WhatTheyThink

Commentary & Analysis

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To Deliver Powerful Customer Experiences – Get Personal

In today’s competitive marketplace, brands are all vying for the eyes of consumers. Ask yourself: Does your campaign inspire engagement or action? Is it timed to reach the recipients at a precise moment? Are you targeting consumers across their preferred communication channels?

Print Is the “New Media” at ISA Sign Expo

Neon. LED. Channel letters. Wooden signs. Magnetic letters. Aside from dynamic digital signage, the “new media” in the sign industry is, strange as it may sound, print. The International Sign Association’s Sign Expo 2017 wrapped up last weekend. Here are some highlights from the show floor and beyond.

Importance of Hard Data: How Soft Data Can Mislead Decision-Makers

Every generation has a different perception of what the world is like. That difference may be appearing in surveys of consumer confidence and similar measures that businesspeople and economists have relied on. Hard data can be so cold, and those surveys added context and perspective with a view toward the future that historical data could not. Now it seems that “soft data” is softer than thought and may be misleading decision-makers about the marketplace.

A Greater Emphasis on Marketing Attribution

The ultimate objective of marketing attribution is to help marketers track their marketing and media efforts and determine the impact on their overall business. Priorities are shifting toward cross-channel measurement, and savvy print service providers are getting into the game!

NPES “Bold New Direction” for 2020 and New Ownership for Print/Graph Expo

NPES has unveiled what it characterizes as a “bold new direction” with its 2020 Strategic Plan. The organization has been evaluating its performance and considering where it wants to be as an organization by 2020 – and what value it can and will bring to the printing industry. NPES has assumed full ownership of the PRINT and GRAPH EXPO tradeshows.

Clear Communication with Print Software

Clear communication is essential when implementing print software. When you don’t ask clarifying questions, you assume that if there were more relevant details about the integration they would have shared them with you. Do not assume. Ask clarifying questions. Be that annoying person who keeps asking questions.

Proof That Adding Images Improves Conversion Rates

Intuitively, we know that adding images to direct mail, displays, and wide-format graphics adds grabs attention, but these statistics from real-life campaigns show that adding images does more—it actually improves conversion rates.

Xeikon Café and the Xeikon Panther Strategy

Xeikon Café marked some significant Xeikon announcements, including the company’s entry into the production inkjet business and a leadership transition. The event, held at Xeikon headquarters in Belgium, drew more than 800 unique international visitors and was supported by about 40 partners.

An Eye for Detail: The Many Layers of Digital Artist Bert Monroy

Berkeley-based digital artist Bert Monroy has spent more than three decades creating intricately detailed digital fine art. His most complex image is part of a new software retrospective exhibit at the Computer History Museum.

One Canon Event Shares Good News, Surprises

Canon didn’t disappoint with its One Canon event in Boca Raton last month. About 40 journalists and analysts gathered to hear the latest news and engage with Canon customers. It’s always a pleasure to hear from Joe Adachi, Canon USA Chairman and CEO, who kicked off the event with a broad corporate overview. And a surprise product launch occurred during the event as well.

The Emphasis on Mobile Creates New Opportunities for Enterprises

Today’s brands are learning from early mistakes through trial and error, careful consideration of user engagement, and knowledge of effective use to further enhance their mobile strategies. Even non-traditional partners like print service providers are learning how to provide support. This article explores how enterprises can capitalize on the mobile opportunity.

What Do the Navy’s Blue Angels Have to Do with Print?

I grew up in the shadow of Navy base Moffett Field in Mountain View CA, and later lived near Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth NH, and had the opportunity to see many Blue Angels shows and practice sessions. So it was quite an experience to hear from John Foley, a retired U.S. Navy Commander who led the vaunted Blue Angels, a keynote speaker at Dscoop.

The Fed’s Balance Sheet and the S&P 500

The financial markets were rattled a little bit by the recent minutes of the Fed meeting where they discussed the unwinding of their interventions and the ballooning of their balance sheet. The data are reflected in the St. Louis Fed Adjusted Monetary Base. The chart shows how the run-up in the S&P 500 stock index relates to the Fed’s quantitative easings

Excel, PDFs, Paper, and More People (automation-less)

We apply tools from our toolset to solve business challenges, often those tools create silos of data and processes inside our company that prevent us from becoming a truly data-driven organization.

