Cross-Media: an Overlooked Opportunity for In-plants?

Adoption rates of cross-media marketing services are low for in-plants, but those that have moved in this direction say it has helped them demonstrate value, improve customer service and increase digital print volume.

As in-plants seek new service and product offerings to maintain their relevance to customers within their parent organizations, one service that should not be overlooked is cross-media marketing. Once implemented, it can allow them to capture a larger portion of their customers’ total communications­—not just print.

Adding new media channels and related services is not an easy task. Transitioning an in-plant from providing only printed documents to offering print plus online, mobile and social media services requires major changes to long-standing business models—as well as buy-in from both customers and the parent organization. Investments in technology implementation, staff training and customer education require time to yield results.

To assess the current state of print services providers’ adoption of cross-media services and identify best practices to grow these services, InfoTrends recently surveyed readers of In-plant Graphics. In September, in partnership with North American Publishing Company (IPG‘s parent company), InfoTrends surveyed 142 print service providers, including 43 in-plants, to find out how they are developing, implementing and growing cross-media services. The results from this survey provide practical insights for in-plants into how cross-media technology is being implemented in production print environments and the key opportunities it provides.

Low Adoption Among In-plants

According to survey respondents, adoption of cross-media marketing services is relatively low for in-plants. Close to 18 percent of in-plants reported offering cross-media, while 42 percent didn’t offer it and had no plans to do so. Compare this to the nearly 38 percent of commercial print provider respondents that currently offer cross media services.


As variable data printing is often one of the first steps towards offering cross-media services, to support the need for direct mail, we asked respondents who do not offer cross-media if they offer variable data printing; more than half of in-plants reportedly offer it.

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  • GinaTesta

    As digital continues to increase, print continues to play a valuable role in multi-channel communications campaigns that reach customers where they live. In-plants can build their cross-media services in a number of ways. The key is building relationships with internal customers to understand and respond to their challenges and strategies. Cross-media services can help the in-plant generate better results for the company, serve as a highly relevant strategic resource, and perhaps enable entry to the company’s marketing strategy discussion. While this transformation doesn’t need to happen all at once, as this article points out, it’s a transition that does need to happen.

    -Gina Testa, vice president, Xerox Worldwide Graphic Communications Business

  • Bill

    When you are sitting in your 2014 planning meeting you may want to explain what Stephanie from Infotrends has stated. Which are increase print both BW and Color, positive print utilization, bring the work in house and stop writing checks to outsiders, and be a profit center versus a cost center.

    Its time to be aggressive and work with your partners.