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Murders and Accusations or “Why not to do a deal at all.”

No, that title isn’t a typo. Mergers and acquisitions are getting lots of attention again. That means mine will probably be the most contrarian voice on the subject. Over the past 14 years, I’ve watched 8 different deals up close. So let me apologize in advance: I’m not a fan of mergers or acquisitions. Here’s why..


MPA and Adobe Work to Standardize Engagement Metrics for Digital Publications

Adobe, MPA, 4As and a group of publishers collaborated to develop a set of metrics to standardize the measurement of engagement for digital publications. Previously there were a variety of inconsistent measurement methodologies with no standard reports and varying metrics. Hear what MPA’s Ethan Grey and Adobe’s Lynly Schambers-Lenox have to say about these new standardized audience metrics for digital publications.


In the Print M&A Marketplace, Amateurs and Generalists Need Not Apply

You’ve placed your company's future into the hands of a self-styled M&A adviser. But do you truly understand what your agent’s qualifications are and where the relationship is going to take you?


PRINT 13 Exceeds Expectations

PRINT 13 was held September 6-10 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. This article provides a brief overview of just some of the hardware and software announcements that greeted visitors on the show floor.


No Matter What Its Critics Say, Print Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You

Ah, the travails of traditional media. Who among us hasn’t stifled a groan, or at least a yawn, upon being reminded by the digerati that the path ahead for print leads nowhere else but down?


Determined to “Prosper” in Digital Print, AGS Turns to Kodak Inkjet Web Press

The centerpiece of digital production at AGS Print & Marketing Communications is an inkjet web press with a combination of capabilities that the president of the company calls “marketing’s Holy Grail” for print.


Kodak Proclaims, “We Are Ready” for Whatever Life after Chapter 11 May Bring

On Kodak’s first full day in business after emerging from bankruptcy, Antonio Perez, its chairman and CEO, detailed the company’s plans to rebuild its stature as a supplier of technology solutions in a narrower cross-section of markets than it once served.


Maximizing the Retail Shopping Experience with Signage

Capturing consumers’ attention while they are in a store is critical, and this often involves blending signage with mobile technology. This article discusses some of the ways that today’s retailers are accomplishing this goal.


Adobe PDF Print Engine 3: The Next Step in Digital Printing Efficiency

On September 5th, Adobe announced the Adobe PDF Print Engine 3 (APPE3), bringing significant enhancements to its RIP architecture that enable its OEM partners to stay current with digital printing market demands. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne and WhatTheyThink Contributor David Zwang collaborated on this analysis of the anticipated impact of APPE3’s market entry.


Investigating Wide-Format Markets & Products

The information included in this article is a short summary of the data presented in SGIA’s soon-to-be-released 2013 Market Trends & Product Specialties Benchmarking Report. The data presented is culled from the responses of 136 U.S. sign and graphics producers, and provides an excellent snapshot of the graphics and sign segment today. A full report will be available on SGIA.org later this year.


Fuji XMF Workflow

Workflows have been around since the start of computer to plate, when the printing industry looked much different than today. The convergence of offset and digital as well as the other cross media applications has made a streamlined workflow more important than ever. Fujifilm has recently developed a whole new workflow called XMF. This has allowed them to build their software based on today’s needs.


Resilience and Perseverance in this Time of Change

Resilience and perseverance are crucial behavioral competencies when individuals and organizations must overcome significant obstacles. The capacity to be flexible as well as demonstrate the range of responses to adversity will dramatically impact our level of future success. One of senior management’s responsibilities is to ensure that during these transitional times we surround ourselves with the people that approach these challenges with the most appropriate behavioral competencies.


Engaging Consumers and Transforming Them into Brand Advocates (Premium Content)

A number of tools and resources are emerging that help maximize social Web presence, including techniques for rewarding social influencers to promote products and services. This article discusses industry players that are driving customers to become powerful marketing assets.


Digital Growth Ignites Innovation

Stakeholders in the sign and display market can look back on the past 18 months and note solid growth attributed to the steady and measured ascent of digital printing. Globally, we witnessed the continued adoption and embrace of digital as innovative new technologies helped print providers convert analog pages to generate new business and increase opportunities with existing clients.


Let’s Proactively Evolve Print from Outbound to Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is promotion-based; spread the message about my company, my products, and my services to as many people as I can interrupt in the hope that some will find the message relevant. Print examples of this are blasting out huge direct mail campaigns to strangers, newspaper advertisements, and billboards.


Flying High with SundaySky (Premium Content)

Following a recent experience with a personalized video bill from AT&T, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed SundaySky President and chief revenue officer Jim Dicso to learn more about the company’s operations. SundaySky provides the infrastructure for high volume personalized videos from AT&T, Lenovo, Office Depot and more.


