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Displaying 1-49 of thousands of articles

 

50 Billion Customer Communications Can’t Be Wrong!

Print service providers that are currently supporting the customer communications outsourcing market are taking a number of approaches when it comes to navigating from a print-focused core competency to true omni-channel offerings. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to explore how providers are reacting to declining volumes and evolving customer needs.


The Intellectual Property Buried in Your Print Business

Every person in your business solves challenges every day with the tools they have at their disposal and the tools they are comfortable deploying. There is a rich set of intellectual property buried there which can be retrieved by listening and understanding how humans looks for ways to build trusted systems.


Demographics Less Traveled

When it comes to targeting customers, most marketers think about demographic data, such as age, income, gender, and lifestyle. A recent white paper from AccuData lists some less common demographics that may be easily overlooked but that can add a richer dimension to your marketing.


Digital Print for Packaging: The pace is steady and picking up with lots of room for growth

In this article, Sean Smyth – Print Consultant with Smithers Pira examines the results of a new report that looks at the growth of Digital Print for Packaging to 2022. This report breaks down the projected growth by packaging application, and shows some surprising results.


Know Your Codes: As Signage Becomes a Hotter Commodity, Printers Can Offer Regulatory Guidance

Helping customers navigate complex and constantly changing postal regulations has historically been a vital value-added service for commercial printers. The various rules and regulations regarding signage today provide an opportunity for sign printers.


Adding Value to Direct Mail through IP Targeting (Premium Content)

Savvy service providers are merging online and offline technologies to compound the effectiveness of their campaigns. This article discusses how IP targeting is being used to add value to today’s direct mail campaigns.


Do You Know the Four Types of Mail Behaviors?

According to the USPS, consumers’ “mail behavior” generally falls into one of four categories: sorters, scanners, weak habits, or skimmers. Each category has a different generational makeup, and it may not be what you expect. Knowing what category your customers tend to fall into can help you develop mail that resonates.


Avoid Common and Costly Traps of Print Software Evaluation (Premium Content)

Evaluating software is not a math problem, please don’t count the number of features and award the deal to the highest score. Print software must solve your challenges, in the order of importance to your business.


Family-Owned Newspapers Roll It Up – June 2017 M&A Activity

Hearst, Gatehouse, Lee, Ogden, Phillips and Adams stir up the local newspaper business; Sandy Alexander acquires Designers’ Press; tuck-ins abound and more in the June 2017 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.


They Say It’s Great, But That’s Up for Debate (Premium Content)

The economy is sluggish on the positive side, and it would be grand if commercial printing would be the same. Recent printing shipments trends are a concern as the industry continues to reshape itself in response to a dynamic communications marketplace that is seems to re-create itself daily. One Midwest printer lands a big contract for signage… but of the kind that a third wave of media change mandates.


Bobst Group and Radex Launch Mouvent for a Focus on Digital Print (Premium Content)

The Bobst Group and Radex formed a new company, Mouvent, to spearhead its digital printing strategy and has announced two production inkjet system for labels and textiles.


Did You Know Interest Rates Have Been Falling?

The Fed has been so reticent about raising rates, and in the process, rates for the 10-year US Treasury actually were negative in February. No, that’s not market rates, that’s the 10-year rate less the year-to-year Consumer Price Index. Since that time, the rate calculated in this manner has moved up 80 basis points. The rate peaked in September 2015 and it’s been down since then. The Fed is having problems making the decision to raise rates, and often announced more rates in a future period but increasing rates at a slower pace. They have a target inflation rate of 2% (which means you lose about 25% of your savings over 10 years on a compounded basis). If you believe that the inflation rate is calculated in a manner that makes it seem lower than it actually is, then the Fed’s desire to see inflation at the 2% rate before they start pushing interest rates higher may be be difficult to reach or sustain. That means long term rates will stay artificially low (on purpose) for a longer period of time than most experts expect.


What Makes Mail “Interesting”?

85% of people will open mail if it “looks interesting.” But what makes mail “interesting”? While we tend to talk about the elements of direct mail in isolation, the reality is, it’s not one element or the other—but a combination of elements whose results are multiplicative rather than additive—that make mail interesting. It’s important to get that combination right.


The New Xerox: What It Means for Software Strategy

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently spoke with Xerox executive Jacob Aizikowitz about his new role as head of the new Xerox Software Products Group to learn more about how the new Xerox is bringing together its diverse software development efforts.


Target Marketing: It’s Time to Differentiate Your Business! (Premium Content)

A number of very large and profitable companies got their start by focusing on specific market segments, and the same is true for some service providers. Aiming your marketing efforts at a target market can offer a number of benefits. This article focuses on those benefits and outlines the steps that print service providers should take to get started with a targeted marketing approach.


