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Positive Reviews for "This Point Forward" by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano Prior to Its Graph Expo Release

We are pleased to announce that Graph Expo 2014 is the release date of the new book by me and Richard Romano,

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: September 9, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Graph Expo 2014 is the release date of the new book by me and Richard Romano, This Point Forward: The New Start the Marketplace Demands. Free hard copies will be made available at the show (details below).

TPF Cover Image for Amazon

Disrupting the Future was published in 2010, and likely had the largest worldwide circulation of a book about the printing industry in many years. It was translated into both Portuguese and Japanese. The forces—and strategies for combating those forces—that were identified in Disrupting the Future have played out and, as Richard expresses it, "so very much 2010."

Since then, print’s competition from digital media has only broadened and intensified. Meanwhile, we found—by attending meetings of marketing associations, private conversations with executives, research on current trends in marketing, and through other sources, that communications and advertising management executives simply do not expect to use print media—even for the simplest applications. Many of these managers and executives are highly skilled digital media experts who are not only creative and innovative, but are highly fluent in the statistical nature of digital media analytics. They often do not consider using print in their communications plans unless they have no choice—and they have plenty of choices.

Many people involved in the printing industry like to proclaim their great love of print—its beauty, its tactile nature, and numerous other factors. They have what seems almost like a romance with print. However, marketing executives have no such love of—or romance for—print. They simply do not have the luxury of having a romance with any medium. They need to use what will meet their objectives. Those objectives involve acquiring data on prospects and customers, and metrics that gauge marketing program performance in real time. These executives are increasingly availing themselves of marketing automation platforms that plug prospects into electronic media campaigns. Print is rarely an option in these platforms—although it can be.

Another key factor in communications today is that the CFO or controller, or someone from their office, is involved in the details of budget allocation. These managers are demanding data about their return on investment, giving rise to a key new field for marketing: analytics. Today's new marketers and communicators have an array of new tools that give them what they need in the young field of marketing automation software.

In This Point Forward, we identify the way that marketing—and marketing executives—are changing, and how print can in fact be used, in tandem, with other media channels, to achieve their objectives. This involves more than just buying a piece of equipment.

There are many forces affecting marketing and media choices, and those forces impact the demand for print and the industry’s relevance. By 2020, the marketplace for print and other media will be completely different, and not what the industry is currently structured for. Succeeding will require new approaches to hiring, products and services, and to capital investment. It will require all new corporate cultures that can develop new ways to assist clients by focusing on the client's corporate objectives, using media of all kinds to pursue those objectives, and measure the effectiveness of communications initiatives. "This Point Forward" companies will keep an eye out for emerging technological, economic, and social factors, start acting on them now, and build businesses that keep pace with a very dynamic market. Simply transitioning a current printing business won’t work; things are changing too rapidly for executives to manage an old business while nurturing a new one. In This Point Forward, we detail an entirely new approach that will allow print businesses to keep their eyes clearly focused on the future, while directing actions that develop the resources needed for the 2020 marketplace.

Below are comments from executives who had a preview of the book, and they are very enthusiastic. Sponsorship Opportunities

The authors and WhatTheyThink are offering sponsorship opportunities to make the book available at no charge to the industry. At Graph Expo, Veritiv and Kodak will have hard copies available at scheduled book signings on Tuesday, September 30. The first session is 10:30am to 12noon at Veritiv (booth 1272) followed by 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Kodak (booth 831). These are the only scheduled times for signings.

Free copies of the book are available at Graph Expo through of the generous support of these sponsors. The show books are the only ones planned at this time to be printed with interior color and special covers.

  • Papers were donated by Veritiv;
  • The book block was printed using the Kodak Prosper 6000 ink jet press on International Paper 50lb. Williamsburg with ImageLok™ paper;
  • Dimensional printed covers were produced on the Kodak NexPress Digital Production Color Press using Endurance Digital Silk 100lb. cover;
  • Books ordered online will not have these features.

If your company would like to sponsor the free download page at WhatTheyThink to reach printing executives worldwide, please contact Eric Vessels. Disrupting the Future had approximately 10,000 hard copies distributed and in the range of more than 20,000 downloads through various sources. Pass-along PDF copies in companies were common, and cannot be measured. Companies often made them part of their annual planning meetings. Many printers made their own hard copies for internal use, and would often stop me at shows to hand me one of them.

Sign Up for the Annual Breakfast! The key points of This Point Forward will be discussed as part of the annual show breakfast on September 30. Please register in advance. Sponsored by Veritiv, the event will be held in Room S104 A/B at McCormick Place. Breakfast begins at 8 AM, the presentation starts at 8:30, and there will be a short break at 9:40 for those who need to leave for booth duty. The event ends with the popular Q&A session. Hard copies and Kindle versions will be available beginning October 1 through Amazon.com.

* * *

Good Points: Advance Praise for This Point Forward

“An excellent, sometimes blunt, no nonsense strategic guide to get from the revenue streams of now, to a lucrative future for the printing industry. I love this book!”

—Bob Sacks (BoSacks), President/Publisher, Precision Media Group

“Webb and Romano are brilliant! They set the plate masterfully on why printers must change to exist in 2020. They offer practical advice on what to be by 2020. Most importantly, Webb and Romano direct printers to provide services whose results are measureable. I hope and pray our industry will heed their advice to follow This Point Forward and not the Rear View Mirror.”