Canon USA: A New Era?

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently joined 36 other industry analysts and journalists at a special event at Canon USA’s brand-new Melville NY headquarters located at One Canon Park. Also attending the event were WhatTheyThink’s Frank Romano, Richard Romano, David Zwang and Patrick Henry. Sherburne shares her thoughts about the visit.


Direct Mail Market Trends

Within the last few years we have seen the introduction of two high-speed inkjet technologies aimed at the direct mail space. One is the new high-speed color inkjet presses and the other is high-speed color inkjet heads that can be mounted on existing offset presses.


The Customer Experience: Going to the Virtual Store (Premium Content)

A number of savvy marketers have transformed large format signage in public locations into virtual shopping centers that are accessible to on-the-go travelers. This article discusses how retailers are leveraging QR codes to bring consumers the ultimate in shopping convenience.


The Software You Buy vs. the Software You Use

A 2002 Standish Group study of software projects found that 45% of features were never used and only 20% features were used often or always. We base our software investment decisions on the number of features a product has and then we fail to utilize 80% of those features. Does that make sense to anyone?


Folding Carton Converter ASG Turns to HP Indigo 30000 for New Business Development (Premium Content)

As the first HP Indigo 30000 units begin to come to market, we are checking in with new owners to see how these B2 sheetfed presses, optimized for folding carton work, will be affecting their converting businesses.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Cloud Based Workflow Management Systems

In this article, David looks at cloud-based production management systems, a relatively new concept and product category, what they look like and how they compare to the more conventional workflow management offerings.


This is the Dawning of the Age of Experience! (Premium Content)

Consumers are changing the way that they interact with brands and how they ultimately buy. Service providers that have worked to add cross-media communications to their mix must now assess how they can help marketers deliver an engaging brand experience. This article cites recent research to show how emerging technologies can enhance the consumer experience.


Morikami Museum Produces First Digitally Printed Catalog (Premium Content)

As part of its ongoing philanthropic and community support efforts, Canon Solutions America spearheaded an effort to support Delray Beach’s Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in the production of a catalog featuring its world-class exhibit of Japanese Kokeshi dolls. Learn how this first-ever digitally printed catalog has opened new doors for the museum.


Multi-Packaging Services Chooses HP Indigo 30000 to Expand Packaging Capabilities (Premium Content)

Multi-Packaging Services, based in New York City, is an early adopter of the HP Indigo 30000 folding carton press. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with them to learn more about why they bought this press and what benefits they expect to gain from adding it to their production portfolio.


Presstek Acquires VIM: WhatTheyThink Exclusive Interview with CEO David Savage (Premium Content)

In this exclusive interview, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks to Presstek CEO David Savage to understand the strategy behind the acquisition and where Presstek plans to go from here.


Getting Started in Wide Format Inkjet (Premium Content)

The wide format inkjet market is growing rapidly with expanding new products and applications. The equipment cost is relatively modest when compared to offset presses and bindery equipment. What do I need to consider before I jump on board?


CMO Challenges Create Opportunities for Service Providers (Premium Content)

To be successful, service providers need to focus on the challenges that keep the world’s CMOs up at night, including the explosion of data, engaging with customers through social media, the proliferation of channels and devices, and changing consumer demographics. This article cites recent market research to discuss how savvy service providers are meeting the changing needs of today’s CMOs.


FESPA 2013 Show Review: Moving Beyond Wide-Format Inkjet

FESPA is the Federation of European Screen Print Associations. It started as an annual exhibition by Display Graphics, Textile, and Specialist Screen Print suppliers of products for their customers and over time came to include inkjet wide-format print offerings by their various vendors.


The Label Sector; excerpts from 2012 PRIMIR Research

In past articles we have brought forward excerpts from a 2012 PRIMIR study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders.


Why Going It Alone in an M&A Can Mean Going Nowhere at All

Printers are self-reliant by nature. But, the pitfalls of selling a company or buying one without expert assistance should make even the most rugged individualist think twice.


Can Inkjet Do Direct Mail?

There’s a perception that inkjet can’t do direct mail and achieve the necessary image quality. Is that true?


Content Marketing: Driving Profitable Customer Actions (Premium Content)

Most print service providers are serving the business-to-business market space. These B2B marketers need to target specific audiences with significant sales cycles and price preferences. This article discusses how service providers are evaluating content marketing in their go-to-market strategies.


Wide-Format Gets Bigger (Will You?)

