12 May 2011
Print has advantages over technology, say experts
TORONTO—While advertisers and publishers are turning to technology more than ever, print remains vital, those on hand heard during the 2011 Toronto Digital Printing Forum. 
 
A number of industry leaders converged at Ryerson University May 11 to discuss market trends. InterQuest, a U.S.-based market research company that organized the seminar, pointed out that while Canadian spending for direct mail has been fairly steady for the past three years, internet-based ads have catapulted past its print counterpart in the same timeframe. 
 
However, "direct mail has superior reach compared to e-mail," explained Eleanor Rafter, director of partner program planning and strategy with Canada Post. "Not every Canadian has access to e-mail."
 
In a survey, Canada Post determined people prefer flyers in the mailbox, closely followed by personally addressed letters, with e-mail
ranking third. 

Eleanor Rafter of Canada Post and Kate Dunn of Digital Innovations
Group at the 2011 Toronto Digital Printing Forum

Ed Rooney, director of business development with Ottawa's Lowe Martin Group, noted how Quick Response (QR) codes, which link customers to online material through a smartphone, can be used to complement a printed product. "QR makes print clickable, and measures responses," he said. 
 
But Kate Dunn, president of Digital Innovations Group, warned about using QR codes prematurely. "Have a mobile-ready site (or) you'll actually make customers mad," she said. 
 
Meanwhile, the impact of ebooks on the traditional printed book market was also discussed.
 
Amazon is selling 115 ebooks for every 100 paperbacks, explained Gilles Biscos, president of InterQuest. But he noted in the education sector, 75% of students said they prefer printed text, and that ebooks cannot be resold as textbooks can.
 
Ebooks rank second in top trends in the book market, behind shorter runs, said Biscos. 
 
— Jeff Hayward
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