Yesterday, I returned from the Print Solutions 2011 Conference and Expo where one of the over-riding themes was, not the death of print, but how digital content is driving print.
- Did you know that eight of the top 10 bestselling books in Japan are print versions of mobile novels (novels written in 200–300 word chunks on mobile phones)?
- Or that Justin Halpern’s bestselling book $#*! My Dad Says (now a sitcom starring William Shatner) was printed because of his success on Twitter?
- Or that Zappo’s — the 100% online merchandiser — uses a printed book to build its brand?
“If print is dead,” said Andrew Davis, owner of Tippingpoint Labs in his presentation “Positioning Print for Today’s Customer” (from which these examples were taken), “then why are Google and Yahoo! using direct mail to promote Internet search?”
Good point. As I sat in the presentation, I thought about the multiple direct mail pieces sitting on my own kitchen counter at home. They were from Google, with integrated cards inviting me to expand my AdWords account. Haven’t gotten anything from Yahoo! yet, but it’s probably a matter of time.
When I got home from the trip, I was going through my mail and I had to smile and think of Andrew. Yet another direct mail solicitation from Google.
Have you gotten direct mail from Google lately? If so, what does this say about the viability of print?