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Marketers embrace technology to strategically integrate print and digital: RRD Report

April 12, 2024  By PrintAction Staff

A study by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD) reveals that 91 per cent of U.S.-based marketers with print marketing programs are embracing strategic integration of print and digital channels in 2024. Of those, 51 per cent describe their print and digital marketing channels as “closely integrated and tightly co-ordinated.” 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 per cent of marketers planning to use AI to support their print marketing efforts and 32 per cent already using the technology. The study also found that 39 per cent of marketers have adopted web-to-print technology, citing the following main advantages: reduced costs through on-demand printing (50 per cent), personalization and customization of the message (37 per cent), improved efficiencies and streamlined workflow (36 per cent) and enhanced brand consistency (31 per cent). Additionally, 50 per cent 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 per cent), further highlighting the value of print in supporting digital efforts.

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

“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 per cent) 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 per cent) cite customer feedback as one of their primary sources for first-party data, with customer demographics (59 per cent), email engagement (57 per cent), buying history (51 per cent), and location data (48 per cent) serving as additional other sources.

To read the full report, visit

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