Labels: Hybrid Printing Production Solutions can bridge QPC

In this article, David looks at the role of Hybrid Press Solutions to bridge the gap between conventional and digital label production, and even a takes a glance at what these types of solutions mean for other types of packaging.

Something’s Happening and It Just Doesn’t Feel Right

Friday’s unemployment report of 4.5% showed a thriving, healthy labor market in an economy bursting with growth. Not so fast… the cross-currents of the economy are quite different depending where you are, especially in the suffering retail markets. Media technology changes are letting communicators switch from gas guzzlers to more finely tuned approaches that squeeze budgets but offer similar results. There are print businesses thriving in this chaos, and Dr. Joe explains why even they have to remain vigilant and proactive.

Changes Coming to EPA’s Hazardous Waste Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency made some changes to its “generator standard” regarding the safe disposal of hazardous waste. Here is what the printing industry needs to know.

View into the Future of Printing Process Control - March 2017 M&A Activity

Danaher adds Advanced Vision Technology to Pantone and X-Rite platform, Ripon acquires Maquoketa, Vomela goes commercial, private equity backs outsourcing packaging to China, and more

Are You Promoting Event Marketing?

A look at the benefits of event marketing and why printers should be promoting their ability to offer event marketing support.

TransPromo, 2017-Style

Marketers face the challenge of getting their messages out in a way that cuts through this clutter and encourages desired behaviors in recipients. This article discusses how today’s marketers are increasingly leveraging statements and other transactional documents as a marketing platform, and how these documents are becoming a more integral part of the overall customer experience.

Good Data, Bad Personalization

This article looks at the missed opportunities of a data-driven mailer created by a top brand and encourages readers to ensure that their own clients use data in a way that is effective rather than simply elevating the cost of a piece unnecessarily.

Print Software Execution is the Differentiator

I wish you could just buy the right print software product and it would make you successful. You can’t. Success with software takes your execution. Software doesn’t implement itself, vendors can’t implement it without your active involvement.

A Case Study of Patent Abuse: Patent Trolls on the Run — The Printing Industry Is Winning

This is a follow-up to my July 2016 White Paper entitled, “A Case Study of Patent Abuse: Printing Industry Faces New Nemesis Impacting Growth and Employment—Patent Trolls.” This article reviews the outcome of the previous cases and presents a “heads-up” regarding two new plaintiffs: Shipping & Transit LLC and the Freeny Brothers. It also introduces two “Printing Industry Heroes Among Us,” inventor Joyce Vogt and Intellectual Property attorney Nate St. Clair II.

Xerox introduces a new line of Versant Digital Presses and More...

The new Xerox® has been very busy lately. In addition to its largest ever product launch of 29 workplace printing devices last week, today the company introduced a new line of Versant® presses to replace the existing models, with many new features that exceed the competition’s current offerings and complement the growing line of Xerox production print engines.

Do You Know Where Your QR Codes Are?

When adding QR Codes to printed materials, it’s critical to understand where they are being placed (and whether they are even scannable) as much as it is why they are being used and the content to which viewers are being driven. Examples of where not to place QR Codes if you want people to scan them.

Print To Play an Expanded Role at Upcoming ISA Sign Expo

ISA Sign Expo 2017 is back in Vegas, with four days of educational sessions, a packed exhibition hall, and some brand-new partnerships and colocations, including the Collaboration in Packaging Production (CPP) Expo.

Advanced Data-Driven Marketing Techniques and the Role of Print

Data is the future. The emergence of combined business intelligence and analytics platforms has fueled what Gartner calls “the democratization of analytics,” under which “every business process becomes an analytics process and every user is an analytics user.” Nowhere is this change more evident than in marketing organizations where analytical expertise is a skill that all marketers must increasingly embrace.

