Printing and mailing magazines, brochures, or catalogs have been around for hundreds of years.
And while print is widely used, digital transformation has made it easier and less expensive to distribute information.
Digital publishing, for example, is an affordable alternative. Social media has simplified content marketing and distribution in fresh and innovative ways.
There are many ways businesses can leverage digital technology to reach consumers and key stakeholders more effectively.
And the best part? They don’t have to deal with annoying printing and postage costs anymore. Let’s get into it.
The Skinny on Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is defined as: “The process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.
It considers the advantages and disadvantages of adopting technology to the business’s overarching needs and goals.
Like other major business changes, digital transformation can be risky but also tremendously beneficial. It’s a major investment and time-draining for some companies, but also a great way to save money and target more key markets.
It’s important to note that digital transformation is an umbrella term that can cover several different types of business changes—a very popular one being digital publishing.
Many publishers are transitioning to digital publishing for a variety of reasons, including lower (and sometimes, no) print and distribution costs.
More than 50 million businesses are now publishing their content in electronic form today.
Digital transformation initiatives like online publishing can also involve using exciting new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).
Although every industry is unique and has its own set of challenges, the overall goal of digital transformation is to help businesses maximize the benefits of technology.
Why are Digital Transformation and Digital Publishing Important?
There are many reasons to consider digital transformation. If you want to stay competitive, your budget should prioritize initiatives that will have the greatest business impact.
For example, you might want to invest in an all-in-one digital publishing platform to streamline publishing workflows or transfer your online catalog to your e-commerce website.
Whatever option you embrace, maximizing the benefits of digital publishing happens if you fully commit to it.
For print publishers, expenses like print and postage costs have been increasing—forcing many to reduce their number of printed copies or move content to a digital format.
Companies offering print-only publications are discovering that a digital transformation is no longer an option—it’s a necessity.
While print has been a reliable channel to serve target audiences, even as its digital counterpart gained momentum, it’s no longer enough.
Reducing expenses like printing and postage expenses are on everyone’s radar now. Here’s why:
Digital publishing is a cost-effective way to serve readers and reduce printing and postage costs.
Digital publishing delivers the same reading experience AND it can be enhanced with interactive elements like videos, audio, slideshows, surveys, feedback forms, and more.
Digital publications can be measured and analyzed so companies can see how their content is performing—enabling them to serve readers and advertisers more effectively. With print, it’s difficult to assess content performance.
Printing Costs Are Increasing
As we’ve mentioned, one of the main reasons businesses have turned to digital transformation is that printing and postage costs have noticeably increased over the years.
Mail is about to get a lot slower and more expensive, according to CNET, largely due to postage rates which have climbed by approximately 5% each year since 2012. While rates vary by state, price hikes have been consistent.
And it’s not just prices that have seen an uptick; the costs of paper, ink and printing services have also increased by about 20% each year over the past five years.
As a result, companies that rely heavily on printed materials have seen both their printing and mailing costs increase substantially.
Mailing Costs Are on the Rise
Printing isn’t the only thing that’s getting pricier; shipping is as well. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a staggering $188 billion in unfunded liabilities and debt.
Not surprisingly the agency has been increasing its rates since the Great Recession of 2008. Postage rates have been steadily increasing since that time and will continue to do so by several percentage points every year.
Digital Solutions Are Getting Better (and Cheaper)
The good news is that while printing and mailing costs have increased, so has the need for businesses to find better, more affordable alternatives.
This is why digital transformation is so important. For example, social media advertising has become less expensive and more effective than print advertising. The CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of print advertising versus social media advertising is $57 and $2.50, respectively.
And email marketing is just flat-out better than print marketing; most marketers consider the former to be the most effective marketing channel out there.
While direct mail is still effective, consider email marketing software to create, send, and track campaigns instead. There’s no need to waste money on ineffective marketing initiatives anymore.
Choose a digital publishing solution that lets you do the following:
Easily distribute online content through social media
Easily integrates with third-party services like MailChimp
Joomag: The Best Cost-Cutting Option for Businesses
Digital transformation is a game-changer when it comes to communication, marketing, and cost savings.
With print becoming more expensive, companies of all sizes need to consider embracing digital.
But if you truly want to benefit from digital transformation and/or publishing, the most important thing is finding a solution that works best for you.
Look no further than Joomag—the all-in-one digital publishing and content performance platform that drives higher engagement and ROI.
Let us help you eliminate or reduce your printing and postage costs so you can focus on creating high-quality digital content that hits the mark.
If you are in the process of developing a digital transformation strategy or just don’t know where to start, contact us and we’ll help you every step of the way.