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The days of one-way messaging through TV or print ads to appeal to consumers’ purchasing decisions have given way to “engagement marketing”. Two-dimensional (two-way) communication where consumers participate, share, and interact with a brand creates crucial interaction resulting in business and personal success. The bi-directional nature of social media enables a two-way marketing channel.
Recent technological innovations have led to an expansion of capabilities in digital printing services. This article discusses the ways in which digital printing output can be moved beyond four colors so that print service providers can increase the value of their offerings.
David speaks with a print service provider with a variety of disparate equipment that implemented a business and production workflow system to handle it all, and his only complaint is that he wishes he had done it sooner.
Many printers have started promoting themselves as “marketing service providers” (MSPs), almost to the point that the terms “printer” and MSP are synonymous.
Canon Solutions America recently hosted 28 members of the media and analyst community in Southern Florida to share results of the integration of parts of Canon USA with Océ post-acquisition into a new organization: Canon Solutions America. It has been one year since the acquisition was finalized and the new organization was formed. WhatTheyThink contributors Richard Romano and Cary Sherburne were among the attendees at this event and both share their perspectives in this article.
Some printers draw their power from peer groups: small, private circles of owners who use candor and confidentiality to solve common problems and share models for business success.
When effective, loyalty programs can bring significant business opportunities to marketers and service providers alike. This article discusses the new media technologies that enable a connection with customers, while also exploring how loyalty programs can be used to engage existing customers.
Sean Smyth of Digital Demand World, the publication for the digital print industry, looks at the progress of 3D printing and the momentum being built that promises an emerging technology that commercial printers can profit from.
Since its launch in March of 2011, Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite has captured a significant market share of digital magazine issues (Adobe claims 80% of top 100 magazines on iTunes) and we have followed its progress both in terms of added features and results for publishers. This article by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at another option for digital magazine publishing. Mag+ launched in 2010. Mag+ premiered on the first iPads in April 2010 with PopularScience and has recently attracted former MPA Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy & Initiatives Ethan Grey as its Director of Product Strategy.
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 how taking a specialist approach can help you meet these objectives.
NPOA: Newest Star in the Association Constellation Aims to Be the Brightest for Quick and Small Firms
For an organization that’s said to have come into existence almost by accident, the National Print Owners Association (NPOA) has traveled a remarkably long way in a surprisingly short time.
About 1,500 people descended on the Wynn Las Vegas for Connect 2014 at the end of January. WhatTheyThink captured lots of video interviews (watch for them!) and had an opportunity to participate in the event as well. Here are a few Connect 2014 thoughts, including an interview with Benny Landa, who joined EFI CEO Guy Gecht in making an exciting announcement re: Landa Digital Printing.
In Part Three of our Dscoop series, WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with John Tenwinkel, Director of Dscoop University, for a sneak peek into its debut at the upcoming Dscoop9 conference and what it will mean for Dscoop members worldwide.
E Pluribus Unum: “Butterflies & Buffalo” Project Uses Wide-Format Graphics to Document and Celebrate American Cultures ()
In this age of poor-quality cameraphone images and unflattering “selfies,” it’s easy to forget how powerful high-quality, professional photography can be.
IDEAlliance and TAGA are closest things that the industry has to “brain trusts”: trade associations that have taken upon themselves the daunting task of curating the industry’s practical intellectual capital.
Advertising Agency Employment Surpasses Commercial Printing, Reflecting the Shift from Traditional Media
The major news in the data update is that employment in advertising agencies surpassed that of the printing industry in July 2013. For 2013, printing employment was down by -12,600 (-2.8%). The biggest change was in employees outside of production who were -8,400 of that decline (-5.7%). Graphic design employment was down slightly for the year, but these data do not include freelancers, which are an essential part of that business. Inside the advertising agency employment data are public relations employees, the main area of employment growth in this sector.
