There seem to be two schools of thought among printers regarding “New vs. Traditional” Media. On the one hand, some printers fight anything that has to do with digital media, viewing it as a threat to their business that they have to treat with utter disdain. And then there are printers that are trying to determine how to add digital to their product and service offerings in order to build more effective and ingrained customer relationships. I submit that the latter school of thought will work and the former will be an utter and bitter failure.

One has to, first of all, believe that print media will always serve a purpose in our society, which I believe it will. And yet, digital media will not be defeated considering the cost of getting a digital message to the marketplace. Second, there is the learning curve for the printer. New software and hardware is needed, new applications have to be learned, and salespeople have to understand how to use a digital product to their advantage. Third, there is the fear factor to overcome. Fear in the customers’ mind is usually based upon the unknown of what a digital product is and how to create and use it. If ad sales reach the point whereby a printed product is unsustainable, clients sometimes look to a digital replacement, in order to keep the title alive. But clients, like printers, have to learn how to launch a digital product, the types of e-media/books available and most of all, how to sell their advertisers and make it profitable for them. They many times fail to do the simple things, like buying an iPad to learn what the craze is all about, and how it can be used for their title.

Printers and their clients have to learn to embrace digital media and determine how they can use it to make their clients more effective in their product sales and/or advertising. The alternative is to keep “kicking and screaming” until the sheriff shows up and lots of people are out of work…