Classic web-to-print applications have been in use for years and help users to handle print processes efficiently. But output channels and technologies are constantly evolving. Self-service publishing tools combine classic and digital media production. No matter whether print or digital - you decide yourself what content you want to output and in what form. You have access to all your drafts at any time and can maintain data centrally and transmit it to your partners at any time. This way you always have an overview.
Web-to-print is not new per se. However, as can be seen from the name, the term refers exclusively to workflows that are needed to produce products for printing for users. In classical marketing, this was the only form of advertising for a long time. But as customers and systems evolved, the need for additional output channels and forms of advertising changed with the advance of digitalisation. With web-to-publish, it is possible to publish regardless of the output channel, the advertising medium and the type of medium. And all this within one system.
A self-service application is a website or marketing portal designed to help complete processes or transactions without external help (e.g. from agencies). In terms of operation, it is similar to a shop system or a comparable solution. Today's marketing processes require ever shorter turnaround times and a higher degree of customisation of all advertising media - both print and digital. Furthermore, publishing is shifting from large print runs to targeted on-demand productions. Self-service publishing allows you to meet acute needs on an ad hoc basis, enabling you to react quickly to new marketing demands - without external help and waiting times.
The creation of advertising materials requires years of experience in various graphic and design tools as well as training in design or print. Self-service publishing makes it possible to quickly and easily produce marketing materials for various channels without these requirements.
In areas where suitable advertising messages have to be formulated and played out quickly and flexibly on demand, e.g. for social media or trade fairs, self-service publishing tools offer important relief for specialist departments. The intuitive application enables customers to create the required advertising materials in a cost- and time-saving manner.
Another important goal is the centralisation of marketing activities. Globally operating companies in particular can benefit from this. By means of statistics and tracking functions, they can see at any time how their marketing campaigns are being used and can constantly sharpen their marketing portfolio and brand by contacting the users. At the same time, it is ensured at all times that the templates comply with the company's own design specifications for digital and print channels.
Digitalisation offers ever new opportunities for marketing. In addition to classic channels such as billboards, advertisements, flyers and brochures, there is a multitude of digital playout options. For example, companies nowadays have a social media presence for which online banners have to be created regularly. Print is no longer the only option for advertisements either. However, for all channels - digital or print - the following applies: The company's appearance must be consistent and correspond to the CI specifications.
The non-profit organisation "Two Sides", together with the independent market research company "Toluna", conducted a study on "Consumer Perceptions of Print and Paper". In it, it was shown that 51 % of consumers intend to read more news online in the future, compared to 40 % in 2019. Nevertheless, print remains an important medium. Some 40 % of respondents would be concerned if daily newspapers disappeared.
The study shows that classic print publications are still in demand, but companies need to adopt a hybrid approach to their marketing communication. Self-service publishing tools that enable the playout of digital content in addition to classic web-to-print functions help here.
An example of a typical process in a self-service publishing system usually looks like this:
Sales staff in the field need business cards for a trade fair. Instead of ordering these centrally via their graphics department, they can request personalised documents conveniently via their web browser.
Via a marketing portal, they select the appropriate template from all available templates. The contents are automatically filled from the central master data management. In this way, a wide variety of templates can be commissioned and ordered directly within a few seconds.
The cards are produced on demand by the print service provider or can be downloaded and sent as a PDF file, for example.
3 steps to a successful self-service publishing system:
The use of a self-service publishing system can help to conceptualise, create and target marketing messages even more effectively and efficiently.
Self-service publishing is characterised above all by the massive time savings compared to classic, manual marketing processes. For example, the use of web-to-print can lead to a closer integration of external service providers into workflows, thus achieving seamless communication and higher process reliability.
Sounds complicated? Our experts at netzwerk P can guide you safely to your goal in dealing with web-to-print and web-to-publish projects. Our solution has been tried and tested by medium-sized companies and corporate clients.
Interested? I look forward to your questions and exciting conversations.
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