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Print week opinion

documobiFUSE CEO, Pete Lancaster featured in the latest issue of Print Week

Opinion: We need to ensure that Print works harder and smarter


So far, print isn’t taking advantage of the mobile revolution. Up till now scanning has been the focus of the print and mobile relationship. Everyone talks about QR scanning, along with AR and digital watermarks. But for me the focus should not just be what you scan, it’s about where the scan takes you and what happens when you get there. Also, none of the known scanning technologies work with all handsets or operating systems, or have been developed with print in mind. Print is still a powerful brand and marketing tool and it’s time we re-evaluated the value of Print.

Digital innovation is moving quickly which emphasises the increasing gap between generations. Many people under the age of 30 (which means most Marketing Executives) don’t have computers at home. Millennials no longer use email, (except at work) they don’t use SMS, they use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Through Mobile, we will reach the modern day masses.

The print industry makes cross media campaigns, which involve printed PURLs/email/SMS. In my mind these are fast becoming outdated techniques because they miss out the mobile-savvy consumers. Generation Y can download an app quicker than we can type in a PURL, they leave their emails at work and they only get texts from their parents.  Through apps, millennials communicate and interact with brands and print can play a part in enabling and continuing the flow of conversation between brand and consumer.

This does mean that Print, as a medium, can and MUST do better. It’s not about one individual piece of print being interactive—it’s about making all print interactive, responsive, and within an appropriate context. Printers must make any brand media a digital interface to an increasingly mobile world.

I believe that we can take this concept further, if we can make all Print a digital interface, we can make packaging interactive, which means we could embed user generated content, such as video in the packaging. The video could be a review of the product; therefore the packaging becomes the Trip Advisor of the product. Consumers could then share their video across social channels, which would encourage conversation online, this flow of communication would stem from Print.

Print was the original social media and it still holds sway today, but it is facing some severe challenges from the young, tech savvy marketers who determine how those marketing pounds and dollars are spent. It’s time to reboot print. It’s time to digitize the medium of print. We need to find the time to do this—and we need to do so now.

Read the fully story in the lastest issue of Print Week