RRD Survey: Marketers Embrace Technology to Strategically Integrate Print and Digital Programs

by | Apr 11, 2024

marketing tech

Report reveals 32% of marketers are using AI and 31% plan to use the technology to support print marketing 

CHICAGO – A study released today by R.R. Donnelley Sons & Company (RRD) reveals that 91% of marketers with print marketing programs are embracing strategic integration of print and digital channels in 2024. Of those, 51% describe their print and digital marketing channels as “closely integrated and tightly coordinated.” The report shows that marketers are manifesting this approach by taking advantage of technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), QR codes, and web-to-print to bridge the gap between print and digital experiences.  

The Print Impact Report, the company’s latest annual printing industry report, compares how 300+ marketing decision makers are planning, executing, and adjusting their strategies as well as integrating technologies into print marketing campaigns.  

The Print Impact Report found marketers are embracing technology to support their print campaigns, with 31% of marketers planning to use AI to support their print marketing efforts and 32% already using the technology. The study also found that 39% of marketers have adopted web-to-print technology, citing the following main advantages: reduced costs through on-demand printing (50%), personalization and customization of the message (37%), improved efficiencies and streamlined workflow (36%) and enhanced brand consistency (31%). Additionally, 50% of marketers shared they use QR codes in their print marketing and expect for that to continue. 

“Modern marketers are prioritizing innovation to uphold print’s relevance and effectiveness as a tool within their omnichannel arsenals,” said Margo Yohner, Senior Vice President of Growth, Commercial Print, RRD. “Companies are not simply abandoning print; they’re actively seeking ways to optimize its value.” 

Print’s relationship status with digital isn’t complicated 

The data shows a strong agreement among marketers that print can effectively complement digital efforts by reinforcing digital messaging and driving traffic to online channels. The report found that a “digital primary, print secondary” combination is seen as the most effective approach by marketers (48%), further highlighting the value of print in supporting digital efforts.  

Additionally, the report highlights that 94% of marketers are using print marketing to overcome digital fatigue; the top three strategies are personalizing print materials for targeted messaging (62%), integrating print with digital campaigns for cross-channel engagement (46%) and leveraging print for brand storytelling and establishing credibility (41%).   

“Print complements digital rather than competing with it. With the ongoing growth of digital marketing, print serves as an effective enhancement to digital channels,” said Stefanie Cortes, Director of Strategic Analysis, Direct Marketing Group, RRD. “By embracing new technology, marketers can evolve the print-digital connection from isolated approaches to integrated ones and deliver highly impactful results.” 

First-party data is the fuel powering personalized print campaigns  

RRD’s report confirmed that marketers are looking to connect with audiences on a deeper level, with more than two-thirds (68%) of organizations reporting that they are currently personalizing their print communications.  

In the midst of a crowded digital environment and shifting data regulations, organizations have prioritized how they obtain and utilize first-party data. For marketers working with a print vendor to personalize their communications, two thirds of these marketers (66%) cite customer feedback as one of their primary sources for first-party data, with customer demographics (59%), email engagement (57%), buying history (51%), and location data (48%) serving as additional other sources. 

Read the full report here


RRD commissioned a survey of 300+ in-house marketing decision-makers and managers from organizations based in the United States and running print marketing campaigns. All respondents are involved in decision making for their organization’s print marketing. 

About RRD
RRD is a global provider of marketing, packaging, print and supply chain solutions that elevate engagement across the complete customer journey. RRD offers the industry’s most trusted portfolio of creative execution and world-wide business process consulting, with services designed to lower environmental impact. With 18,000 clients, including 92% of the Fortune 100, and 28,000 employees across 27 countries, RRD brings the expertise, execution, and scale designed to transform customer touchpoints into meaningful moments of impact.

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.