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4 Print Marketing Trends to Ensure a Future-Proof Business Strategy in 2024

New tech and must-follow trends emerged overnight in 2023. From the rise of AI to the dramatic makeover at Twitter X to the unraveling of Threads after its 15 minutes of fame, marketing strategy pivots became the norm.

Growing concerns over data privacy added more complications to the mix, with 86% of businesses reporting that privacy changes impacted their 2023 marketing strategy.

The digital disruptions of 2023 have prioritized flexibility as a key ingredient for future marketing strategies—they have also positioned print as one of the strongest and safest marketing bets in 2024.

To prepare for the plot twists that will inevitably come next year, we’ve compiled the top trends in print marketing from 2023 that will help businesses achieve a high-performance, flexible, and future-proof marketing strategy in 2024.

Print Solutions That Solved Email Marketing Challenges

The pandemic created a major shift toward virtual business operations and online shopping, leading to a 70% increase in email volume between 2020 to 2022. This influx, however, coincided with a 10% decrease in click-through rates in 2023.

Further, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) added a new layer of complexity to email marketing by disrupting the measurement of open rates. Since MPP preloads email content on Apple devices, it prevents tracking pixels from collecting open rate data. Consequently, open rate data was hidden for more than 40% of emails in 2023, making it extremely difficult for marketers to optimize and report on email campaigns.

To work around the challenges of inbox inundation and masked open rates, savvy marketers supplemented email campaigns with print. Why print?

  • > Print has a 9% response rate compared to digital channels, which average around 1%.
  • > Direct mail campaigns have open rates as high as 90%, and tracking response rates is easy.

Here are two common ways to leverage print to boost response rates and report on campaign performance:

  • > After deploying an email campaign, filter the distribution list by recipients who did not open the email. Next, send a direct mail piece that includes a unique QR code or URL that is specific to the print component of the campaign
  • > Sending a direct mail piece before an email campaign works just as well. In fact, businesses that sent a follow-up email one week after deploying a direct mail campaign increased response rates by 63%.

Frequent Marketing Strategy Pivots Relied on Modern Print Management Solutions

To thrive in 2024, businesses need to prepare for the challenge of change; but how are marketing teams supposed to keep up with the frequent strategy pivots?

The answer: a marketing asset management platform.

A digital asset management platform, also known as a marketing portal, centralizes all print marketing materials and branded assets in an easy-to-use online hub. The centralized nature of a marketing portal allows 24/7 access for employees, sales reps, partners, affiliates, and even customers to order the up-to-date print marketing materials they need right when they need them.

Should a change in pricing, consumer behavior, regulations, or trends occur, a marketing portal with 24/7 access makes it easy to update print marketing collateral as quickly as a new file is uploaded. Marketing portals have eliminated the need for printing in bulk, making it extremely easy to update print marketing assets in real-time and without the waste (or expense) of throwing away 100,000 brochures that were rendered obsolete after needing to be updated.

Marketing portals use a just-in-time printing model, which means that small batches of print marketing materials–such as brochures or flyers–are pre-printed, added to inventory, and ready for shipment as soon as orders come in through the portal. This allows for real-time changes to print marketing assets, ensures print collateral is always up-to-date, and makes the lives of marketing teams a whole lot easier–especially when change occurs.

Personalized Print Marketing Outperformed Digital Automation

Personalized marketing has been all the rage over the past few years–and for good reason. Nearly 90% of businesses saw substantial increases in conversion rates, engagement, and customer satisfaction with personalized marketing.

While personalized digital marketing has its merits, creating a sense of authenticity and personal connection is difficult to achieve on a computer or phone. Further, people are aware of the fact that email personalization tokens and chatbot interactions are automated, lacking a true reflection of a business’s personal attention to their individual needs.

The growing skepticism over online privacy and data collection methods further undermines digital personalization techniques, raising more concerns than conversions. Print marketing, on the other hand, has an intrinsic trustworthiness that resonates with audiences overwhelmed by, and untrusting of, digital ads.