Companies that were disappointed with their 2013 results may be hoping that the year ahead will bring better things, but creating a winning sales process involves more than just hope. This article discusses 8 steps that businesses can take to improve their sales processes in 2014.
Chris Petro is an innovator and thought leader in the digital printing industry and has given selflessly of his time to Dscoop over the past several years, currently serving as the Chairman of the Global Board of Directors as well as running his own multinational business, GlobalSoft Digital Solutions. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently spoke with Petro to learn more about what is happening with Dscoop on a global basis, and new developments he expects for the future.
The Department of Commerce released December 2013 and revised November data. December shipments were $6.271B (-3.7% vs. Dec. 2012). On a current dollar basis, the total for the year was $77.6B, -3.8%. After adjusting for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, shipments were down -5.1%. The chart below shows current dollar and inflation-adjusted shipments starting with 2007
The digital age is changing our world. Forces driving the change are: people, information and technology.
If all politics is local, the same is true of the work done by the printing industry’s regional trade associations. The executive directors of three PIA regional affiliates discuss how they bring grass-roots insight to the universal challenges of trade association management.
Marketing industry pundits have been analyzing today’s trends and are making recommendations about how to do things differently in the New Year. This article summarizes the insight that is being delivered to your customers and prospects from a variety of sources.
Our own Dr. Joe Webb has just published the results of his latest survey of commercial printers and their planned investments for 2014—Strategies for Management’s 2014 U.S. Commercial Printers Capital Investment Survey and Forecast.
It’s hard to believe that we are already in the 9th year of the Dscoop conference, the highly successful annual event for the Dscoop independent HP user group. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with both the Executive Director of Dscoop Mike Fogarty and Conference Chair Gary Garner, Chairman & CEO of GLS Companies, to find out why Dscoop9 is being positioned as the “Best Ever” and what the organization has done to keep its momentum going.
Paper has always been critical to the printing process. After all, paper is both the raw material and the end product. Nowhere is that more apparent than when transitioning to production inkjet printing. Paper selection will have a tremendous impact on the production quality and profitability of your inkjet solution.
Transforming and Automating Workflows: Getting work into the plant Part Two - Have We Arrived or is it Just a Rest Stop?
In Part two of this two part article, David looks at some of the current solution offerings that are designed to bring your client’s jobs into your plant to see if and how they are meeting the challenges of today’s service provider.
The communications world is changing, and printers of all sizes are realizing that it’s time to reposition their businesses. This article is the third in a three-part series on the top trends of 2014 that can help you grow revenues and profitability. It evaluates the options for transforming your business model.
Because they mirror the industry they serve, the printing industry’s two principal trade associations are seeing a picture they may sometimes have trouble recognizing. But, the groups say they have adapted to circumstances, learned from mistakes, and committed themselves to strategies for stability.
In the world of label production, finishing or converting a label is as important as the accuracy and quality of the printing process itself. The decision whether to use inline or offline finishing/converting solutions depends on the make-up of incoming orders and the specific market needs of the customer.
Kodak’s renewed self-confidence as a B2B company focused on imaging for business was on full display as the company grandly relisted its common stock at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 8.
Service providers must support their customers with strategies that integrate print, mobile, online, and social media. This article is the second in a three-part series on the top trends of 2014 that can help you grow revenues and profitability. It discusses the implementation of emerging technologies to effectively engage customers and showcases new capabilities/applications that can open new revenue streams for your business.
Xerox Appoints Jacobson to New COO Role for Technology Business, Promotes Copley to President, Graphic Communications Business Group ()
Xerox announced a significant organizational change, creating a new position as Chief Operating Officer for its Technology (versus Services) Business for industry veteran Jeff Jacobson, who joined Xerox in 2012 as President of Xerox’s Graphic Communications Operation. Andrew Copley, who joined Xerox 18 months ago, will step into the role vacated by Jacobson. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Copley in an exclusive WhatTheyThink interview to get the inside scoop.
