Cross-Media and the In-plant
THE GRAPHIC communications industry is in the middle of an evolution to expand services beyond print to include cross-media and marketing. Unfortunately, the in-plant market is largely absent from the move, according to an Info-Trends research study The Evolution of the Cross-Media Marketing Services Provider. The key barrier keeping in-plants from making the transformation is that they don’t understand why or how to offer cross-media marketing services.
The goal of the study was to assess the current state of the industry’s move into cross-media marketing services and identify the best practices for successfully making the transition. InfoTrends defines cross-media marketing services as the use of two or more media types—print, e-mail, Web, mobile and/or social media (Facebook, Twitter)—supported by marketing services such as creative, campaign management and data analytics.
InfoTrends surveyed almost 350 firms, made up of 285 print service providers (PSPs)and 63 in-plant printing organizations. The research included in-depth telephone interviews with 30 firms that successfully made the transition to offering cross-media marketing services.
One of the overarching trends of the study was that the in-plant market is struggling with the transition, while the print-for-pay market is rapidly evolving. Close to 60 percent of print-for-pay firms reported offering cross-media marketing services, compared to 38 percent of in-plant respondents. Overall, 41 percent of in-plant respondents indicated they had no plans to offer cross-media marketing services (see Photos, Figure 1).
Adoption Road Blocks
Research findings indicate that in-plants have been slower to adopt cross-media marketing services for a variety of reasons:
- They don’t know where to start.
- Their technology infrastructure and skill sets are limited.
- They don’t understand how these services will fit into their business model.
- They face difficulty in creating awareness or convincing customers to specify these services.
In-plants that were not currently offering cross-media services (even if they had plans to start) were asked why they weren’t offering them (see Photos, Figure 2). The top reason was a lack of interest from clients (31 percent), followed by a limited technology infrastructure (23 percent), a belief that these services didn’t fit into the business model (23 percent) and limited technical skills (23 percent).