Here are three ways to look at print afresh

1. Variable printing

Although variable printing is by no means a new process, it is has grown in popularity as advances in digital printing technology have lowered the cost. It enables you to customise elements of each marketing piece and so take advantage of the power of complex personalisation.

For example, mailing campaigns benefit when postcards are personalised with the name of the recipient. Similarly, creating unique coupon codes facilitates customer tracking. Or why not consider unique business cards that include specific imagery?

2. QR Codes and NFC

We’ve already mentioned interactivity. Why not integrate print with smartphones and tablets using QR codes and NFC (near-field communication) technology on your business cards, exhibition displays and marketing collateral? Today’s QR codes and NFC technology make it possible for your printed collateral to connect customers directly to your website. What’s more, QR codes can be integrated into your brand identity by customising them with colours, patterns and other graphical elements.

NFC is a new technology that uses a tiny microchip to send a signal directly to a mobile device without the need for scanning. It’s ideal for integration in marketing campaigns and there are some excellent examples of where it has been used as part of a specific bid by a sales team – for instance by playing a relevant video when a business card is in range of a buyer’s mobile device. The sky’s the limit so far as creativity goes!

3. Social media

Social networking is an integral part of the way businesses reach their customers online, but real-world networking remains an important and effective business skill. And, of course, your business card also links to your online and social media presence. Remember, marketing integration is the name of the game today: you can use print media to help draw attention to your social media channels, while your social media profiles can, in turn, be used to enhance printed collateral.

Take a look at successful print design projects from Breathe