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There has been much chaos and confusion in our industry in the past two decades. According to every credible source, collective industry sales are declining. Offset printing, which rode a 60 year wave of process dominance, has been declining since 2007. Digital print sales, as well as a variety of ancillary services, are growing but not fast enough to stem the tide of total industry revenue decline.
All customers are not alike; they have different demographic profiles, income levels, business requirements, and lifestyle choices. Marketers understand that they cannot ignore these differences, and they are creating customer communications that position their products and services to cater to individual preferences and characteristics. This article leverages recent research that highlights the importance of personalized messaging.
We have been previewing ISA’s International Sign Expo 2013. A fortnight ago, we looked at the educational opportunities to be had, and this week we will look at but the merest handful of the offerings on the show floor.
Although the ink is barely dry on the deal that has made Impika a unit of Xerox, the acquirer believes that bringing its target into the fold will give it the major-player status in inkjet that it has been seeking.
To help us introduce the various packaging sectors we asked PRIMIR if we could pull excerpts from their 2012 study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications.
Billions of dollars a year are on the line for companies as they seek ways to ensure that the products sold with their logos and branding are authorized and authentic. The proliferation of counterfeiting requires brand owners and their converter/printer partners to work together to create a multi-layered protection plan so that their packaging and labels protect their brands and deter those trying to profit at their (and their reputation’s) expense.
In my last article I discussed the Rule of Three and how it appears to be playing out in the print industry. This article will review those strategies.
In a move that is likely to cause a few ripples, Eric Hawkinson, who has been Executive Director of Dscoop, HP Indigo’s user group, will be departing to join Canon Solutions America, working for VP of Marketing Francis McMahon as Director of Marketing. Cary Sherburne speaks with several of the principals about this surprising move.
Loyalty programs have always been about treating your best customers better, but today’s marketers want to court their customers, engage them, and track their behaviors. This article discusses some of today’s techniques for connecting with customers and keeping them engaged.
Wide-format inkjet technology has become the “go to” technology for a number of traditional and non-traditional printing segments The purpose of this article is to define the differences between these segments, in general terms.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Steve Young, President of AICC, and asked him to share his thoughts around the mission of AICC, the role of AICC, and the opportunities and challenges facing their members.
The behavioral competencies and skills that we must look for in the next generation sales professional are quite different from what we have focused on in the past. The ability to engage clients in dialogue to uncover and define challenges is of utmost importance. It is also important that sales professionals be great listeners; listening 80% of the time. However, as buyers we usually don’t experience that behavior. So what can we do to change that dynamic? I believe we can dramatically improve our success in selecting the right people as well as coaching those with the necessary behavioral competencies to become great engagers.
Following Tom Vacchiano’s departure as President of X-Rite Pantone, WhatTheyThink’s Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with his successor, long-time Danaher veteran Ron Voigt, in this exclusive interview to learn more about Danaher business strategies and the future prospects of X-Rite Pantone under the Danaher banner.
Once you have built the trust and credibility, these deals are worth a lot, but it takes time to get there. ()
There are many relationships in business today. One that is often not given enough weight is your vendor relationship. In the past, this relationship could be adversarial. Today, cooperation is needed more than ever. Looking at how you can get more out of your vendor relations can have a large positive effect on your bottom line.
We recently had the opportunity to catch-up with Kristi Ledbetter, the Converting Division Manager for Tappi, and had the opportunity to get an update on what is happening at Tappi.
Think Patented has embarked on a transition strategy to improve its competitive edge in today’s turbulent market. The company is broadening the set of production tools that it uses, embracing value-added services, and refocusing itself on becoming a marketing services provider. This article provides an overview of Think Patented’s growth strategy, which includes a shift to value-added services as well as strategic acquisitions.
The International Sign Expo, coming up April 3–6 will feature more than 500 exhibitors, more than 40 educational sessions, and ample networking opportunities, all related to the “on-premise” signage industry.
Web-to-print is a product that should do a “job” for you and/or your customers. When you look at technology purchases through the lens of “jobs” you focus on what’s really important.
After What They Think published my article Survival of the Small and Mid-sized Printing Company in Today’s Chaotic Environment, Scott Johnson commented with some nice words and the question: Had I read the book The Rule of Three: Surviving and Thriving in Competitive Markets? I had not read it but out of curiosity I found it, bought it and read it.
With pieces of Kodak being lopped off as it works to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings, some are taking root as new businesses. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed one of the founders of Three Leaf Insights, born out of the ashes of Kodak’s MarketMover Managed Campaign Services, as well as a print service provider and an end customer, to offer a view of how these services are likely to evolve after being shed by Kodak.
For the next few weeks we will be looking at the corrugated sector of packaging, which accounts for approximately $85 Billion in shipments globally and $24 Billion in North America.
Having just returned from Beijing where I attended the International Media Week, patterned after the drupa format, I can tell you that the Chinese are no longer the student and could be considered the teacher.
If silence is golden in most of the affairs of life, in M&A transactions, it’s pure platinum. Nothing assures a better outcome for a deal—or yields a worse one if it’s violated—than maintaining a policy of tight information control while negotiations are under way.
Selling a product or service requires a vision. A vision is a picture of the future that we seek to create, described in the present tense, as if it were happening now. It shows where we want to go, and what we will be like when we get there. This article provides a brief profile of Universal Wilde, which has developed a vision for its business and is using this vision to power its growth.
HP introduced its first latex-ink wide-format printer in 2008, targeting replacement of aggressive solvent printers. Since that time, HP has introduced multiple versions and the market has taken off a growth rates reflecting the beginnings of the aqueous WF industry back in 1992.