Since print is the most trusted marketing channel among 82% of consumers, leveraging its credibility with personalization proved to be a highly effective strategy in 2023, increasing response rates by as much as 135%. Additionally, more than 90% of businesses with personalized marketing strategies in place experienced growth higher than their industry average.

If your business hasn’t implemented personalization strategies yet, 2024 is the time to get started–and it’s easier than you may think.

Modern digital printing technology, known as variable data printing, is a form of digital printing that allows you to change elements, such as text and images from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process.

The process of variable data printing uses data from a database or external file to customize each printed piece, which means there’s no need to design 100,000 different files for 100,000 unique prints. Instead, a single design template is used, into which variable data is inserted for each print.

Variable data printing results in higher marketing response rates because it’s personalized to the recipient or audience segment, and is both time and cost-efficient due to automation. Its digital foundation allows for printing customized materials in any quantity, and the use cases are endless as nearly any element can be personalized, including:

  • > Direct mail postcards with recipient-specific details.
  • > Personalized event invitations or tickets with guest names.
  • > Unique QR codes or URLs.
  • > Targeted real estate brochures with specific property highlights.
  • > Labels and packaging.
  • > Retail loyalty cards with personalized member information.
  • > Special offers and promotions based on purchase history or location.

Increased Focus on Multi-Channel Marketing Brand Consistency

Clear and consistent branding is essential for any business, especially when it comes to marketing campaigns that combine print and digital.

For instance, when a QR code is added to print materials, displays, or signage, the digital experience that unfolds needs to reflect the same branding, messaging, and visual elements as the print media.

The rise in combining print and digital media has necessitated the expansion of brand guidelines to include clearly defined rules for multi-channel marketing.

As businesses increasingly integrate print and digital media, understanding and planning for the distinct technical aspects of each medium is becoming essential. These technical requirements can cause challenges for businesses that result in delays and undermine brand consistency.

It’s important to note that artwork for print campaigns and digital channels should not be used interchangeably. For instance, a website graphic is not formatted for either large-format printing, such as a window display, or small-format printing, such as postcards or business cards. The reason is that digital graphics and print use different color profiles.

Designs created for digital channels typically use RGB color profiles that look best on computer screens or mobile phones, whereas print artwork requires CMYK color profiles.

Expertise in color management can significantly boost the effectiveness of your strategy, ensuring that each design is fine-tuned for its intended medium—an important consideration for your 2024 planning.

Fortify Your 2024 Print Marketing Strategy with Artisan Colour

The impact of 2023’s digital disruptions and the key role that print solutions will play in 2024 highlights the necessity of choosing the right printing partner, such as Artisan Colour, for your business.

For more than 25 years, Artisan Colour has been synonymous with the artisanal mastery of print at the scale modern business demands.

By blending the meticulous precision and exceptional quality expected from master craftsmen with an extensive menu of state-of-the-art solutions, Artisan Colour has helped businesses stay ahead of the curve in dynamic business environments.

Since our beginning in 1998 as one of the nation’s top print, catalog, and color management partners for brands such as Neiman Marcus, Patagonia, and Sundance, Artisan Colour has continuously invested in innovative solutions and expanded our service offerings to provide comprehensive solutions designed to build brands and grow businesses. This includes:

  • > Print Services: Marketing collateral, catalogs, branded packaging, vehicle wraps, personalized printing, and specialty printing.
  • > Signage and Branding: Business signage, wall and window graphics, indoor and outdoor banners, trade shows and events, retail displays, and wall wraps.
  • > Direct Mail Marketing: Direct mail campaigns, personalized direct mail, mailing lists, Informed Delivery, and web to mailbox.
  • > Marketing Fulfillment: Web-to-print, warehousing and storage, inventory management, kitting and assembly, and promotional products.
  • > Digital Asset Management: Prepress, premedia, online image libraries, photography, graphic design, image retouching, and color management.

While our suite of services has expanded over the years, Artisan Colour’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship remains unchanged—ever driven by the artisan ethos that marked our beginning.

Contact our team of artisans today to learn more about the Artisan Colour difference.