challenge. Marketers are only just beginning to understand Millennials, but there’s a whole new game in town with the rise of Generation Z. This is the first generation of consumers that was born into a digital world, and these individuals don’t know life without the Internet, smartphones, tablets, and social media. What are the best ways to engage with this up-and-coming and always-on generation?

Although generational start and end dates are imprecise, Millennials—also called Generation Y—generally include those individuals born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, Generation Z individuals—also called Post-Millennials or the iGeneration—were born after 1995. As yet, there is little consensus about ending birth years for this group. Millennials were coming into young adulthood at the turn of the century, and the oldest of this group are now about 35. Some have been in the workforce for quite some time and have already begun to reshape Corporate America. The oldest Gen Z individuals are only beginning to graduate from high school/college and enter the professional workforce, so only time will tell what changes this group will bring to the workforce of tomorrow. Gen Zers may be too young to have affected the workplace as yet, but they are already having a profound impact on family purchasing habits and the retail marketplace.

In January 2017, IBM and the National Retail Foundation released a report entitled Uniquely Generation Z: What Brands Should Know About Today’s Youngest Consumers. This report surveyed over 15,000 Gen Z individuals between the ages of 13 and 21 and also conducted interviews with 20 Senior Marketing Executives to determine how these consumers engage with brands. As this generation continues to come of age, they will have a major impact on future communication strategies. Read more »

Color Plus Personalization: Selling the Value of Inkjet

Barb Pellow
 Aug 1, 2016

In today’s market, making a good first impression is everything. With information overload at every turn, people will now only glance at a website, mailpiece, or video before deciding whether it’s worth their time. Marketers are seeking strategies to create better pieces with strong visual appeal that prompt the consumer to read further or take action. For many marketers, this means turning to color and personalization.

An Infographic from Kissmetrics on how color can affect conversions highlighted the psychological impact of color on the human brain. Key statistics are as follows:

  • 93% of people say that the visual dimension is the #1 influencing sense that affects their purchasing decision (over taste, smell, etc.).
  • Studies suggest that people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initially viewing it. Up to 90% of this assessment is based on color alone.
  • Magazine readers recognize full-color ads 26% more often than black & white ads.

It is no wonder that today’s marketers are focused on adding more and more color to communications. According to InfoTrends’ 2016 State of the Market Study on Customer Engagement Technologies, over 80% of enterprises stated that full-color printing for promotional and transactional communications is important.

Figure 1: How important do you think it is to switch printed communications from black & white to full color?

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According to InfoTrends’ study entitled Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth, the intelligent use of color in direct mail often generates improved response rates. Full-color images can capture a consumer’s attention with realistic depictions of advertised products. Color can also be used to personalize messages by matching pictures or text to items that the customer has purchased in the past. Furthermore, nearly 49% of consumers reported that seeing color on an envelope had a moderate or major effect on their likelihood of opening it.

The use of color in customer communications is not a new phenomenon. Historically, direct mailers and transactional communication service bureaus have digitally printed in black & white and relied on offset-printed shells to provide color design elements such as logos, highlighted text, and tints. Today, however, digital technologies can deliver near-offset quality and high speeds, all while meeting today’s marketing requirements for 100% variable content and envelope messaging.

For marketers, the inkjet value proposition transcends far beyond cost per print. It offers the ability to deliver color that gets noticed with a completely new approach to communications. Service providers must educate customers about how inkjet technology blends full color with individualized messaging to drive business growth. Print/marketing service providers must articulate how they can support enterprises in delivering communications efficiently and effectively.

The investment in inkjet is about delivering new levels of value to your customer base. Today’s print engines, finishing technologies, and workflow solutions have the flexibility to deliver on the age-old promise of one-to-one personalized messaging in full color. Marketing executives are seeking techniques to improve customer loyalty and grow their businesses with more engaging and dynamic communications. It’s time for service providers to have the right conversations with customers and help them get noticed!


For more information on InfoTrends’ 2016 State of the Market Study on Customer Engagement Technologies or InfoTrends’ Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services study, please contact Keith LaVangie at (781)616-2132 or keith.lavangie@infotrends.com.

A Transformative Separation: R.R. Donnelley to Split into Three Parts

Jim Hamilton
 Aug 6, 2015

As part of its investor presentation earlier this week, R.R. Donnelley announced plans to split into three publicly traded companies, each with a different focus. These companies will be Customized Multi-Channel Communications (CMCo), Financial Communications Services (FinancialCo), and Publishing & Retail-Centric Print (PRSCo). Describing the move as a “transformative separation,” R.R. Donnelley positions this as the next stage in the company’s evolution from a print & ship model to a multi-channel communication services model that leverages data analytics, content optimization, and multi-channel marketing. The transaction will take the form of a tax-free spin-off of the financial and publishing/retail components and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The customized multi-channel media communications component will retain R.R. Donnelley’s outstanding notes/debt and will receive cash proceeds from the sales of the two other components. Existing R.R. Donnelley shareholders will end up owning shares in all three companies. No specifics were provided in regard to the management teams for each component. That will come later.

