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Even the Digital Media Markets are Changing in The Third Wave

Sometimes naysayers get it wrong, and Dr. Joe thinks that some of the digital media experts are complaining too much about digital media growth slowing down to “only” 4x GDP. He thinks what they’re seeing are the benefits of marketing automation and a deeper understanding of analytics and ROI that mean dollars are spent more wisely. What does that mean for print? Time to take a new role in a third wave of media change. Are you ready?

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: February 13, 2017


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Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



By Wayne Lynn on Feb 13, 2017

Dr Joe, not only are some of us in the printing industry not getting it right but now we're seeking the "experts" in digital media misinterpreting trends and events. One point to emphasize here: if you can't figure out where to position your company (I'm talking printers here) in the market you're going to consistently struggle. If you don't define and execute on a clear value proposition directed at a clearly defined audience, you'll likely become another statistic. The general commercial mindset is irrelevant. It's an old dream that is swiftly becoming a nightmare.


By Harvey Hirsch on Feb 14, 2017

This is nothing new, Joe. In the past creative people went to their printers to get ideas for their clients. Now creative people go to the internet as they think print has lost relevance. Sadly, the print industry has tried all sorts of chicanery like QR, PURLs and VR to try and stay relevant but these little blips come and go. Having run a full service marketing communications agency for over 30 years before retiring (or trying to stay retired) I can state that agencies have also become commoditized and their strategies are mostly vestigial. Creatives and millennials don't understand the power that print has in getting the message to the frontal cortex of the reader and influencing their decision making. Agencies need to learn more about trying to establish trust building more than message disbursement as cheap as possible.


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