I’m currently in my 22nd year serving the specialty graphics industry. During my time with SGIA, I’ve been witness to the complete changeover in imaging equipment technology.


Challenge: Attracting, Recruiting and Hiring Talented Employees

The challenge of attracting, recruiting, hiring and the on-boarding of talented employees continues to be high on the priority list. How we determine who the most talented candidates are, where we find them, engage them and motivate them to seriously consider our industry for their career path requires a well-executed strategy. And as the workforce transitions from the Baby Boomer generation this process is becoming even more complex.


Make Great Software Decisions

We collectively make a lot of poor software decisions, according to my very bias and unscientific research we make way more mistakes in this area than we do with other business decisions. What is it about technology that causes a collective brain freeze when it comes to making good decisions?


HP Indigo 10000: An Early Look at Installs (Premium Content)

The HP Indigo 10000 B2 press caused a bit of a stir at drupa 2012. Now, more than a year later, the first sold units are making their way into the marketplace. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at two very different installs to see how this new press is fitting in and the impact it might be having on conventional printing technologies.


Conversation with Dscoop Global Executive Director Mike Fogarty (Premium Content)

Dscoop, the Digital Solutions Cooperative, recently appointed Mike Fogarty as its new Global Executive Director to replace long-time Executive Director Eric Hawkinson, now at Canon. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Fogarty to learn more about why he joined the organization and what he expects to achieve there.


Snyder Printer: Meeting the Challenge of Change (Premium Content)

In a rapidly changing industry, traditional printers must view the dynamics surrounding the offset-to-digital transition and new media as opportunities for much-needed growth. This article provides an overview of how Snyder Printer, Inc. leveraged digital color technology to improve its market opportunities.


Printer’s Marketing Efforts: The Untold Story (Premium Content)

For many years I cringed every time I heard someone in the print industry say, “printers need to become marketing service providers.” My initial reaction was always, are you kidding me?


Delphax Elan: An Update (Premium Content)

With Print 2013 rapidly approaching, ‘tis the season for product updates, many of which were shown as technology demos or prototypes at drupa 2012. Delphax Elan is one of those products. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Delphax CEO Dieter Schilling to see what’s new.


Strategizing the Acquisition: A Road Map for Buyers

Today, for many printers, “growth” means “growth by acquisition.” In strategizing a deal to buy another company, purchase price is not the first thing to focus on.


The State of Thermal Transfer and Digital Printing

Heat transfers may not be one of the more obvious uses for digital printing, but for years the innovative companies have been successfully building up a market in a variety of ways.


Expectations are High for Xerox CiPress Coming on Stream at R. E. Gilmore Corporation

At R.E. Gilmore Corporation, the Xerox CiPress will hit the ground running in an environment where high-volume digital printing is both a specialty and an everyday routine.


Large Format Plays at PIP Printing in Peoria (Premium Content)

Signage and wide format graphics have become an integral part of the marketing mix. This article highlights recent InfoTrends research and also explores how PIP Printing (Peoria, IL) is leveraging wide format to expand its own business opportunities.


The Continuous-Feed Inkjet Production Market—2013

Now in its fifth full-year since its introduction, the continuous-feed inkjet printer market shows no signs of maturity. There are few other markets in either the printer segment or consumer electronic segments that continue to show growth after five years. This doesn’t mean that the path forward is lined with rose petals.


P&G Adopts PantoneLIVE™ (Premium Content)

With the adoption by Procter & Gamble of PantoneLIVE to better control its iconic library of brand colors throughout the production process, we wondered what that means for the packaging supply chain as a whole. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talks to Pantone’s Cheryl Johnson to learn more.


AT&T Uses Personalized Video to Explain Mobile Bills

AT&T Mobile now features personalized video explaining bills for new customers or those who change their plans. In addition to reducing the call volume at AT&T call centers (a significant reduction in bill-related calls, according to a company blog), it has a real WOW factor, with almost 80% of recipients watching the video all the way through. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne explains.


HP Pulls Plug on HP Hiflex Management Information System and HP Hiflex Web-to-Print Solutions (Premium Content)

A couple weeks ago, a source informed Senior Editor Cary Sherburne that HP was in the process of pulling the plug on its Hiflex MIS and web-to-print offerings. While there has been no official public announcement from HP, this article summarizes what customers are being told and includes an official statement from HP.


Today’s TransPromo Realities (Premium Content)

Marketers face the challenge of getting their messages out in a way that breaks through the clutter and encourages desired behaviors in recipients. Although TransPromo communications can address this challenge, adoption has been spotty to date. This article uses recent InfoTrends research to discuss the opportunities that TransPromo can bring in today’s market.


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