The terms ‘web-to-print’, ‘web-2-print’ or ‘W2P’ are, as the term implies, focused on ink-on-paper printing of marketing materials and sales collateral.
These materials, usually Point of Sale (POS) materials, get printed centrally for distribution to local marketers, or printed locally by local marketers for use in their local markets.
Today, with the proliferation of digital outlet platforms such as smartphones, tablets, websites and Social media networks, the term “Print to Web” seems somewhat limited. The technology behind the creation of these materials has changed too, needing to be more versatile and smarter.
As a result, the use of “Web to Print” has all but been superseded by the more, media neutral, term “dynamic publishing”.
The use of the word “Dynamic” here is very intentional as it tends to imply characteristics such as FAST, RESPONSIVE or even IN REAL TIME. Core value sets that have become vital in today’s environment of needing to respond quickly to ever changing market conditions, or lose out to a more agile competitor.
Regardless of the term used, marketing today is global. Brands have customers and Twitter and Facebook followers from all over the world. Brands from across all industries seek global market coverage using a 24/7 marketing communications strategy to energise and entertain, create dialogue with, service and monetise a diverse global audience.
Brands seek to create a core homogenous product range to meet the needs of a global audience in order to establish economies of scale and lower their unit costs of production.
Today nearly all Fortune 2000 companies have a primary advertising and / or PR agency which controls the corporate brand delivery world-wide. Regional and local marketing operations’ main responsibility is now focused primarily on sales execution and order fulfilment.
However, there will likely always be a need for regional and local customisation of centralised marketing programmes and marketing materials. Savvy brands understand it is important to empower remote local marketing staff to customise marketing materials to meet the needs of their local communities in words, pictures, and other content.
Yet, corporate marketers must retain brand consistency so that a homogeneous positive image for the company and its products can be maintained globally. Brand equity and positive brand associations must be protected, especially as brand equity now represents over 50% of the market capitalisation of most large enterprises.
How can these two seemingly opposite forces of central control and local customisation be reconciled?
Dynamic publishing is a much wider, all-embracing definition that includes the publishing (mostly to a screen rather than physical hard copy printing) of customised materials to a wide range of media channels.
In today’s real-time multi-channel world a change of mindset is required. We are no longer in ‘print’ – marketers are ‘publishers’ today whether it be on their personal Facebook pages, or in their professional marketing communications roles. Publishers seek to create high quality content that will attract readership and readership subscriptions. An opt-in ‘subscription’ could also include providing rich personal data (contact, demographic, requirements etc) which is also of great value for targeting purposes.
Dynamic Publishing is a new way of aligning corporate marketing strategy to operational execution, facilitated by technology.
For more information, or to learn how dynamic publishing can help your business, contact Wave 2