Take a look around—I’ll bet that up and down Main Street, or your street, you’ll see signage, table tents and in-store displays. Your mailbox probably receives direct mail, catalogues and brochures. And, print advertising is alive, well and often thriving in almost every publication. Contrary to popular opinion, our love story with print continues to bloom! However, the best news is marketers who use signage, table tents, in-store displays, direct mail and print advertising continue to earn a positive return on their investment.

Recent data collected by Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR), the premier market research association of the graphic communications industry, valued the global print market in 2007 at $557 billion dollars and they are predicting it will reach $668 billion dollars in 2017. That’s an increase of 20%! PRIMIR’s study, The Future of Print in the U.S.—Landscape, Implications and Opportunities, focused on different facets of print media, tracking how the use of online media platforms has shifted our thinking in how and where we use print media. A few key findings and predictions:

  • Display, graphics and point-of-purchase are expected to grow 1.6% annually.
  • Business and transactional printing has seen a steady increase of 1.2% globally for the past 5 years.
  • Packaging printing has seen the largest global compound annual growth rate , and is expected to grow 4.2% by 2017.
  • And, in addition to online advertising, print will grow almost 2% by 2017.

In another study done by the Winterberry Group, a consultancy specializing in analysis of the marketing, media and information technology organizations, I was excited to read that they initially predicted a 1.1% growth in direct mail but, in recalculating the data they revised their results and are now predicting growth of 2.7%! But, the proof is always in the pudding. In an analysis of its in-house marketing efforts, AT&T studied their allocation of marketing dollars to determine if they were maximizing the ROI of their marketing budgets. Before the analysis, AT&T allocated 93% to television ads, 1% to print magazine ads, 5% to online advertising and 1% to mobile advertising. After analysis, AT&T shifted a considerable amount away from television ads and increased print advertising in magazines from 1% to 8%! When used smartly, consumers respond and businesses benefit. The bottom line is that print media works. Does that make sense? Source: Image used under license from

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