08 . 05 . 23

Advertising more focused on media effectiveness

Words by: Print Power
Head of Sales and Marketing at Burgo Group and board member at Euro-Graph Tomaso Esposito says: ‘After two years marked by epochal changes due to the pandemic period, 2022 proved to be the most standout year of the decade, with the first phase bringing great economic and consumer recovery and the second being characterized by uncertainty...

Tomaso Esposito

The power of print at a glance…

• Fibre-based products are finally being recognised as as a sustainable medium after years of environmental scepticism.

• Higher paper costs mean there will be less generic investment, replaced by an increased focus on customised, targeted print.

• Digital printing’s flexibility and sustainability compared to traditional printing will see a growth in the publishing, commercial and packaging sectors.

In the face of adversity

The key word of the year was unsurprisingly ‘volatility’. But in the end, I don’t think the overall trend was any different from our initial expectations. Advertising sales didn’t experience any significant decreases, even if a large part of that continues to be channelled out of home. But there’s no doubt that the printing market has suffered the effects of this uncertainty, with exceptional increases in raw materials and energy, leading to sharp price rises in paper, inks and logistics. However, we have also recorded marked accelerations of the processes that have been on the agenda for years. First of all, I’m really encouraged that in the search for sustainable products, fiber-based products are finally recognised as a true green medium after years of painful environmental criticism.

Plus Points

I can’t say that 2023 doesn’t bring any less uncertainty, but the year’s buzz words are ‘effectiveness’ and ‘sustainability’. I’m in no doubt that higher costs mean that advertising spend will be increasingly focused on the effectiveness of the media and its contents – and that’s where printing and packaging excel. We can expect less generic investment - so fewer printed copies. And I predict that the focus will instead be on distinctive, customized print that’s more effectively targeted to the consumer.

"Advertising spend will be increasingly focused on the effectiveness of the media"
Tomaso Esposito
Head of Sales and Marketing/Burgo Group

Print has its place

With that in mind, because of digital printing’s flexibility and sustainability compared to traditional printing, I foresee its growth within the publishing, commercial and packaging sectors. But I think it’s crucial we avoid the cannibalization of traditional and volume printing, and see digital as a compliment to it.
With this increasing need for efficiency, I believe the digital OEMs should be talking directly to print media producers to find industrial solutions for a market with lower numbers and higher costs per copy. Paper producers in turn will have to respond to these inevitable trends by seeking a balance in cost, availability, industrialization, waste reduction and environmental impact – all in a way that’s compatible with ESG criteria.

Great expectations

Finally, I think that what were once the so-called special products (or paper specialities) will no longer be considered just niche. But rather, they’ll be versatile enough to adapt to customer demand, new trends and the sustainability expectations of today and tomorrow.

BURGO GROUP is a producer and distributor of graphic papers, containerboards and speciality papers and sells its products in more than 90 countries. With the sale of 2 million tonnes of paper in 2021, they’re a leading partner for those working in the graphics, printing, publishing and packaging sectors. They have 10 plants - nine in Italy and one in Belgium.


To know what the other 7 experts have to say about print's future, simply download the booklet Print Media Predictions 2023.

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