At the start of every year, I read a lot of predictions. Predictions about what’s in store for Marketing…and Social Media, and Fashion and Television and Fitness and Technology and Music. You get the point. So when I am asked to provide my prediction on what I see happening in the world of Print, I typically turn to these predictions for inspiration. But this year’s different. This year my predictions are based on what I have observed over the recent holiday season. In fact, my predictions started to come together after a failed shopping excursion for a gift.

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Growing up I was taught that giving a gift required thought. What does the person like? What’s their favourite colour? What size are they? Can it be easily returned? Giving cash was rarely an option (although receiving it was always awesome…just saying!) and gift cards didn’t exist. In fact, there are many people out there who disdain the thought of gift cards. Why? Because “they’re not personal”, or it’s the “lazy person’s way out”. And my favourite reason? The recipient will know how much you spent.

Fast forward to now. In Canada, as I’m sure in the US, gift cards are everywhere. And not just ANY gift card. EVERY gift card. And not just ANYwhere. Yup…EVERYwhere! From the gas station to the grocery store to the pharmacy, there is no shortage of choices. And my printing bells went off.

The plastic card market is up. Way up. PrintingNews.com reported that 34.2 billion card units were manufactured in 2013, a 1.9 percent increase over 2012. A 6.5 percent increase of global card dollar market value was reported over the previous year, totaling $16.1 billion. Cards issued for government social benefits or healthcare and insurance are also growing. Every time someone gets a new job or an insurance benefit is changed, news cards are issued. Printers with the capabilities of servicing this growing market will no doubt see their revenue go way up as well.

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Fast forward to this past weekend. I was in a store looking at water bottles with my millennial son. One brand, S’well, always catches my eye. These gorgeous (in my opinion) bottles are marketed as: the premier fashionable and reusable water bottle. Millennials appreciate the cause that the company was founded upon. Their eye appeal and imagery on the bottles is truly unique. I did some research and read that the manufacturing process includes wrapping. So that set off my printing bells. And my next prediction.

Did you know that the fastest growing trend in marketing is the concept of mobile outdoor advertising – vehicle graphics — to promote your product, service or company? (source: vehicle-graphics.ca). Everything is wrapped today, not just cars. Sidewalks, buildings, entire walls. This is truly an exploding market, to a niche printing subset: Large and grand format printers. It’s no wonder why the print industry is seeing a huge growth in this space. In fact, Avanti participated in a Printerverse panel at Graph Expo to discuss the revenue opportunities in large and grand format.

Finally, let’s talk about how social media, yes social media, is driving print. Did you know that Facebook is currently marketing printed books of your timeline posts? Yes, you read that right. You can now get a book with your posts and pictures. A printed book that you can touch, feel, and share…the old fashioned way. And yes, that set off my printing bells. According to an article on printingnews.com, photo books will continue to be a strong product in the market, with InfoTrends projecting 53 million units sold per year in this category.

Three very different examples, all driven by the market’s need for print. What do you think? Will 2017 will be the year that print is re-born?

See more posts by Joanne


JoanneGore_PrintMediaCentrJoanne Gore is the Director of Marketing for Avanti and a monthly contributor to Print Media Centr’s News From The Printerverse. She has over two decades of B2B marketing and communications experience, including corporate and small office environments. Joanne develops lead generation and conversion programs, re-brands product lines, implements social media strategies, manages PR and media relations campaigns, overhauls websites, develops highly targeted marketing campaigns, and delivers results. Joanne is an industry presenter, currently sits on the board of Xplor International, is the vice-president of Xplor Canada, and is a returning mentor for the Ontario Summer Company, a Government initiative for youth entrepreneurship and employment. She graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant. Joanne is a marketing geekette by day, a fitness instructor by night, and a mom 24-7.

Contact Joanne at jgore@avantisystems.com and follow her on Twitter: @JoanneGore121

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