In this article, David continues the discussion of the business infrastructure by looking at some of the packaged MIS and ERP systems, and how they are structured, with an eye toward building a flexible platform with which to grow.
It is amazing to me how many of us get a “deer in headlights” reaction to changes going on around us. The leaders of a business can take a business on the downside of its life cycle and reinvent it and create something new causing it to grow again.
The greatest investment you can make in your business is to assure you living the example of a lifelong learner for your organization and then surround yourself with other lifelong learners.
New buying trends in the printing industry are driving Colson Printing to launch an extension of its website to enable 24/7 click ‘n print functionality for its clients. Expected to go live in the first half of 2013, the new website capabilities will enable Colson to broaden its market nationally and appeal to locals who prefer to order online.
I recently returned from Beijing where I attended the International Media Week at which more than 20 overseas media representatives from the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Russia, India, Korea, UAE, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau spent their time learning about the great strides of the China printing industry and the upcoming CHINAPRINT.
With the launch of the Labels & Packaging section of WhatTheyThink now behind us, we wanted to give you a preview of upcoming topics and what to expect.
During Dscoop8, Barb Pellow moderated a panel entitled “Building a Strategic Marketing Plan.” She was joined by three service providers who have developed strategic marketing plans to transform their businesses. This article discusses best practices for thriving in the printing industry, even during tough economic times.
Today’s superwides, which are proliferating in terms of number of models on the market, boast much better image quality, resolution, speed, and versatility than their forebears.
Recently I was in Las Vegas for PODi’s AppForum. Our team arrived on the weekend prior to the conference, which was at the Planet Hollywood. It was Sunday and time for lunch so five of us headed down to casino area where the restaurants are scattered about. Looking for a casual, inexpensive and quick lunch we settled on Burgr, a new restaurant owned by Gordon Ramsay, the chef from the TV show Hell’s Kitchen.
WhatTheyThink has become aware of a number of major changes at Mimeo.com over the last few months. With the recent decision by CEO Adam Slutsky to step down, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talked with Co-Founder and new CEO John Delbridge to get the inside scoop.
The role that sales professionals play within our organizations continues to evolve. As clients demand more and technology changes the buying process, we need to rethink our pre-conceived paradigms regarding what we look for in top performing sales professionals, what their job is and how we will compensate them in the future.
Dscoop, the Digital Solutions Cooperative, just held its 8th annual conference. The group, comprised primarily of HP Indigo and HP Scitex users in the graphic arts industry, has continued to add member value since its inception. At Dscoop8, which concluded last week in Nashville, Tennessee, Dscoop raised the bar once again with new member value.
How does a printing company with more than a century of history and success step out of the box and reinvent itself for another century of success? Hire the right people! WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke to industry veteran Tom Clifford to find out how he and his team have made a difference at HCMiller.
Contrary to Reports, Ferrostaal Continues to Operate in North America; Relationship with Ryobi Remains Intact ()
Rumors were circulating earlier this week about the reported closure of Ferrostaal Equipment Solutions North America Inc., but the facts don’t bear them out. WhatTheyThink has learned that the Houston, TX based print equipment and services provider remains in operation, albeit with a new president, a smaller staff, and a reduced portfolio.
First introduced nearly a decade ago, near field communications (NFC) technology is entering the consumer mass market. Statistics indicate that hundreds of millions of smartphones and portable personal information devices will be NFC-enabled in the near future, creating a tremendous opportunity for integration with print applications. This article provides examples of how NFC might take hold in tomorrow’s market.
The idea of printing materials that go on walls is not exactly new. Wallpaper, posters, murals, and other items have been printed by traditional technologies for decades, if not centuries.
The tireless WhatTheyThink crew is on the road again. This time in both Orlando and Nashville attending Graphics of the Americas as well as Dscoop. Yes, simultaneously! How do they do it?
A recent press release from Tukaiz, an early adopter in color digital printing, caught the eye of Senior Editor Cary Sherburne. This interview with Frank Defino, Sr. and Frank Defino Jr. provides more “color” to the story!
As companies continue to focus on cost reduction, it gets harder and harder to locate ways to accomplish this. Freight and recycled waste are two areas where you may still be able to find some savings.
Welcome to the inaugural post for WhatTheyThink’s Labels & Packaging website. The folks at WTT and I have been speaking for quite some time on the need a version of WTT that focused on the needs of those in the packaging supply chain. I am honored to be the Managing Editor of this new endeavor and will strive to bring meaningful and timely content to those in the packaging supply chain who are looking for information and intelligence in order to do their jobs better.
Sometimes, sheer embarrassment can kill a merger—the shock of suddenly having to account for issues that ought to have been dealt with earlier in the process. Privately held printing companies can be prone to the kinds of errors that embarrass sellers and thwart M&As.
As the digital transformation of the packaging industry continues to present new challenges and opportunities for both brand owners and converters, WhatTheyThink Senior Editor checked in with Aviv Ratzman, CEO of Highcon, to see what progress the company has made relative to Euclid, its market entry for laser die cutting and creasing. Read more.
NFC is set of technology standards designed to enable short-range, "contactless" communication among phones, as well as other types of targets. Very few of today’s smartphones include embedded NFC technology, but this is expected to change over the next couple of years as more phones with the technology become available and marketers look to integrate NFC into their marketing efforts.
Having navigated the wide-format digital printing world for more than 20 years, Lynn Krinsky, president of Stella Color (Seattle, WA), knows a thing or two about growing and prospering in this innovative and competitive area.
Too many mistakes (big ones) are being made in our industry around software purchases at a time when nobody can afford expensive mistakes. Virtually all of these mistakes are preventable.