The Power of Print in a Digital Age
An Exclusive Interview with Pierre McCann, President and General Manager of Dollco Print Solutions.
In an era increasingly dominated by digital content and rapid technological advancement, it’s easy to forget the enduring power and influence of traditional print media. Yet, despite the rise of online platforms and digital marketing, the print industry continues to hold a unique, unyielding position in our societal landscape. Few people understand this better than Pierre McCann, the General Manager of Dollco, a global giant in the print industry with a storied history spanning a century and a staggering portfolio of billions of printed magazines, catalogues, and direct mail pieces.
In our exclusive interview, McCann shares his insightful perspective on the enduring importance of print media in 2023, particularly magazines, catalogs, and direct mail. He sheds light on why these mediums remain crucial components in a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing strategy, especially for certain businesses. From the tactile allure of printed pages to the authenticity and trust it imparts, McCann discusses the critical role of print in today’s digital age and how it continues to resonate with readers and consumers worldwide.
Join us as we delve into a fascinating conversation that bridges the physical and digital divide, explores the psychology of trust in media, and underscores the often underestimated power of print in our fast-paced, digitally-driven world.
Interviewer (INT): Welcome, Pierre. It’s amazing to think that your company has been around for 100 years, printing billions of magazines. With the ongoing digital transformation, some might question the continued relevance of print in 2023. Why do you believe magazines, catalogs, and direct mail are still so vital, particularly for certain businesses?
Pierre McCann (PM): Thanks for having me. Your question touches on a very relevant point. While digital media has indeed surged in recent decades, print media, such as magazines, catalogs, and direct mail, continues to hold its unique significance. It appeals to a tangible, tactile experience that digital channels can’t replicate, creates a sense of authenticity and trustworthiness, and plays an integral role in an effective, multi-channel marketing strategy.
INT: Could you delve a bit deeper into the idea of a “tangible, tactile experience”?
PM: Absolutely. The physical act of holding and flipping through a magazine or catalog offers a sensory experience that screens can’t compete with. The feel of the paper, the turn of the pages, even the smell of fresh print, all of these engage the reader on a deeper level. What’s more, print media has an inherent longevity that digital lacks. A magazine lying on a coffee table, for instance, can be picked up and read several times, by different people.
INT: Interesting. Could you explain further how print media offers “authenticity and trustworthiness”?
PM: Studies have demonstrated that people tend to trust print media more than digital media. There’s a credibility that comes with the permanence and solidity of print. Once something is printed, it’s final – it can’t be easily altered or deleted like a digital post. This tangible commitment to the content goes a long way in building trust.
INT: And print’s role in a multi-channel marketing strategy?
PM: That’s a vital point. Today’s most successful marketing strategies use a multi-channel approach, blending digital and print media to reach audiences more effectively. Take a fashion brand as an example. They might use social media to generate excitement about a new line, then send out a beautifully printed catalog to solidify that message and showcase their products. These print materials can also direct customers back online with QR codes, URLs, or even augmented reality integrations. It’s about creating a holistic customer journey, meeting consumers where they are.
INT: Which businesses, in your opinion, stand to benefit most from magazines, catalogs, and direct mail?
PM: The range is vast. Retail, especially lifestyle or luxury goods, can greatly benefit from print media. The sensory appeal and visual aesthetics of printed catalogs are great tools for brand showcasing. Publishers and education-focused organizations benefit from print’s tangibility and perceived credibility. Nonprofits often find success with direct mail for fundraising appeals due to the personal touch it offers. But in reality, any business can find value in integrating print into their marketing strategy, it’s about finding the right balance and approach.
INT: Fascinating insights, Mr. McCann. It seems that even in 2023, with its unique strengths, print media remains an essential component of our marketing landscape.
PM: Indeed, we may be in a digital age, but print still holds its ground. Here at Dollco, we take pride in upholding that tradition while constantly seeking ways to innovate and blend the physical and digital for our customers.
As we wrapped up our conversation with Pierre McCann, one thing was clear: despite the world’s digital pivot, the print industry, with its distinctive sensory experience, tangible authenticity, and strategic role in multi-channel marketing, isn’t going anywhere. Whether we’re paging through a luxurious catalog, receiving a personalized piece of direct mail, or stumbling upon an intriguing article in a physical magazine, print continues to captivate, inform, and inspire us in ways that digital simply can’t replicate.
McCann’s insights offer a compelling reminder that in our rush to embrace the digital age, we shouldn’t overlook or underestimate the value of traditional print media. After all, it’s about striking the right balance between the old and new, the physical and digital, the tactile and virtual. As businesses navigate this intricate balancing act, companies like Dollco will continue to champion print’s enduring relevance while shaping its innovative future.
As we close this enlightening chapter with Pierre McCann, let’s take a moment to appreciate the print materials around us – from the magazine on the coffee table to the mail in our letterbox. Here’s to another century of printed wisdom and wonder, reminding us that even in a world that’s increasingly moving online, there’s still something incredibly powerful about holding a story in your hands.