Printers sticking close to home with print production only should take a clue from AdWeek (11/5). As reported by IAB,
Marketers trying to reach the elusive 25- to 44-year-old Generation X segment, which is at the peak of its buying power, face several key obstacles, including splintered media consumption, a greater diversity in “lifestyles,” more penny-pinching habits than Baby Boomers and an aversion to traditional ads, eMarketer has found. Potential avenues of success include ads on social networks, boosting mobile marketing efforts and making online shopping more user-friendly.
For printers, this means that their customers may be finding traditional print marketing methods to be increasingly ineffective, and if those customers are not tracking their marketing channels, they may or may not know why.
Consequently, if marketers see an overall decline in responsiveness to print, they may assume that this decline is a general decline when, in fact, it may be due declines in certain demographics such as this one.
This potential “generation confusion” should be a great concern to printers. As marketers mix up their channel priorities, printers risk losing print jobs to electronic media when not all of this migration is warranted. In some cases, marketers may be better served by switching to electronic media. In others, it may be counter-productive.
Printers need to make sure they understand the dynamics of generational media. Not only as they continue to tweak their marketing services offerings, but also to protect themselves against unnecessary attrition from print. To do this, they need to understand which demographic segments respond most powerfully to which media. Then, they need to begin (or continue) to position themselves to provide (or protect) offerings that best serve each demographic segment.
Pundits have been saying for quite some time that printers need to better understand their customer’s customer, but now the drivers are changing. It used to be that understanding the end user would help printers sell various print applications. Now it may help them protect themselves from losing them.