—Paul V. Reilly, Partner, New Direction Partners (President, COO, CEO, & Chair of Board of Directors, Cenveo, 1998–2005)

“An extraordinary book by two extraordinary industry visionaries. A must read guidebook to transform your business from the world of print to the world of media allocation, metrics and marketing automation. If you want your company to grow and thrive in this new world, read this book NOW!!!!!"

—Frank D. Steenburgh, Steenburgh & Associates; CMO, ColorCentric (Xerox Corporate Officer, 1967–2005)

“‘We have created a paralysis in our business that does not allow the reallocation of capital in an efficient manner’ and ‘475,000 employees drive $4 billion in profits in the printing industry while 55 employees sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 Billion!’ These are two of the early quotes from Joe Webb that set the foundation to propel those of us who view a printer’s future survival as tied to marketing communications. We must give up our focus on press utilization for something more lasting: a company that understands the needs and goals of today’s millennial media buyers. These talented people are fluent in the ‘statistical nature of digital media analytics’ and change their marketing messages on the fly. So we must change quickly or perish as 10,000 printers have in the past ten years.”

—Terry A. Tevis, President & CEO, Coloredge (Group President, RR Donnelley, 1992–2000; President & CEO, American Signature Graphics, 1985–1992)

“The prolific mind of Dr. Joe has once more spat forth a metaphor-laced tome, made fathomable by the inestimable talent of Richard Romano. We’re treated once again to Dr. Joe’s fascination with obscure cultural references, rendering the density appetizing and entertaining. Like “Where’s Waldo,” the book is an entertaining snipe hunt for the nuggets of actionable advice. It’s Dr. Joe at his very best.”

—Wayne M. Peterson, Black Canyon Consulting Group

“While Disrupting the Future was a good book and opened the discussion, This Point Forward seems more actionable and less philosophical. This one says, ‘roll up the sleeves, look at the issues, and prepare and align yourself with the point forward.’”

—David Zwang, Zwang & Associates

“In This Point Forward, Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano explore how people will interact with printed materials. These printing industry experts bring thought-provoking insights into how businesses will use printed assets in their marketing mix and how companies in the industry need to respond to remain viable.”

—Jeff Clarke, CEO, Kodak

“As is typical of Dr. Joe and Richard, they pull no punches by giving a sobering, factual account of the data and dynamics that have changed the landscape of our industry. More importantly, This Point Forward provides an insightful view of the dramatically different skill sets required of graphic arts companies (or, we should say, marketers) and their staffs to succeed. They also identify potential paths for success that make this an invaluable text for all in our industry. Don’t just read it, study it!”

—Carl Gerhardt, Chairman, Alliance Franchise Brands (Signs By Tomorrow, Allegra Network, Speedy printing Centers, and Insty Prints)

This Point Forward is the perfect title for this book. It points the way to the future with a roadmap to get you there. It eschews history for solid counsel on dealing with a new print world order. It is positive and even uplifting with its meaningful message of hope and guidance. Forward to the future.”

—Frank Romano, RIT Professor Emeritus

“Once again, the team of Webb and Romano have established the leading edge for thinking in the graphics industry. Anyone who is interested in strategic planning or positioning their company for future success needs to put this book on their must read list. Whether you agree with every theory and proposition or not, they will stimulate your thought process with a compelling view of our future. This Point Forward offers a solid and persuasive path towards reaching tomorrow’s clients.”

—John Berthelsen, President & CEO, Suttle-Straus; Chairman, Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation

“In a world of ongoing disruption, Webb and Romano offer a compelling case for sound strategy development and a roadmap for implementation. Ignore this work at your own peril!”

—Tom Saggiomo, CEO, The DG3 Group

“If you agree that the graphic communication industry is changing and you are changing with it—this is a great read to check your direction. If you are like an ostrich, with your head stuck in the sand believing a rising tide will lift all boats (ink on paper-only printers)—this is a must read.”

—Niels M. Winther, Chairman of the Board & Managing Partner, Think Patented

“This is not one of those books that you’ll fall asleep reading. This riveting look at our industry—the do’s and don’ts, data, technology, marketing, and history—proves that if you want to succeed in the print industry, it’s possible. This Point Forward is a combination of everything that Webb and Romano do best, with the no BS advice that you need to thrive. Stop selling a commodity, and start reading this book immediately.”

—John Foley, Jr., CEO and Chief Product Architect, interlinkONE, and Author of Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Print Industry and Untethered Marketing

“This is excellent work. The diagnostics concerning both long-standing and emerging trends are the best in the industry. We are in sea change of technology and consumer behavior. What really stood out, though, was the well-thought-out prescriptive providing a clear outline of what to do and what not to do from ‘This Point Forward.’ Anyone who wants to change and is committed to it should read this three or four times, making margin notes, outlines, etc. That’s the only way to get the message in this book in its entirety. There is so much about our businesses that will never be the same again and, as has been said more than once in the past five years, we need to get out of denial and move on!”

—Wayne Lynn, CEO/Principal, Lynn Consulting Group (Group Vice President, Consolidated Graphics, 2001–2004)

“Excellent discussion on what lies ahead for printers and our industry. It is backed up by data, projections, and wit we have come to appreciate from this dynamic duo. (Anyone who can quote Lucille Ball as a relevant source to get the point across has my vote for ‘Thought Leader of the Year’ Award.) This is not a cookbook for success but more like a compelling sequel in a sobering, nonfictional dramatic series for business owners which skillfully ties the authors’ previous works neatly together. The question is will the increasing rate of change in our industry be the basis for our success, or will it force us to be consolidated out?”

—Gary W. Ampulski PhD., Managing Partner, Midwest Genesis

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Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.



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