Print Lives, But My Industry is Killin’ Me. A Response to the Response to President Obama.

Those of you who know me personally know that when it comes to politics, controversy and even food, I am pretty much like Switzerland. I try not to offend, and not be easily offended. I typically remain neutral. Industry communications over the past week, however, have caused me to become a little more outspoken. 

In one instance, one of our trade associations issued a video response to cost cutting efforts by President Obama in his attempt to eliminate wasteful printing.

In another episode of outrageousness, our industry produced, and in my opinion, regrettably shared, a video titled “The Sexy Side of Print.”

I realize our industry has struggled, but there seem to be better ways to promote our efforts than these two examples.

Below is my video response to the first action that brought me out of neutrality.

Here is the video reply to the President’s message that prompted my response:

Here is the link to President Obama’s video. For some reason, I was unable to embed it properly here.

I am still too disturbed by what I saw on the “sexy print” video to have formulated a response to that!

If It’s Good Enough for Google…

I admit it, when it comes to direct marketing, I’m drinking the Kool Aid.  After all, it’s what I do. It’s my livelihood.  So when I attend seminars on the benefits of direct marketing, it’s easy for me to get excited to learn about the opportunities that can benefit our clients.  Admittedly, I am somewhat biased.

And when I hear vendor partners like Kodak, Xerox, and even the USPS tout the benefits of direct marketing, even someone as jaded (and as old) as me can often lose sight of the fact that they are trying to sell me something. But when I take a step back and look at the facts it becomes obvious that today’s tools can combine for some incredible direct marketing campaigns.

Consider that according to a 2010 DMA study every dollar spent on Direct Marketing returned $11.73 in revenue. And the beauty of today’s direct marketing tools is that now, more than ever before, marketing budgets can be used to produce measurable results – orders, leads, traffic, etc.

What is it that is driving this direct marketing success? Is it about being social? Is it about being viral? Is it about being mobile?  Certainly this all comes into play, but more importantly, it’s about the data we now have access to via these channels.  Data provides us the opportunity to get personal with our clients and prospects.  Good marketing is all about conversations.  Good data, and the various channels we have, makes these conversations possible. 

But why take my word for it?

I recently received not one, but TWO direct marketing campaigns from GOOGLE.  Yes, the behemoth of on-line advertising sent me offers via DIRECT MAIL. 

One was addressed to “business owner”, but the other, using better data, was addressed to me personally.  And it followed direct marketing best practices: it was designed to generate a response; it has a clear and obvious offer; it calls for a specific action; and that action would be entirely measurable.


Will I accept the offer?  Probably not. I will continue to rely on our own Direct Marketing techniques.  After all, if it’s good enough for Google…


 Paul Strack, CustomXM