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Cross-Media Services… Beyond Personalization (Premium Content)

Customers are clearly in control of the media they consume. Mobile devices, iPods, DVRs, and the Internet have changed marketing forever. Effectively utilizing cross-media communication and giving prospects a variety of ways to respond can have a dramatic impact. Media dynamics are changing and we’ve covered how businesses are taking advantage of this evolution.


Océ Print Business Forum Envisions the Future

Océ’s Envision the Future Forum, held last week in Houston, TX, drew on keynote presentations, strategy sessions, networking opportunities, and a print shop tour to help printers understand which aspects of print are growing, get a sneak peak at some cutting-edge “interactive print” applications, and develop business strategies for success.


Is Your Print Business Effectively Leveraging IT? (Premium Content)

Print businesses are actively diversifying their services to include marketing services, online print ordering, and more. To enable quicker time-to-market and offer greater differentiation, printers are shifting the roles of their IT departments away from administration and closer to development. This article discusses why this shift is occurring and how your business can effectively deal with it.


The Employment Disappearing Act: Where Did 500,000 Jobs Go? (Premium Content)

Sometimes you see a lot by looking, according to famed economist Yogi Berra. Somehow, the labor statisticians’ “whoops” factor involves over-counting the number of employed people by a mere half million. Then they say unemployment got better, except, of course, for the parts that got worse. At least there was exceptionally good news from the Institute of Supply Management reports, the best in quite a while. Dr. Joe explains what printers should assume in their planning, saying that skill really matters, and that luck will have nothing to do with it.


2010 U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Finish at $86.7 Billion, +0.9% Versus 2009 (Premium Content)

December 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.48 billion, up $347 million (+4.9%) compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +3.3%. This brought the year's shipments to $86.7 billion.


Tribute looks at Océ (Premium Content)

Andy Tribute looks at how the agreement between Océ and manroland is about more than just distribution but an opportunity for these two companies to leverage their strengths. And Andy tells us what's the big deal about Kodak entering the consulting business for the printing and publishing markets.


PrintChina Trade Show Scheduled for April 9-13, 2011 in DongGuan City (Premium Content)

In mid-January, show organizers for PrintChina 2011 hosted more than 40 journalists from around the world to raise awareness about the importance of PrintChina and to encourage foreign visitors to attend the show. WhatTheyThink represented North America at this event, which featured presentations from government, industry and supplier representatives as well as a visit to a Chinese printing factory. Interesting data, and some thoughts about the future of print in China. Read more.


Inside Scoop on the EFI/Heidelberg Deal (Premium Content)

Last week, EFI and Heidelberg announced an agreement under which Heidelberg will distribute the VUTEk GS series of superwide format digital printers to the commercial print market across the U.S. WhatTheyThink spoke with both Heidelberg and EFI to get the inside scoop on this deal.


Allegra: Retooling its franchise network with Marketing Central (Premium Content)

This article provides a case history of the Allegra Network, a Michigan-based company that began franchising in 1977 and launched its franchise brand name in 1996. The Allegra Network is embarking on an aggressive plan to help its members evolve into cross-media specialists and marketing service providers who also excel at the delivery of print.


Visions of Vistaprint: Will Strong Financials Continue? (Premium Content)

Vistaprint has been a unique model of success within the printing industry – particularly during financial downswings. Here is a closer look at the company as it seeks to stay ahead with new product lines and capitalizing on the Asia-Pacific market.


Printers Get Social: Industry Utilization Trends (Premium Content)

As social media become more and more popular for personal use, it is becoming an increasingly common tool in the corporate world. Companies utilize social media in a number of ways to accomplish a variety of tasks. The print industry is not immune. Learn how they’re finding value in posting, updating and tweeting online.


In an M&A Deal, Time Is on Your Side—Until It Isn’t

Knowing when to do the deal is probably the trickiest judgment call in any merger of printing companies. Correct timing is a must for both parties, but choosing the right moment to step forward into the M&A marketplace rests with the seller. It’s a decision that calls for introspective as well as strategic thinking.


We’ve Moved: From Offline Print Business to PRIMARILY Online Print Business (Premium Content)

Where does your business transition start? Changing WHAT you do or HOW you do it? The first step to evolving your business in the digital economy is to transition your existing business from an offline business to a primarily online business (HOW you do your business is leveraging the digital infrastructure).


What Are You REALLY Good At?

As communications channels and tools undergo seismic changes…and as sourcing options continue to expand…it has never been more vital to understand, build upon and expand your core competencies and company strengths. Here are some tools, techniques and elements that can help you discover and take maximum advantage of what your company really does best.