US Commercial Printing Shipments on a Per Capita Basis

Yes, that sounds boring, but the data have been made interesting by including details about the last forty years or so of industry history and technological change. We added some statistical forecasts from our models that take the data out to 2025. When we started this chart almost ten years ago, those outlying years were near zero. They’re not any more (whew!). The data are inflation adjusted and based on the population data and forecasts of the US Census Bureau. It’s interesting how there are periods of relative stability, a change, followed by another period of stability. Technological change has been a much bigger factor affecting consumption than general economic conditions.

Embrace the Stupid

You can call it change management, I prefer the wise words of Seth Godin – change requires you to embrace stupid. Our market requires all of us to keep learning, “the pre-learning state is stupidity.”

Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things: Why Printers and Packaging Converters Should Take Notice

On a recent visit to Switzerland, I had the opportunity to spend time with Antoine Preisig, General Manager EMEA for X-Rite Pantone. Preisig joined X-Rite a year ago with a diverse background in the dental, IT and consumer electronics industries. He shared his thoughts on how Industry 4.0 is changing the world – and our industry.

New Strategies Start to Gel at Canon One Event

Earlier this month, Canon Solutions America hosted its annual analyst and press event in Boca Raton, Fla., debuting new wide-format technologies and market strategies.

Profits and Capex and Bears, Oh My!

Industry profits for 2016 were higher than 2015, but big printers were not riding high, they were writing down. Big used to mean big, but now small and medium are the rage as the changing nature of print demand makes the theme of short-run specialties for long-term profitability a big idea. And then there’s capital investment that makes all that possible. Its rebound continues in a manner that reflects a different industry. Is the post-election business enthusiasm a bubble about to burst? Dr. Joe explains.

Arnold Printing: Hiring Done Right!

Finding salespeople who are capable of consistently hitting or surpassing their sales targets can be the difference between success and failure for a print/marketing service provider. Arnold Printing recently retooled its sales team, and this article explores the steps that the company took and the challenges it faced along the way.

Do Printing Companies Really Need to Offer Marketing Services?

Do print buyers really want printers to offer marketing services? A recent survey of Print Buyers suggests they don’t. Now what?

Ad Agency and Publisher Revenues

Advertising agency revenues are having a slow rebound from their pullback in 2015. Publisher revenues are still having problems as ad pages and circulation are contracting. Clearly, agencies are finding other areas to garner revenues, especially in managing digital initiatives. Mobile communications are where their latest opportunities are, especially with website redesigns, creating the look and feel of content marketing for their clients, and assisting clients as they sort through the analytics that marketing automation offers.

What Makes Print Ecommerce Weird?

Selling print online requires knowledge of how to both accept artwork and deliver print assets to the manufacturing facility. Generic ecommerce firms don’t understand this which can cause printers to spend their time and money educating resources about what makes print ecommerce unique.

Fashion Fabrics Present Boom Opportunity For Digital Printers

Leveraging inkjet technology into the textile industry is presenting an increasingly compelling opportunity for mainstream print equipment and consumable suppliers, according to the latest research from Smithers Pira.

Imagine Losing Money for Ten Years in a Row And Staying in Business

It’s a famous example of a large public company that defied gravity - Trans World Airlines (also known as TWA for those of us old enough to remember the brand) famously posted ten consecutive money-losing years and continued to operate, essentially living off capital generated from its once successful legacy enterprise. No small company could ever lose money and survive for an extended period measured in decades!

The Future of Book Manufacturing:Integration and Automation

Automation is playing a growing role in book manufacturing, as evidenced by the sophisticated solutions on show at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2017

Data-Driven Marketing: The Opportunity for Print Service Providers

With the advent of data-driven marketing, print providers with agency services are uncovering opportunities in strategy, creative, programming, and content development when it comes to enhancing relevance and results for clients. Although data-driven marketing is becoming more widely used, it is still in its infancy. This article explores how print providers with agency services are embracing data-driven marketing skills to gain a strategic advantage.

With Software Changes Maximize Learning, Avoid Fear

Mistakes are part of our lives and our businesses. Nobody likes to make them, how you react to your mistakes dictates what kind of business culture you’ll create. Software changes are an excellent environment to create a learning culture and avoid a fear based culture.

