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Who will capture the Iron Throne: Are you paying attention? Part 2

In this continuation of the last article, while the kinder gentler Zwang continues his summer vacation, his alter ego… a shadowy figure dressed in a trilby and trench coat and telling stories, digs deeper into the drivers and tools that are influencing your clients’ business decisions and how this can and will affect your business decisions.

By David Zwang
Published: July 28, 2014

In the last episode, we saw the army of the house of eMedia positioning themselves on the ridge overlooking the castle of the house of Gutenberg. Good King Frank of the house of Romano decided to send Sir Paul of Tykodi as an emissary from the house of Gutenberg to meet with the leader of the house of eMedia to see if there was a way to prevent the continuing bloodshed. Ever since the Gods of Change started to inflict their wrath on the masses, it has created a rift in the calm that used to exist. And the battles that have occurred over the last 20 years have taken their toll on all sides. However, the two biggest battles have been between the house of eMedia and the house of Gutenberg. While the house of eMedia made many mistakes during the various battles, the house of Gutenberg experienced most of the casualties.

On Sir Paul’s way to the camp of the enemy, he ran into a homeless young waif named Margaret, who was sitting by the side of the road distraught. When she saw Sir Paul emerge from the woods, she appealed to the emissary to help her repair her modest shack, a Gazebo like structure that she called home. The Gazebo was totally destroyed by the Gods of Change when it was blown into the lake. She had tried to salvage what was left and recover the use of the house, but it was too much for her to do on her own. She appealed to Sir Paul to help her, since she was so frail and distraught. However, there really wasn’t any way to salvage the shattered remains, so they decided to use the remnants of the house to build a fire to cook a meal and keep warm.

Sir Paul was unhappy that he couldn’t salvage the Gazebo, since he felt that in his role as a Knight he had a duty to defend the house of Gutenberg and help those in distress. As they were sitting around the fire, built from the remains of the house, Sir Paul told Margaret that it seemed like Gods of Change didn’t like her very much. She asked why he felt that way, and he said that the Gods had sent two dramatic storms over the years that first destroyed the barn (that included a finished basement), and now had blown the Gazebo in the lake, and furthermore it was affecting many of the others in the land.

Young Margaret, somewhat surprised by his reaction, immediately criticized Sir Paul’s view of things by telling him that the barn damage had occurred four years ago and that she couldn’t expect to experience good luck all of the time. She went on to say that if she were to experience good luck all of the time, she would miss out on all of the action, lead a very boring life, and perhaps never be able to leave the shire where she leads a meager existence.

She then related to him a story she heard about Experian, a publically held village, that many think of for maintaining credit scores. Credit scores are used when banks lend gold to the various houses, to ascertain that the recipient has the ability to pay it back. However, of late, Experian has been using some of its expertise to prognosticate and even find solutions that could affect the ways of the Gods of Change (AKA marketing services). Perhaps, she suggested, if Sir Paul consulted their oracle he might find a way for the house of Gutenberg to join forces with the house of eMedia instead of trying to battle or surrender. This oracle, also called “The 2014 Digital Marketer”, is a guide to understanding the state of digital marketing. It includes analytics on the methods and effectiveness of communicating through the various media channels, individually and in combination (cross media, or as more commonly named by the House of eMedia, omni-channel). She relayed that in one survey of marketers across nine different verticals, they found that while almost 100 % were active in email, social media and Web, 83% were also active in print. This reinforces the benefits of the various houses joining forces. She had Sir Paul’s attention.

Margaret further stated that with the current state of the revolution, she believes that operating independently and “wishing for good luck may not only be causing you to miss out on the fun,” but perhaps limits the real value of the activities and actions of each of the houses.

In the morning, Sir Paul left the wise little waif and continued on his journey to the enemy camp of the house of eMedia. While he understood the message that Margaret the waif tried to impart to him, he also knew that it would not necessarily be easy to convince both the house of eMedia or King Frank from the house of Gutenberg of the value of joining forces. Furthermore, he knew that once they did that, they would still need to bring the other houses of media into their collaborative partnership. It would require lots of discussion, research, planning and integration to make it happen. However he knew that the only way to save the masses from the Gods of Change was to find a way to bring all of the houses of media together, and to use their combined strengths to provide valued solutions to all.

Postscript (no not that PostScript)…

In the words of Sir Paul, “I believe we are a little bit beyond 550 years since Gutenberg invented his printing press. During this timeframe, humanity has primarily focused on improving the process of printing (the machinery, dyes, inks, etc.) without considering what would happen if the medium used for printing (most often different kinds of paper stocks) were to be replaced as the primary mechanism for the transmission of information between humans.” However, we can see in all the available analytics that we really do need to find the best way to utilize all of the media channels that are available, in a coordinated way to maximize the value of the message and reach all of the intended audience. That may mean that we may have to find ways to each do it on our own, but it would seem to me that there are significant opportunities for vendors to create solutions to help make that happen, and then let the service providers do what they do best.

Remember, there is a “game of thrones” afoot and you are already deep in it, playing it whether you know it or not. The prize is not control of the seven kingdoms; it is the survival of your business, and the effectiveness and survival of your clients as well.

And many thanks to Sir Paul Tykodi, the waif Margaret and Lady Cary for their help in telling this story…

Remember, if you have any topics you think are important and would like either the positive thinking workflow guru Zwang or the more skeptical story teller Zwang to cover, please let us know!

For more detail on some ways to automate and transform your workflows, download an informative whitepaper, "Automating and Optimizing a Book Production Workflow."

David Zwang travels around the globe helping companies increase their productivity, margins and market reach. He specializes in production optimization, strategic business planning, market analysis, and related services to companies in the vertical media communications market. Clients have included printers, manufacturers, retailers, publishers, premedia and US Government agencies. He can be reached at david@zwang.com.

 

Discussion

By Paul Tykodi on Aug 07, 2014

One of the points David didn't stress too strongly in this article is that the House of eMedia and the House of Gutenberg actually live on the same continent - "Facilitating Human Communication".

The good news for print is that as long as there are human beings on the Earth, facilitating human communication will be a thriving market.

The bad news for print is that the methods for facilitating human communication change over time and lack of focus can threaten a business when a method (expressed as the sale of certain products or services) being used to facilitate human communication moves towards retirement and a different method or methods take its place.

If a business doesn't see the change coming (need to adapt business offerings to support a different method or methods not currently moving towards end of life) then the business may come to an end of life along with the method that had defined its goods or services as market relevant.

 

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