Source: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Investor Presentation, August 4, 2015

R.R. Donnelley has net sales of about eleven and a half billion dollars. The three planned companies break out as follows: Read more »

In-Plants: All Jazzed Up!

Barb Pellow
 Jul 2, 2015

The 14th Edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF) wrapped up on Saturday, June 27 after nine days of 320+ shows, including 90+ free concerts at 19 venues with 1,500+ artists. In addition to listening to some great music, the in-plant executives in attendance had the opportunity to attend a Xerox educational session where they could learn how to “Amp Up their In-Plant.”

The session opened with a keynote speech from Barb Pellow, Group Director at InfoTrends. She shared her perspective on what it will take to reinvent in-plant operations in today’s environment. Pellow stated, “Nearly every industry is undergoing a major transformation that is being driven by new and emerging technologies. None has been more heavily impacted than the printing industry, and this is only exacerbating the challenges that in-plant managers face today. The key is to disrupt the status quo long before there is a need to do so.” According to Pellow, successful in-plants must build a vision, retool their services, reinvent their customer bases, expand their sphere of influence, properly position their new offerings, invest in operational excellence, and instill a culture of innovation. Read more »

Frankly Speaking: There Will Always Be a Printing Industry

Frank Romano
 Dec 1, 2014

The skeptics have all but written us off
The pundits call us a sunset industry
Misguided marketers think electronic substitution replaces print
But print will prevail

Yes, some print has become electronic
But you cannot replace all print
An e-greeting is not the same as a Read more »

Frankly Speaking: How does a magazine say goodbye after 128 years?

Frank Romano
 Aug 22, 2011

In 1967 the printing industry and its suppliers supported over 30 advertising-based magazines:

The nationals: Inland Printer/American Printer, Graphic Arts Monthly, Printing Impressions, Printing Production, Printing Magazine, and Modern Lithography.

The regionals: New England Printer, Southern Printer, Pacific Printer, Southern Printer, Printing Views (midwest), Printing News (New York), and Florida Printer

The inplants: Inplant Printer, Inplant Reproductions, The Office

Publishing: Editor & Publisher, Publishers Auxiliary (weeklies), American Press, Publisher’s Weekly, and Book Industry

The internationals: Canadian Printer, British Printer, El Arte Tipografico, Artes Graficas

The art magazines: Art Direction, Graphic Design USA, CA magazine

Other: Graphic Arts Product News, The Typographical Journal

Later on there were Quick Printer, MicroPublishing News, TypeWorld/Electronic Publishing, PRE-, and Publish.

Here is a collage of some of them that I made in 1967. Yes, I am a hoarder. Read more »

Print and Mobile are Better Together!

Barb Pellow
 Aug 11, 2010

Print has been the ultimate portable media for a very long time–ever since someone thought to write on a tablet that could be transported rather than writing on a cave wall. Today, devices like smartphones and iPads have become a primary source of portable media from which we can obtain information and communicate. Technology is certainly moving fast, but that doesn’t mean that print has to be left in the dust. In just the past several weeks, the market has seen tremendous examples of companies that are combining print and mobile technologies to deliver enhanced value.

Throughout 2010 and 2011, Calvin Klein will be featuring a new ad campaign promoting its X jeans. Three billboards (at Houston and Lafayette Street in New York, at West 20th Street and 10th Avenue in New York, and at Sunset Boulevard and Havenhurst Drive in Los Angeles) are displaying a Calvin Klein QR code that gives device users access to a mobile video featuring models in the company’s latest X jeans. The QR code included in Calvin Klein’s billboards enables consumers to scan at street level to view an exclusive 40-second spot on their mobile devices.

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Read more »

Obama Win Prompts Additional Newspaper Runs

Other Posts
 Nov 7, 2008

On the way home the other night, I was listening to the radio and I heard a story that started out by saying: “The printed word is not dying by a long shot.” That’s always encouraging news to hear, especially from a media outlet not involved with print at all. The story went on to describe how people were lining up at newsstands all over the US to pick up newspapers with headlines about the election of Barack Obama’s as the next President. Many newsstands ran out quickly, which prompted some newspapers, including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Chicago Sun-Times, to reprint hundreds of thousands of additional copies. This story was also published yesterday on AdvertisingAge’s website. Read more »

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