Once Again, Flexo Levels Up: an Interview with Kodak’s Chris Payne

One constant amidst the turmoil and transformation of Kodak in recent years has been the company’s intense focus on R&D for its flexographic printing technologies. To hear Chris Payne tell it, concentrating on flexo has yielded some of Kodak’s biggest strategic dividends in the aftermath of its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013.

The Changing Face of Web to Print

It’s been more than two decades since the first flurry of web-to-print solutions hit the market in the midst of the 1990’s dot-com boom, and these solutions have continued to evolve. Today, the next generation of web-to-print solutions are gaining steam as pure-play cloud-based solutions that provide the Uber- or Amazon-like experience consumers expect today. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne delves into experiences of forward-looking firms who have adopted these next-generation solutions.

Economy Sending Conflicting Messages? Or Is It?

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” is the way the saying goes, and claiming some credit for a good job report on Friday was probably not wise. That old political rule of claiming credit for what happens on your watch though not caused by you has the underside of getting the blame for what you did not do. An important GDP forecast shows a very weak Q1, and the content creation businesses of advertising and design had declines in employment. Perhaps some weak economic conditions are what’s needed to get the Beltway’s priorities into the right order.

Conversations on Print - Ep 1: Make Print Easier to Buy - Featuring Jerry Kennelly

Jerry Kennelly started his print career in a sweat shop run by his parents in their basement. When a wall in your house has to be removed to get the press downstairs, you know you might be working the 3rd shift someday. Jerry is an entrepreneur, founder of Stockbyte, Tweak and the Junior Entrepreneur Programme in Ireland. In this podcast we talk about what Jerry has learned and how passionate he is about both the impact and value of print in our digital world.

Show Me the Money! Study Shows Where the Spending Is

As the saying goes, if you want to know the truth, follow the money. That’s why Target Marketing takes a look at marketers’ spending trends every year. We can talk all we want about what we think is up and what’s down, but the reality shows up in the numbers.

Rocky Mountain High: Canon Debuts the UVgel-Based Colorado

At yesterday’s Canon One event in Boca Raton, Canon Solutions America officially launched the Colorado 1640, the first model in the company’s new line of roll-to-roll wide-format printers based on the revolutionary new UVgel ink technology.

Is Data Enrichment in Your Marketing Services Portfolio?

Data enrichment (also known as data appending) is the process of finding and adding missing or inaccurate attributes in existing data contact lists. This article explores how print service providers can leverage data enrichment services to bring differentiated value-add to clients.

Transformation of a Legacy Print Business – February 2017 M&A Activity

Deluxe goes mobile as strategic plan unfolds, VC fund invests in photo book printer (and brilliant marketer of print services) Chatbooks, the market for retail display and point-of-purchase printers heats up as Orora continues acquisition spree, and more…

Software Features are Trees - See the Forest

Step back and regroup. Stop looking at features and focus on the overall business objectives of your software solutions. All of us (vendors and printers) need to get out of the feature focus so we can make better software decisions AND make the software we have work better for us in spite of the lacking features.

Digital Label Production Still Has A Long Way To Grow

The shift from analog to digital production in this area has already started, with the real growth ahead of us. This offers some perspective on the transition from conventional production to digital production in the label business. While there is significant forward movement in digital, and for the right reasons, it still represents only a small fraction of the total production mix.

Idealliance’s XCMYK Specification Improves Expanded Gamut Printing

For many people, color management is like the weather. Everyone talks about it, but no one ever does anything about it. But new machines with new ink sets are turning what was always a tricky issue into an even trickier one.

Effective Sales Management: Critical for a High-Performing Sales Team!

Many of today’s print service providers under-invest in their sales efforts, placing a greater concentration on daily production, mailing, shipping, and distribution. The sales process often becomes an afterthought, but it deserves more attention. This article explores how implementing strong sales managers and sales management processes can deliver double-digit business results.

Assumptions Are the Enemy of Good Software Decisions

When both parties in the print software sales process make assumptions, poor decisions are made. Money is wasted. Time is squandered. Replace assumptions with clarifying questions so you come to a common understanding of the truth.