Understanding Order Entry from Your Customer’s Perspective (Premium Content)

Too many online order entry tools are discounted because the printer fails to see the value from their customer’s perspective. Don’t let your competitors use your customer experience to replace you.


A Look at 3 Great QR Code Applications

Even with AR/VR on the rise, QR Codes are still very much an important and functional tool for marketers. This blog takes a look at three recent and well-crafted uses of QR Codes.


Sappi 2020Vision: One Paper Company’s Aggressive Plan for the Future (Premium Content)

What’s the future of the paper business? One company has a bright vision of its future and is making the requisite changes to get there. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Mark Odgers, Director, Packaging Grades at Sappi North America, to get more details.


Preference and Data and Prices, Oh My! (Premium Content)

Prices tell us a lot about how media is changing and what’s ahead. It’s funny – the categories that are growing the most are the ones where prices are dropping. That’s strange. But media preference surveys can be misleading because they can assure media producers of the love of the marketplace, and divert their strategic attention to competitors impinging on that affection. What does Mary Meeker know? A trade association executive says she’s biased. That’s okay. Dr. Joe has different data.


Former Xeikon CEO Wim Maes Lands at Summa NV.

People seem to move around a lot in our industry, and sometimes it is hard to keep track. In this edition of “Where Are They Now?” we share Wim Maes’ thoughts on his new gig at Summa NV.


Five Steps to Helping Your Clients Optimize the Customer Experience (Premium Content)

Customer Experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction is made up of three parts: the customer journey, the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with, and the environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during the engagement. This article explores why the customer experience should be a top priority for marketers.


Print Software Evaluation – First Define the Problem It Solves (Premium Content)

Every software tool sets out to solve a set of problems, all too often the problem is never defined because the sales process focuses on solutions, benefits, and features. Take the time to understand the problem print software solves and most importantly whether you have that problem!


PDF For Packaging: The Missing Link in Digital Packaging Production (Premium Content)

In this article, David looks beyond the hardware at prepress, and how new developments will play a significant role in driving the growth of digital packaging production. This is not surprising, since we have been here before in other areas of the industry.


Making Tracks: Signage, QR Codes, and Customer Journey Analytics (Premium Content)

QR codes are great for “making print interactive,” but in today’s high-data marketing environment, they also have a more important purpose: making print measurable.


Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016: Winners and Losers

Highlights from Target Marketing’s annual Market Mix Trends report, including trends in direct mail (both personalized and traditional), FSIs, email, online search, and mobile.


Industry 4.0: Leading the Transformation (Premium Content)

Industrial revolutions are momentous events, and many historians agree that there have been three to date. Interconnected digital technology might be triggering the fourth revolution, and this article explores the actions that printers should take to remain at the forefront of Industry 4.0.


Mailers Weigh in on USPS

How is the United States Postal Service perceived by key members of the mailing supply chain? A recent Idealliance study lays it all out, the good, the bad and the ugly. While there is certainly room for improvement, and it is unclear what the USPS response to this study will be, be sure to read to the end for a view of what mail and communications would be like if the USPS wasn’t functioning as well as it is!


EskoWorld: A Unique Experience

Last month, I attended EskoWorld for the first time. This was the 26th EskoWorld, so I am a little slow on the uptake. But the event was well worth attending and had quite a different feel from other user groups I have attended.


Product Spotlight: Kodak PRINERGY Cloud

Your print business runs on software, more and more of that software is being delivered via the cloud where resources can be precisely controlled and scaling (both up and down) is configurable in real-time. Kodak’s flagship workflow product – PRINERGY Workflow is no exception to taking advantage of what cloud computing can do to a printer’s production workflow.


Conversations on Print - Ep 2: Being a Data Driven Company - Featuring Susan Moore

In this podcast we talk to Susan Moore about the various roles Susan has had in the printing industry: supplies sales, printing business owner, MIS platform provider. We talk about becoming a data-driven company and how MIS transitions are hard but they create a great opportunity to restructure your business model and to transition to today's world.


Small Printers are Big Business – May 2017 M&A Activity

Global franchise system owner of Mail Boxes Etc. acquires US-based printing franchise system PostNet, Standard buys Epic, ICV Partners moves upstream with LeadingResponse, and more.


Friend to the Industry Kip Smythe Has Died

Sadly, the industry lost one of its loyal behind-the-scenes advocates, Kip Smythe. His coordination of efforts involving industry research, statistics, standards, trade, and others, was appreciated by everyone who worked alongside him. Dr. Joe has a special remembrance.


