Industry Giants Signal a Shift

By | May 30, 2012

Marketers’ demand for cross-media marketing services is certainly propelling a transition. Recent actions taken by two industry giants – R.R. Donnelley and Transcontinental – send a clear signal that the move to crossmedia marketing services is firmly taking hold. While a number of smaller firms have already made the cross-media transition, activities by large, publically-held companies are amplifying the message… print combined with other media options increases engagement and improves results!

R.R. Donnelley

Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley (RRD) used quick response (QR) codes – mobile two-dimensional (2D) barcodes – in its 2010 annual report to demonstrate to its investors and the financial community that printed materials can interact with other media forms. The report also served as a testament to how the company is creating integrated communications that use print as a gateway to interact with other media types. The report foreshadows things to come from the company, as the project’s cross-media  component was executed by Nimblefish, a recent R.R. Donnelley acquisition.

RRD purchased Nimblefish to expand its range of cross-media marketing services. Nimblefish’s services include direct mail, e-mail, Web, personalized URLs, and variable video. In a statement announcing the deal, R.R. Donnelley President and CEO Thomas J. Quinlan III commented, “Nimblefish will increase the range of multi-channel solutions that we provide to our customers. This (acquisition) will leverage our extensive digital platform, which offers the ability to personalize communications in quantities from one to millions.”


Montreal-based Transcontinental has been steadily acquiring cross-media companies and has grouped those entities under the Transcontinental Interactive moniker. The unit currently has nearly 1,000 employees in Canada and the U.S. and generated revenues of Can$123.3 million in 2010. Interactive services accounted for close to 10% of the company’s overall sales in 2010 and helped drive an increase of nearly 35% in digital revenues for its media sector. Transcontinental Interactive offers marketing strategy and planning services, data analytics, premedia services, online direct marketing, one-to-one marketing, mobile marketing, and custom communications, including custom publishing and digital printing of marketing products.

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