How to Avoid the “Oops!” in Print Jobs

What makes for a great print job? Members of an industry discussion group share their insights, both from a client and printer perspective. What can What They Think members add to the discussion? Every now and then, a printing discussion explodes in the public sphere. When that happens, it’s too good not to share. Most recently, this occurred in the LinkedIn Print Production Professionals group. While the overwhelming majority of LinkedIn discussions get no comments and even the most active are lucky to get half a dozen, this discussion generated 66 comments in less than two weeks!

High Hopes for High Demand in High-Barrier Pouches

It’s not just digital printing technology that is affecting packaging, The way that we are packaging is changing as well. For example, have you noticed how many different kinds of food and beverage items are now available in non-rigid containers? Advances in materials and processes for high-barrier pouches mean that wine (for example) no longer has to come only in bottles.

SGIA Becomes an Association Partner with InPrint; Interview with SGIA President Ford Bowers

As interest in industrial printing gains momentum, the inaugural InPrint USA Industrial Print Show will take place in Orlando in April. We spoke with SGIA President and CEO Ford Bowers about industrial printing in general and the upcoming show in particular.

Is Sales Dying?

Dr. Joe wonders what’s happening to sales? The number of sales people in the economy is declining, and they’ve been essentially replaced by computers and server farms. All those sales call reports have been replaced by analytics. All that T&A expense became electrons. Entrepreneurship is critical to a growing economy, but having the right context to the statistics helps put it in perspective. And then there’s trade. Can we change the subject? Some economists are finally writing with clarity about the topic.

GenXers Are Taking Over Print: Now What?

Who knew that finishing was the primary determiner of print quality among print buyers? But this is the result of The Print Media Center’s “2017 Print Buyer Survey.” Now what?

Do You Have the Right Sales Structure for 2017?

In today’s market, you must align your sales organization with your overall business strategy while also accommodating the changing demands of your customer base. This article discusses options for structuring your sales team to deliver better business results.

Is Customer Experience Really More Important Than Sales?

Is customer experience really more important to marketers than sales? Multiple studies say yes.

Consumer Inflation for 2016 at +2.5%, Giving Fed Reason to Increase Rates

Consumer inflation for 2016 was increasing, with December’s reading +2.5% higher than 2015. December’s rate alone was at a +6.6% annualized rate. The chart shows the monthly comparisons as the blue line and the year-to-year comparisons as the heavier red line.

Preparing Questions for User Conferences – Dscoop 2017

User conferences are an incredible opportunity to load up on learning from the speakers, the vendors, and most importantly your peers. With Dscoop next week, this article covers the importance of the well-formed, thought out questions that can help you get the most out of events by preparing and focusing on your learning goals before you arrive!

Michigan Tech Study: 3D Printing Ready for Prime Time

Study on 3D printing concludes that 3D production is now ready for the mainstream and every home. How does this impact MSPs using or considering using 3D printing as a way to get customers in the door?

Packaging and Labels: Is Technology the Primary Driver for Change?

In his new role as Senior Editor of Packaging and Labels, David will be looking at the demands, technologies and the inflection points that are driving the use and growth of digital packaging and labels. The shift from analog to digital production in this area has already started, with the real growth ahead of us. In this article, David takes a look at the some of the drivers and constraints for migration from conventional to digital processes in packaging and label production. There are more moving parts than you might expect.

First Look at Canon’s Océ ProStream Platform

In this article, David Zwang looks at Canon’s new Océ ProStream series production inkjet offering introduced in advance of Hunkeler Innovationdays 2017. The ProStream is a continuous feed production inkjet system targeting the mid-to-high volume commercial printing market. The device leverages Océ technology from its previous continuous feed systems as well as the its sheetfed Océ VarioPrint i300 and introduces new polymer ink set.

Your Customers Trust You… It’s Time to Think About Data!

Corporations of all sizes want to use the data that they have to guide marketing efforts in a more effective direction. Today’s businesses see the importance of integrated service providers, and this article explores how to offer your customers the data-driven marketing services that they need.

