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McKinsey’s Guide to Digital Disruption: Lessons for the Printing Industry

The September 2016 issue of McKinsey Quarterly included an article entitled An Incumbent’s Guide to Digital Disruption that offered insight on actions that businesses can take today to remain competitive in today’s digital age. This article provides a synopsis of the McKinsey disruption lifecycle and explores how the printing industry is being affected today.

By Barb Pellow
Published: October 6, 2016


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A digital printing and publishing pioneer, marketing expert and Group Director at InfoTrends, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave. Barb brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity.

Please offer your feedback to Barb. She can be reached at barb_pellow@infotrends.com.



By Pete Basiliere on Oct 06, 2016

Thank you, Barb, for pointing us to the McKinsey & Company report.

The article is well worth the time to read it. I noted that the photo at the top of the McKinsey article seemed to be of a slitter wheel on a running web press.

At the end of the article the authors Chris Bradley and Clayton O’Toole describe stage four thus:

“In this late stage, the disruption has reached a point when companies have no choice but to accept reality: the industry has fundamentally changed. For incumbents, their cost base isn’t in line with the new (likely much shallower) profit pools, their earnings are caving in, and they find themselves poorly positioned to take a strong market position.

“This is where print media is now. The classifieds’ ‘rivers of gold’ have dried up, making survival the first priority, and sustainability and growth the second.”

Of course, the authors are using classified ads as one example of print media.

How is your perspective, that most of today’s printing industry incumbents are in stage two, different from the authors’ viewpoint?


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