Last month, I kicked off my antimetabole (defined as a literary and rhetorical device in which a phrase or sentence is repeated but in reverse order) business modeling series inspired by the popular proverb, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

With regular reminders to be always inventive and agile, and to move and respond fast much like a start-up company, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to step up and introduce new initiatives every so often.

Printnovation gave rise to four innovative ways to consider the current print newspaper climate.
Printnovation gave rise to four innovative ways to consider the current print newspaper climate.

Across the current bleak market scenario where business is soft and brand owners are crying out for all the help they can get, publishers and media owners must rise up to the challenge and deliver innovative solutions to these players to get their brands, products, and services noticed, and to drive footfall to their outlets.

We recently hosted a mega half-day event at a ballroom of a major hotel to launch our latest capabilities — four, to be specific. This encounter, called Printnovation, drew an enthusiastic turnout of 500 industry practitioners comprised of brand owners, marketers, and advertising agency professionals.

They all eagerly wanted to take in what we had to say that will help them communicate more effectively, leading to conversions.

Five-hundred industry professionals met at Printnovation to discuss challenges in the media industry.
Five-hundred industry professionals met at Printnovation to discuss challenges in the media industry.

The initiatives we floated may not specifically address the challenges that publishers and media owners are facing all around the world. However, the principle of application is, I believe, relevant.

If we are all to survive in this business, we must continue to innovate and re-invent. The glass is not half empty. It is half full. Our ideas are the ingredients that will contribute to topping the glass all the way up.

What is hugely important in driving up these ideas is our attitude. We often underestimate the power of this positive posture.

A fun way to illustrate this is to assign a corresponding numerical value to the 26 English alphabet letters so that A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on through Z=26.

If you apply K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E to your area of work, you will only achieve 96% effectiveness (11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5). If you put in H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K, this will bring you up to 98% (8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11). But if you have the right A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E, you will attain 100% (1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5).

At Printnovation, the four branded innovation-in-print initiatives we launched were AdBid, AdNet, Variable Print, and Interactive Newspapers. Allow me to briefly describe each in the hope that one or more of these could inspire your business development efforts in the areas you operate in.

Participants at Printnovation were encouraged to think about how to use print innovation in their specific situations.
Participants at Printnovation were encouraged to think about how to use print innovation in their specific situations.

  • AdBid, as the name suggests, is a newspaper advertisement bidding infrastructure that allows media agencies to bid for premium positions, with possible extensions to other platforms.

  • AdNet is a modern-day, user-friendly newspaper advertisement booking system cloaked with an attractive and easy-to-navigate UX, specifically designed to appeal to young media planners joining the industry.

  • Variable Print, on the other hand, is a state-of-the-art imprint technology that allows advertisers to communicate a variety of messages to consumers within the same newspaper advertisement, on the same day. A variable printing head is added to the printing press that allows advertisers to vary images across a portion of the day’s advertisement. The variable portion can take the form of images, text, numbers, alpha-numerics, QR codes, bar codes, and more.

  • Last but not least are the Interactive Newspapers, or what we fondly call the Harry Potter effect. Based on a technology we developed in-house, and subsequently patented, our e-newspaper editions now come alive with flashing phone numbers, animated graphics, and images. Our readers now have the ability to be linked to Web sites and share what they see via message, WhatsApp, etc., by simply touching their tablet or mobile phone. At the recent INMA Global Media Awards 2016, we won gold for Best Innovation for Newspaper Advertising.

Printnovation participants left with encouragement to innovate and bring creative ideas to the forefront of their business strategies.
Printnovation participants left with encouragement to innovate and bring creative ideas to the forefront of their business strategies.

With printed newspapers perceived as a legacy medium, especially now with the flavour of the times being social and digital, there is every reason for traditional publishers to constantly innovate and bring new creative print options to the table.

In the history of publishing, sexyfying newspapers has never been more important than it is now!

Call it a makeover, call it a Botox job, call it whatever you want — but bring out the ideas, brand them, amplify them, and make them loud and noticeable to the trade. This is not the time to be subtle.

Smack them in the face, make everything larger than life — employ Printnovation, and move the visibility of the efficacious printed newspaper from the consumers’ peripheral oculus to vision central.