Recovery Indicators Move to Half Here, Half There; Shipments and Profits Fall, Concerns Raised (Premium Content)

US commercial printing shipments and profits are in a pattern that suggests another re-set of media communications strategy is underway. The national employment data looked great on the outside, but were disturbing on the inside… again. The latest publishing revenues suggest that content’s kingship status is not what everyone thinks it is.


What Google Trends Has to Say About QR Code Searches

QR Codes have been trending. What does a deeper dive into online search data tell us about interest in QR Code adoption and usage? What market categories show the greatest curiosity? Here’s a look at what Google Trends has to say.


Inkjet Helps BMS Make a “Statement” (Premium Content)

Printing and mailing customer communications, statements, and bills is a critical business process that can benefit from outsourcing. This article explores how BMS Technologies is capitalizing on the transaction document outsourcing services opportunity by supporting its customers’ ever-changing needs and investing in inkjet technology.


Software is our Primary Business Tool

Buy, implement, build – software is part of your everyday business life now. It is the primary tool of all businesses.


Measuring Efficiency with Overall Equipment Effectiveness (Premium Content)

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can be used to both measure your production efficiency, as well as use it as a tool for making equipment purchasing decision.


Show Me the Money: Why Strategic Buyer Financial Disclosure Is Normal in Printing Industry M&A and What to Do About It

In the world of strategic M&A among privately-owned print, mail and graphics communications companies, seller due diligence into the buyer is a common practice.


Six Big Mistakes That Aspiring Wide-Format Printers Can Make (Premium Content)

Wide-format and specialty and specialty printing are where a lot of the action is today. But expanding into these new areas is not without its pitfalls. Here are some worth avoiding.


Augmented Reality: Will it Revolutionize Packaging? (Premium Content)

Augmented Reality has the potential to open a world of possibilities for brand owners who are seeking to drive an immersive consumer interaction with their products. When applied to packaging, the digital information is visible through mobile or tablet devices and is enabled by an app. Customers are becoming more receptive to AR, and this article explores how brand owners are leveraging packaging to integrate the technology into the customer experience.


Understanding the Software Development Process

Making good software is like building a nice home, it takes multiple resources who are coordinated to deliver on your needs. The more a printer understands the software process, the better they will be at managing it for internal projects or influencing the software roadmap of their vendors.


No Time for Automation? Try Lean

You may not be able to make a commitment to implement full workflow automation, but this does not mean you should write off workflow efficiency gains entirely. Why not try going lean instead? This printer did.


Specialty Printing and Events: Made for Each Other

Commercial printing is evolving into specialty printing, and opportunities abound—if you know where and how to look for them.


Inflation-adjusted Shipments per Employee

The Commerce Department’s revisions to industry shipments show a much different picture of a key metric for the industry, sales per employee. The chart was created using 12-month moving totals of inflation-adjusted shipments and the 12 month moving average of total industry employment. The latest reading through March 2017 is $182.65 per employee, a meager +1.5% higher than it was at the end of 1992. It fell from a peak of $195.51 which was just before the burst of the housing bubble, the rise of social media platforms, tablets, and smartphones. The fall in this calculation has some interesting characteristics. Historically, large printing businesses focused on magazines, catalogs, and newspaper inserts, had sales per employee that were significantly higher than the industry averages, anywhere from 30% to 50% higher.


Inkjet: Finding the Path to Profitability (Premium Content)

Advances in inkjet technology have print service providers asking “not if, but when” they should invest. This article highlights recent interviews with a number of inkjet users to find out the critical strategies they are following to accelerate their organization’s path to profitability.


New Xeikon President Benoit Chatelard Shares Vision for the Future (Premium Content)

In late March, Xeikon announced that Benoit Chatelard, at the time the Vice President, Production Printing, for Ricoh Europe, would be joining the company as President & CEO Digital Solutions, Flint Group, Xeikon’s parent company. Chatelard began his new role May 8th, and speaks with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne about his vision for Xeikon.


The Danger of Rushing to a Solution (Premium Content)

We want to be efficient, we want to feel smart. When we hear even the first words of a challenge, we categorize it and start trying to solve it based on our available tool set. This prevents you from a real understanding of the problem.


Last CTP Innovations and High Quality Printing Innovations Case Dismissed

Another Major Victory for the Printing Industry: The largest of the most recent patent troll cases against the printing industry and its OEMs was dismissed.


The Changing Specialty Printing Market: New Opportunities Big and Small (Premium Content)

The same technologies that have enabled the proliferation of wide-format graphics are also profoundly changing the traditional specialty printing market. Here’s how print service providers can take advantage of the “nichification” of commercial print.


Where’s the Workflow?

Despite all the talk about the need for automated workflow, printers are still not rushing to invest in these solutions. How long can they hold on to fractured and inefficient workflows without this becoming a serious liability?


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