November U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Up +4.2% (Premium Content)

November 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.48 billion, up $303 million (+4.2%) compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +4.2%. “This was a very encouraging month, and continues the consecutive gain in current dollar shipments for eight months,” explained Dr. Joe Webb, director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.


Where do Printers Get Their Information? (Premium Content)

It’s no secret that the methods companies use to communicate with the public have begun shifting to electronic media. As printers shift to electronic media services and print e-commerce storefronts, the sources they use to obtain industry information are also changing. Recent research gives us a glimpse into the top sources that printers are leveraging to stay informed.


When Will Digital Printing Take Over from Offset Printing? (Premium Content)

The recent study by PRIMIR showed the changes in the printing market for offset and digital and looked at when the “tipping point” when digital would be of more value than offset would take place. This article looks at the PRIMIR projections and compares them with figures generated by Heidelberg. The assessment shows that the “tipping point” is still years away and that there is a good future for offset printing.


Upcoming FESPA Americas 2011 to Offer Unique Hands-On Events for Screen, Textile, and Wide-Format Printers

FESPA Americas 2011 comes to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, in February, and offers business strategies, market trends, new technologies, and unique hands-on workshops for commercial printers, wide-format specialists, and screen printers. The Wrap Cup Masters is an open competition where contestants vie to wrap a variety of vehicles right at the show.


We Three Things of Disorientation Are (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe digs into the details of the economy now that it's three years since the recession started, and eighteen months since the recovery started. Does it really feel like a recovery? The headlines of the various economic news stories seem to be quite different than reality, so Dr. Joe explains what's happening behind the scenes as he starts his ninth year with WhatTheyThink. And they said it wouldn't last.


Tips for Improving Operations in the New Year (Premium Content)

This article includes tips for saving money and improving your operational excellence by using all your resources – especially your vendors. Areas covered include: consumables, freight, paper, and recycled waste. By picking one or two of these ideas you can improve your operation and lower your costs.


Dr. Joe Webb interviews Richard Romano about the iPad: What it Is, What It’s Not, and What it Means

Dr. Joe interviews Richard Romano to discuss the iPad report.


Eleven New Year’s Resolutions for 2011 to Add Value (and Profit) (Premium Content)

It's a New Year, and we all know what that means... resolutions! Deciding what we want to achieve is easy, but actually reaching our objectives can be quite challenging. This article outlines eleven value-added strategies that graphic communications service providers can consider for additional success in the year ahead.


Former HP Executive Bill McGlynn Talks About New Role at Memjet (Premium Content)

Bill McGlynn was well-known to many of our readers during his 25 years with HP, where he helped accelerate the company’s printing business from $150 million to $24 billion in annual sales, including his role in the Indigo acquisition which led HP’s entry into the commercial printing space.  Now McGlynn is building Memjet’s Home & Office Business as its President.  Read more…


Pitney Bowes Launches Digital Mail Initiative (Premium Content)

Mailing giant Pitney Bowes has announced a new secure online mailbox initiative.  Volly is a secure repository for bills, promotional mail and even household documents that attempts to solve many of the issues that have been barriers to more rapid adoption of online billing.  Read more...


Hunkeler CEO Stefan Hunkeler Discusses Hunkeler Innovationdays

As the WhatTheyThink team prepares to head for Lucerne, Switzerland in February to attend the Hunkeler Innovationdays, we talked with Hunkeler CEO Stefan Hunkeler to gain insight into what to expect at this unique event. We also asked Hunkeler to share his thoughts about the current state of the industry.


CGX CEO Joe Davis Shares Latest CGX Strategies, Industry Insight

What better way to end the year than by having a conversation with Joe Davis, CEO of Consolidated Graphics and WhatTheyThink’s Print CEO of the Year.  Davis tells us what’s new at Consolidated Graphics, talks about acquisition strategy, and shares valuable insight into the strategies that have delivered business success for the company.


Deck the Halls with... New Year’s Resolutions for the M&A-Minded

In the time-honored tradition of ending the present year with resolutions for improvement in the year to come, New Direction Partners offers guidance for print company owners who may find themselves on one side or the other of an M&A transaction in 2011.


Employment Trends to Propel Business Success

Press headlines and reported hiring trends in both the U.S. and Canada indicate a modest increase over the past few months. PrintLink believed employment would start to moderately improve at the end of Q3/beginning of Q4 2010... and our stats demonstrate this is indeed the case. See how this should impact the way your thinking about hiring.


Just in case you didn’t get it… (Premium Content)

In the twelfth and last article of this series, industry expert and WhatTheyThink contributor David Zwang finishes his discussion about cross-media communications and production basics, this time with a review of what you should be doing and why you should be doing it.