Hiring a Developer Does Not Get You Good Software

Building good software takes a (small) village of people with distinct skills sets. Don’t try and build software with only a developer, you’ll end up with software that only developers will want to use!

A Game-Changer for eCommerce Packaging

In looking at some of the changing paradigms made possible through new packaging technologies, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at one that is emblematic of those changes. Those large boxes with lots of filler that you get when ordering products online are about to get smaller, if CMC Machinery has anything to say about it.

WestRock Affirms Commitment to Paper – January 2017 M&A Activity

one-two punch. noun. A combination of two blows delivered in rapid succession in boxing, especially a left lead followed by a right cross. Informal: an especially forceful or effective combination or sequence of two things…

Even the Digital Media Markets are Changing in The Third Wave

Sometimes naysayers get it wrong, and Dr. Joe thinks that some of the digital media experts are complaining too much about digital media growth slowing down to “only” 4x GDP. He thinks what they’re seeing are the benefits of marketing automation and a deeper understanding of analytics and ROI that mean dollars are spent more wisely. What does that mean for print? Time to take a new role in a third wave of media change. Are you ready?

Another Great Reason to Use Direct Mail

How direct mail serves a need that digital channels cannot—alerting customers to products and categories they may not be searching for and, in fact, may not even know exist.

Set a Deadline for Print Software Transition

Retiring software solutions can be overwhelming. Continuing to pay maintenance on legacy software solutions is maddening. Start the process of transition by setting a realistic date – draw the line in the sand, rally your troops around what it takes to get from where you are today to throwing a retirement party for your legacy software.

It’s Time to Get Ready for Generation Z!

Due to their nontraditional approach to life stages, marketing to Millennials has been a challenge. Despite this ongoing challenge, there’s a whole new game in town with the rise of Generation Z. This article discusses how Gen Zers engage with brands and highlights tactics that marketers can employ as they strive to keep up with this up-and-coming demographic.

17th EFI Connect Brings Together 1,500 Attendees for Learning, Networking, Inspiration

Artificial intelligence, connecting the dots that no one else sees, and print as the igniter … some key learnings from EFI Connect 2017. The WhatTheyThink team was there and captured some great video interviews. In this post, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne shares the highlights that caught her attention.

Packaging and Labels: Is The Next Big Thing Already Here?

In his new role as Senior Editor of Labels and Packaging, David will be looking at the demands, technologies and inflection points that are driving the use and growth of digital packaging and labels. The shift from analog to digital production in this area has already started, with the real growth still ahead of us.

Employment Stalls; Printing Shipments Fall Sharply in December

The national employment data may have had a headline of +227,000 payroll jobs, but the household survey did not indicate the same. Every year, the report released in February includes revisions to the prior year. The press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that employment was “little changed.”

The Top Estimating System Requirements in the Modern MIS

Estimating is a core function of Management Information Systems (MIS). As companies look to update, upgrade and replace estimating systems, it is important for printing companies and suppliers alike to understand changing business requirements. This article cites a recent RIT research study on the desired features of modern estimating systems.

Is Data Part of Your Company Culture?

Is data-driven marketing a fundamental part of what drives your company? If not, your efforts in that area won’t be sustainable or optimally effective. Oracle recently published an article on that topic, and the WhatTheyThink staff has summarized key points as well as providing a link for the white paper download.

Inside EFI's Purchase of Xerox's Digital Front End Portfolio

Xerox and EFI have further extended their strategic partnership, with Xerox selling its Xerox FreeFlow® Print Server DFE business to EFI. This sale does not include or impact the Xerox workflow solutions that carry a FreeFlow sub-brand name.

It’s 2017… Are You Properly Compensating Your Sales Team?

The way in which organizations compensate their sales personnel is especially important in 2017 because print service providers are projecting sales force expansion efforts based on improved economic conditions, expansion of service offerings, and an increase in customer communications budgets. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to explore how sales personnel should be compensated.

Top 3 Mistakes with Print Software Strategy

Your print software strategy is your responsibility. It requires strategic thinking to both define the challenges and the results you want to create (vision). Don’t make the common mistakes with your print software strategy.