This chart shows the inflation-adjusted revenue trends for selected content-creation businesses. Note how advertising revenues have increased despite the declines in the revenues to publishers. Agencies have shifted much of their efforts to developing “earned media” (a/k/a search engines, social media, e-marketing and numerous other digital formats), and the production of it.
Sometimes waste is something to get rid of. Other times, it can make money. Depending on your situation it can be your choice. With a bit of time and effort as well as assigning responsibility it can pay you dividends.
The return of Ipex to London in March 2014 is adding up to be a welcome capital gain for exhibitors and visitors alike. In this guest article by Trevor Crawford (Event Director, Ipex 2014), we get the rundown on what to expect.
The most successful firms in today’s graphic communications market have taken strong traditional printing businesses with a solid customer base and evolved into multi-channel companies that are equally focused on print and integrated offerings. This article is the first in a three-part series on the top trends of 2014 that can help you grow revenues and profitability. It focuses on the opportunities that exist for service providers of all types and sizes.
How are you described by your family, friends, colleagues and your clients? It should be pretty obvious that each of has a “personal brand”; a brand that should define your unique value to those around you. The real issue is whether or not you are pleased with your brand and how you manage it.
So, why would a firm that started life as a check printer and that still focuses primarily on financial institutions spend $1.8B to buy a retail coupon and advertising printer?
Predicting the future is easy; predicting what will happen next month is almost impossible. Prediction is especially difficult in the printing industry because we adapt technologies from other disciplines.
The explosive proliferation of social media is the hottest topic in marketing today. For print service providers (PSPs), it brings both intrigue and confusion: “Should our business be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram? My kids are on Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr and Foursqure, so should my business be there, too? What am I supposed to do with Google+?”
Over the last decade digital printing has moved from a niche market to a high growth segment embraced by a large number of print service providers (PSPs) that acknowledge the added value and higher profits of digital. One of the results of the proliferation of digital technologies is a convergence of once separate activities.
With a rapidly growing number of customers expecting their communication experiences to be tailored to their specific needs and wants, it’s more important than ever for companies to segment and personalize their marketing efforts. This article discusses how personalization tactics like data mining, audience segmentation, and predictive modeling now play a prominent role in driving e-mail marketing, content marketing, and online advertising.
The number of transaction statement in-plant printers has been in decline for some time, due mainly to a decline in print volumes caused by suppression and more recently the effect of electronic bill presentment, which has become a default option for many who open a new financial or insurance account.
Those who have been around the packaging industry can tell you that no one can predict its future. From experiments gone awry – like Jacques E. Brandenberger’s failed attempts at transparent tablecloths that ultimately resulted in the invention of cellophane in 1908.
My first exposure to digital printing for Corrugated Packaging occurred when I joined Inland Container. This occurred in late 2000, and Inland was in the process of developing a prototype digital press to evaluate the potential for digital printing in Packaging.
The online world enables good online marketing to escort prospects through the sales process (know me, like me, trust me, and pay me). Online marketing is a path to scaling your sales reach.
From so simple a beginning. Avondale, Ariz.’s AZ Pro Signs and Graphics, based just outside Phoenix, started nine years ago with a 21-inch plotter—and has seen no less than double-digit growth every year, even during the recession years.
Companies are always looking for ways to save money or reduce costs. The more you do the harder it is to find ways to improve the bottom line. Looking at your trash may not be the first area you investigate but it does offer the opportunity to reduce costs. The concept is to recycle/reuse/repurpose and reprocess all materials which had been “thrown into the dumpster”. This takes some time and effort as well as the cooperation of your employees. Done properly not only can it reduce your costs and lessen your environmental impact, it can increase your sales as well.
With Planning and Preparation, Commercial Printers Have a Growth Opportunity in Special Effects for Packaging and Labels
Commercial printers are increasingly examining the label and packaging market—and they like what they see. As digital technology lowers both the cost of entry and the learning curve for excellent execution, particularly in the area of special effects, the business benefits can be substantial.