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In Part One of this two-part column, Dr. Joe explains how the changing dynamics in the printing industry are dynamically changing the sales process. It used to be that a sales call didn't need to start with explaining print-everyone already knew what it was, and the needed it. Not so much today…successful businesses are increasingly turning to business development practices. This is much more than sales lead generation and that will be the topic of Part Two.
Technology can be used creatively to solve problems and create products that weren’t there before. Red Fluorescing Dry Ink from Kodak is one of those products that can do just that. And the judges for this year’s InterTech awards thought so too.
The print industry is facing a tectonic level change in the communication business. You have to chart a new course that takes these changes into consideration in order to remain competitive. There are many options; the only one that isn't viable is the status quo.
The Dscoop Print United event enabled owners, operators, sales personnel, and marketing professionals to exchange experiences with peers about HP Indigo equipment, applications, and related solutions. In this article, Barb Pellow discusses her participation in this event and explores the topics that were covered.
Since 1963 Tukaiz has built a $35 million, family-owned-and-operated marketing services production company. The philosophy has paid off with continued revenue growth. In fact, in 2011 Tukaiz achieved an impressive 8.3% revenue increase, earning the company a spot on a list of the 50 fastest growing companies in Chicago.
There are over 1.8 million non-profit organizations in the U.S. And direct mail is still the favored medium for non-profits. In 2010 approximately 17% of the US bulk mail sent, roughly 11 billion pieces, was related to the non-profit sector.
There was no uncertainty about the election results, but there was plenty of whining about "uncertainty" for months and months prior to the election. Now that the election is over, is there really any less "uncertainty"? Why do executives get the big bucks? To make decisions when there's uncertainty, real uncertainty. Dr. Joe explains what's uncertain and what's not... at least we think he does. Guess you'll have to read it to be sure.
With this eighteenth and final article of the series, David looks backward and forward at Digital Print, its evolution and the many changes that will continue to come. These changes will continue to have a significant impact on the print industry and marketplace as it continues its digital evolution.
Richard Romano talks about UV printing from a technology standpoint, identifies where LED technology fits into the overall scheme of things, and looks to see what the future may hold for it.
On October 29, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released its promotions calendar for 2013-offering discounts by integrating mail with mobile and emerging technologies. There is a clear drive to make print integral to the direct marketing mix by making it interactive. This article outlines the USPS's newest promotions and discusses what they mean for the industry.
Although predominantly known as a workflow company-"Fiery" is essentially synonymous with RIPing-EFI was demonstrating at SGIA a couple of weeks ago its prowess in developing wide-format hardware, with models on display that showcased two of the company's new technological developments.
Frank Steenburgh says one thing his long experience as a business-builder has taught him is that growing revenues and profit will always be more fun and rewarding than cutting costs. Read why.
Like many of our readers, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne is increasingly depending on a tablet computer for a growing array of activities. In this article, she talks about the business opportunities these devices offer for printers, and the tools provided by Adobe that make it easy to do.
Training and coaching are critical elements in the talent challenge. Whether you are focused on developing your current workforce to improve their overall performance or re-training them to prepare for your future strategies, a systematic approach is essential. As you struggle to attract and recruit the most talented individuals from multiple generations, you will repeatedly hear the question, "how will I be trained and coached so I can grow professionally?"
All consumers are different, and these differences drive purchasing behaviors. This article explores how savvy marketers are leveraging these differences to create direct-to-consumer communications that cater to individual preferences and characteristics.
Behind the many accolades SGIA has received is the undeniable fact that the specialty graphics industry in general, and the wide-format digital graphics industry in particular, is the current epicenter of today’s printing industry. The purpose of this article is to define why.
70 Strong At Graph Expo, AlphaGraphics and Its Franchisees Look Forward to Better Times Under New Ownership
AlphaGraphics franchise owners came en masse to Graph Expo 2012, where Art Coley, the president of the network, briefed WhatTheyThink on steps taken to revitalize the business centers and the company as whole.
Thanks to Ben Miyares of the Packaging Management Institute for bringing this absolutely unique Absolut Vodka packaging story to our attention. Four million bottles, each different. How did they do it? Read more.
With this seventeenth article of the series, David begins to look at companies and their 'future' production inkjet offerings and applications. In this article, he looks at KBA, its products and new role in the sheetfed inkjet space.
Richard Romano gives a walk through of SGIA Expo-held October 18-20 in Las Vegas- where every conceivable surface and object was printed on for his enjoyment.
NPES has commissioned The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to produce an updated worldwide print forecast. WhatTheyThink's Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Ken Lane, Business Development Manager, Americas, Economist Intelligence Unit, an Economist Group Business, along with representatives from NPES, to learn more about what to expect from the forecast.
While the concept of TransPromo remains intriguing, many enterprises have found that it is not as simple as it seems in practice. This article discusses the evolution of transpromotional communications, citing a recent article by Matt Swain and Cary Sherburne entitled TransPromo Today: An Industry Perspective.
Messe Düsseldorf created a bit of a stir when it announced it was considering moving to a 3-year show cycle starting in 2015. WhatTheyThink's Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reached out to a few drupa stakeholders to get their opinions.
With drupa and Graph Expo under our respective belts, Ipex is looming on the horizon scheduled for London, March 26th through April 2nd. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Trevor Crawford, Director of the Print + Media Group for Informa Exhibitions during his recent visit to Chicago.
All the News from Lake Ontario: Kodak and Xerox Offer Updates on Their Strategic Plans at Graph Expo ()
At Graph Expo, both presented status reports: Kodak, on continuing to manage its emergence from bankruptcy; Xerox, on maintaining its commitment to graphics as the company shifts increasingly towards services.
