Thinking Ahead: How Can Your Company Prepare for PRINT 2021?

Posted on Oct 3, 2017

The mailing and printing industries are oft-changing, and will continue to see unprecedented change over the next several years. From uncertain legislation to major disruptions in the workplace, BCC Software hosted a panel of industry experts at PRINT 17 that came together to discuss these changes, and how companies can ensure they continue to be successful.

A changing workforce

While still a major and influential industry, mailing and printing companies have had to hold their own in a world that was seemingly being over-taken by digital advancements. Especially when it comes to the next generation of workers – millennials.

Millennials are not teenagers anymore – they range from ages 20 to 36. They have expendable income and are beginning to reach major life milestones, like purchasing homes.  They are working professionals entering the workforce and filling managerial roles.

Millennials grew up in a digital age. They are digital natives and deeply understand it’s workings and are keen to keeping up with trends and changes. With this, they need to be marketed to by companies who understand the importance of digital, and they are looking to become employees at organizations that do the same.

What does this mean for companies in the print and mail industry?

Industry leaders need to ask themselves the following questions:

  • With so much “hype” around digital, how can the print and mail industry get a new generation of employees not only interested, but dedicated and passionate about their work?
  • How can marketers ensure that their direct mail messages are resonating with millennials?
  • How does the legislative landscape affect all of this, and business in general?

Millennials are marketing managers, industry employees, and consumers. What does this mean? It’s essential for all content put out by leading industry companies to cater to them. This content can’t be the same as it was before. Millennials are looking for more from companies than generations before them did.

This is not to say that direct mail does not influence millennials. Yes, they were born and raised in a digital age, and technology is frequently second nature to them, but they are not “digital addicts.” With such a saturated marketing, they are accustomed to digital advertising and messaging, meaning direct mail is refreshing for millennials, and because of this, it resonates with them.

However, millennials need messaging to be personal. With so many different brands and companies vying for consumer attentions, a personalized message is the one that will stand out. With advancements in print technology making great strides, this can be easy reality. Neurological studies have been conducted that prove that direct mail pieces activate four of the five senses – touch, smell, sound and sight. This alone makes it more powerful than alternative marketing methods, like social media or email marketing.

How can companies remain successful during industry changes?

The industry is complex and fast moving, and has similarities to the Information Technology field, which has been drawing millennials. It’s essential for companies to encourage younger generations to come in and bring new ideas to the table. From tradeshows to local organizations, there are plenty of ways to get involved with the industry so that your company and employees can stay ahead of the curve.

As of September 2017, there is no Board of Governors for the USPS®. If there is none appointed by the end of the year, USPS promotions will not be carried into 2018, which will be another change that the industry will need to deal with.

About the panel:

PRINT 17 brought together some of the most influential minds in the industry. BCC Software was proud to host a panel discussion on currently changes in the industry, and how businesses can prepare for the future:

  • Host, Chris Lien, is president of BCC Software, and has been active in the mailing industry for over 20 years. During that time, he authored several software solutions utilizing Mail.dat for electronic auditing, distribution and logistics planning, palletization, and electronic postage payment. He has been heavily involved in industry associations such as the Association for Postal Commerce, the Association of Marketing Service Providers, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, and the IDEAlliance where he is currently serving as a board member.
  • Chris Bondy is a Gannett Distinguished Professor in the School of Media Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, Bondy leads the effort to transform the School of Media Sciences into a cross-disciplinary educational experience, refreshing traditional courses, and teaching new courses in cross-media, asset management, and database publishing. With three decades of industry experience, Bondy has extensive experience in strategy, business development, product planning, process engineering, and marketing communications.
  • Thayer Long is currently the President of NPES, Long has 20 years of association experience, serving most recently as EVP and CEO of the Independent Electrical Contractors, and prior to that as President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute
  • David Steinhardt is the president and CEO of Idealliance, and has spent more than 25 years building, re-inventing, and managing successful non-profit organizations in media, print, and publishing. He led the transformation of the print-focused Graphic Communications Association (GCA) into the dynamic International Digital Enterprise Alliance (Idealliance) that exists today.

Watch a recording of the panel discussion

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