Just over a month into the new year, and already it's apparent that those end-of-year predictions about a print resurgence have some merit.
Last month J.C. Penny announced that in March it would be resurrecting its print catalog, which was abandoned in 2009. According to Forbes "the thinking was that the Internet and in-store presentations would suffice to convince customers of the values the company offers." They've since discovered that no other outlet can "illustrate [the] coordination of merchandise," or achieve the same level of effectiveness as printed product descriptions in direct mail pieces.
This is fascinating twist; that in-depth performance analytics and cross-channel automated marketing seem to be carving out a defined space for print collateral, as opposed to taking over entirely. But it's one we've noticed across industries--from healthcare to auto repair, and now in retail.