For printers seeking to acquire another company or to be acquired by one, the options are straightforward. Where does your business fit in the M&A planning matrix?
You know you should worry when Dr. Joe uses phrases like "simultaneous critical mass." Then we find out that he thinks that data talks to him. His frugal ways are evident as he delights in the prospect of free broadband. Then there are boats and planes, too. It might be worth reading to make sure the next wave of innovation to hit the market is not one that means "goodbye" for your business.
During Graph Expo, I had the pleasure of meeting with Benny Landa to learn more about the progress of Landa Nanographic Printing since it took many of the headlines at drupa 2012. We also discussed other initiatives Mr. Landa has underway in Landa Labs, which has the tagline "Big Things from Small Particles."
Being busy does not equate to delivering results. We are so caught up in the culture of busy we forget to reflect on why we're doing what we do and how it contributes to the results we seek.
According to research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) Sales Executive Council (SEC), the Internet has changed the way that customers buy. Customers no longer want suppliers-they want business partners that can show real value by providing business problems.
This week, today, to be precise, the annual SGIA Expo kicks off at the Las Vegas Convention Center and runs October 18–20. There is a tendency in pre- and post-trade show coverage to recite a litany of vendors, products, and specifications, but one of the important things to understand about the wide-format market is that it is all about applications.
Graph Expo 2012 was quite a different show than previous years, for a lot of reasons that our Senior Editor, Cary Sherburne, discusses in this article.
Dr. Joe is focused on denial but not in a myopic way. That may make sense once you dig into the column. Or like a lot of his columns, it may drive you to muttering all day. CNN claims that the USPS is being bailed out by election spending. That is, if you believe a decrease is an increase. And much more…
At Graph Expo 2012, WhatTheyThink livecast a speakers series live from the show floor. The WhatTheyThink.com Speaker Series, designed as a "show within a show," featured engaging discussions with industry experts, end-users and seasoned professionals moderated by the editors of WhatTheyThink.com.
In the July/August Edition of the Harvard Business Review, Matthew Dixon published an article entitled The End of Solution Sales. Customers no longer need suppliers because they can find out a great deal of information on their own. This article discusses the concept of "insight selling," which involves bringing value to customers that can't be found on the Internet.
The "Great Communicator" Wows 'em in the Windy City with Something Very Tiny-and Potentially Very Huge
Nobody else could have made as persuasive a case for an as-yet unproven technology as Benny Landa did at Graph Expo when he captivated a crowd with his vision of nanographic printing.
If you listen closely, you can hear the new, quieter sound of Graph Expo. It's easier on the ears, and it makes for a much improved trade show experience.
The interview component of the hiring process is often the weakest link in winning the talent war. Too frequently the interviewee is better prepared for the interview than the interviewer. One of the greatest challenges that senior executives face is to build a team of talented employees; and getting the interview component of this process right is critical.
The web-to-print market is fragmented and hard to determine clear leadership or market share. EFI's acquisition of OPS consolidates the market (slightly). EFI's market share will grow, their product offering will be more comprehensive, and OPS will benefit from EFI's well developed channel partnerships.
Marketers across a variety of business segments are beginning to look at QR codes as a "silent salesperson" that can bring a competitive edge. This article provides examples of this trend within the automotive, retail, and real estate markets.
Scanning through industry publications that cover wide-format digital markets can be a daunting task for any company just approaching this area. The purpose of this article is to focus in on the center of the wide-format digital bulls-eye, and find out the markets and products that make up a majority of the money made using this technology.
With this sixteenth article of the series, David begins to look at companies and their 'future' production inkjet offerings and applications. In this article he looks at companies that were offset or electrophotography (EP), but are integrating inkjet into their product lines.
The Fuji J Press 720 was the only inkjet press to win an InterTech award for 2012. As with any piece of equipment the market and needs of the customer should dictate the piece of equipment. This press allows for an easy integration into the offset environment due to its hybrid nature and use of existing bindery equipment.
The month of October brings a brace of major trade shows for the printing industry; October 7–10 brings Graph Expo, as it always does, to McCormick Place in Chicago, while October 18–20 brings the annual SGIA Expo to the Las Vegas Convention Center. WhatTheyThink will be on the prowl at both shows with video, actual written reports, and more.
Repositioning a printing company involves making hard decisions about how the printing market is shifting to new and different media, developing the right product and services, and effectively communicating this transformation to customers and prospects. This article describes how Illinois-based Segerdahl group repositioned itself as SG360° to evolve with the market.
After 50+ years in the printing industry, and over a thousand articles, Andy's final article looks back to where it all began and looks forward to what the future may hold.
Heidelberg recently hosted a customer event at its North American Print & Packaging Technology Center in Atlanta for nearly 100 printing professionals and WhatTheyThink's Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was there. We spent an extra day with Heidelberg executives and product managers to gain more insight into what we saw at the event and at drupa as well as to discuss future strategies for Heidelberg in North America. Read more.
The process of assessing people for specific jobs is one of the most important tasks within an organization. Winning the talent war can impact all aspects of your business from sales, management effectiveness, client retention as well as product/service innovation.
In 1978, Gregory Muzzillo and a college friend founded Proforma because they saw an opportunity to start a business with no capital investment. Print distributors are independent agents that sell the services of printing firms. This article discusses how Proforma expanded its business and those of its customers by moving to a visionary franchise model.
Given present trends, the industry could be dominated by a relative handful of firms in a few years. Some companies can grow profitably into this new landscape. Others can make a safe exit before it fully unfolds. Each outcome demands a strategy-now.