Which Wins the CTA Effectiveness Battle? Direct Mail or Email? Case Study Tells the Tale

Data Services Inc. has published a case study with the side-by-side results of a test on the effectiveness of CTAs use in direct mail and email in the same campaign. The big winner? Direct mail.

Product Spotlight: KODAK PRINERGY Workflow Software 8

There are two major workflows that a job travels through in your print business. The production workflow which results in a printed product and the business workflow which results in an accurate invoice. The job must travel through both workflows; often in parallel and frequently requires some collaboration and/or communication between the workflows to reach both desired results - high-quality print product(s) delivered on-time and an error free invoice.

Top 10 Best New Business Opportunities

The next big communication disruption is upon us. There are many ways print businesses should respond, but focusing on specialty items is one way. This article cites IPMA and WhatTheyThink research to explore opportunities in-plants and commercial printing establishments are seeing in 2017.

Packaging Helped to Drive Sell-Out Attendance at EFI Connect 2017

Packaging is now a significant part of the EFI platform, and the subject got its fair share of attention at the 17th edition of the company’s annual customer-education event.

4Q-2016 GDP Slows to +1.9%, +0.9% Less Inventory Build-Up

The fourth quarter of 2016 ended quiently, with a growth rate of +1.9% compared to the third quarter. That brought 2016 to an overall growth rate of +1.6%.

You Need to Build the Right Salesforce in 2017!

Since so many firms in the graphic communication industry are following outdated staffing practices, they are ill-suited to meet today’s new challenges. This article cites recent InfoTrends research to explore how business owners can staff themselves for success in 2017.

Real GDP for Six Presidential Administrations

A new administration is in Washington, so we created a chart that looks back at general economic conditions of the prior six administrations.

Long-Term and Short-Term Print Software Priorities

Your business should be run by your print software systems; your people should run the systems. These print software systems require attention for both short-term initiatives and long-term strategy.

NYC’s Duggal Visual Solutions Finds “the Final Piece of the Puzzle” in a New Digital Press

There’s very little in the way of graphic output that this omnifaceted imaging emporium can’t offer its customers—and now, with the addition of an HP Indigo 12000 digital press, probably nothing at all.

Pop Quiz: What Would Have Made This QR Code Use Better?

We take a look at a good use of QR Codes that could have been done better. Images are provided, along with a challenge for readers to see what they might have done differently.

EFI Reinforces Its Commitment to Inkjet at Connect 2017

Last week’s EFI Connect in Las Vegas saw some new product rollouts, status reports on recent product introductions, and an alternately lighthearted and frightening look at artificial intelligence.

We lost Derek Kyte and Lucien De Schamphelaere

A Rememberance by Frank Romano

Economic Data Close the Books and Open a New One

The torch passes from one administration to another. How should the new administration be judged for its economics? The economy has a lot of ground to make up and population demographics make its urgency all the greater. The louder one complains on the campaign trail, the more responsible you have to be. What's the real story behind the complaints about trade fairness? It may not be about trade at all, but about what happens after the deal is done.

Technologies to Watch in 2017: Augmented Reality

Due to its ever-increasing acceptance and popularity, augmented reality (AR) is a technology that print service providers need to understand. This article explores the significant value that print service providers can deliver with this up-and-coming technology.

Finding a Niche with Your Print Business

Finding a niche for your print business (a target market with specific pain points) is not about aiming small, it’s about FOCUS and EXECUTION to build a repeatable product offering and to dive deeper into learning about your customer’s problems.

An Inside Look at Thomson Reuters Core Publishing Solutions

At Thomson Reuters Core Publishing Solutions, the focus on lean manufacturing is core to its business. WhatTheyThink recently visited the company’s Eagan MN facility to learn more about the operation. Read the full story.

Dimensional Mail and Influencer Marketing: 2017 Dynamic Duo

This post looks at the importance of influencer marketing and the role dimensional mailings can play in supporting it. Encourages MSPs to help their customers develop targeting techniques to help their customers get products into the hands of key influencers using dimensional mail.

Board Meetings: 2017’s Flatbed Printer Roundup

Our annual rundown of the current flatbed wide-format printer landscape.