Christmas is Coming and So is Mobile Marketing… Get Ready! (Premium Content)

Retailers are working to combine the power of mobile and print as they attempt to convince consumers to shop with them. They can get the word out about holiday sales via print, SMS, the mobile Web, and branded applications, while brands can use various forms of mobile advertising to achieve their holiday-specific goals. This article provides examples of several retailers that are using mobile marketing to increase their reach.


Kodak Puts in A Good Word for Print Before, During and After the Advertising Age “Media Evolved” Conference (Premium Content)

In the minds of media professionals whose the icon is the iPad, how much attention can print and other traditional channels expect to command? Speakers at this high-level event indicated that no matter what media are used, the quality of the content is what spells the difference between virality and oblivion for the brand message.


What Business Are You In?

In a recent article titled “How Well Is Your Business Positioned for the Future”, we posed a series of six strategic questions designed to prompt some reflection.  In this article we elaborate on the question: What Business Are You In?


Pearson Leads the Switch to Color Digital Book Printing (Premium Content)

This past year several publishers realized they could increase their print runs for digital books beyond what was previously thought profitable. The key was high-speed, continuous inkjet printing. WhatTheyThink caught up with Pearson Publishing to explore their thoughts on this new format.


Countdown to FESPA Americas 2011

Set to open February 24th, FESPA Americas 2011 is the best opportunity the print industry gets to bring its international community together. We’ve highlighted six special features of the show that promise to entertain and enlighten.


U.S. Commercial Printing Businesses Produce Estimated $1.1 Billion in Profits in Third Quarter 2010 (Premium Content)

The third quarter of 2010 continued a welcome continuation of profitability for the industry. It has had seven consecutive months of increased sales, but it's clear that the profits trend is increasing, but the long term sales trend is flat.


Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership (Premium Content)

Even if you know the price of new equipment, do you really know the total cost? We show you the questions you should be asking to get a comprehensive picture of what your total cost of ownership looks like.


Cross-Media Communication: It’s Not Just Buzz, It’s Your Future! (Premium Content)

The formerly manageable world of marketing that primarily used print and mass media has exploded into countless choices related to cross-media communications. Marketers can now successfully engage their customers to achieve higher brand awareness and consumer ownership of their brands.


How Well Is Your Business Positioned for the Future?

Six strategic questions designed to prompt reflection and introspection. All are designed to get you thinking about positioning your business with more clarity.


OK… I get it, but where do I start? (Premium Content)

David Zwang continues his discussion about cross-media communications and production, this time with a discussion of how you should begin your new voyage into Cross-Media Production.


October U.S. Commercial Printing Shipments Up +1.4% (Premium Content)

October 2010 commercial printing shipments were $7.61 billion, up $108 million (+1.4%) compared to 2009. Adjusting for inflation, shipments were up +0.3%.


A Short Course in the Fundamentals of M&A

New Direction Partners has taken its M&A consulting on the road in a series of presentations. In these briefings, NDP offers an overview of the business climate for mergers and acquisitions, along with practical advice for owners pondering the next step in the life cycles of their companies.


Deinking… What Does It Mean to the Environment? (Premium Content)

Recovered paper is currently one of the most important raw materials in paper and paperboard production. To keep products other than cardboard and packing paper lightweight, the ink must be removed during recycling. As such, most recovered paper undergoes the deinking process. In October 2010, INGEDE News reported issues with HP’s deinking processes. WTT Contributor, Barb Pellow, had the opportunity to interview Nils Miller of HP. This article discusses the specifics of the interview and provides HP’s perspective on the INGEDE piece.


The “Right Size” is the Same Size: Heidelberg Offers Another 40" Press in the Speedmaster CX 102 (Premium Content)

Believing that there’s room in the 40" market for an addition to its Speedmaster line, Heidelberg rolled out the Speedmaster CX 102 in a customer event at its U.S. headquarters earlier this month. This newly engineered machine is said to transfer the best features of Heidelberg’s XL-series presses to the 102 format, its most successful product category.


X-Rite – The Color Company (Premium Content)

X-Rite has long been a leading supplier of color measurement tools, and with their recent acquisition Pantone they’re in the business ink color specifications. Now X-Rite is looking to move beyond the print world to become “The Color Company” for all your color needs.


To Prepare for 2011, Imagine It Is 1994 Again (Premium Content)

Dr. Joe must have a time machine, because all he wants to talk about is 1994. He wonders why the planning process used by companies large and small always seems to miss critical market shifts and reinforce the status quo, actually constraining the ability to change. What can make the planning process more effective and our companies more adept when the marketplace takes an unexpected turn?


Enter the Dragon: A Chinese Press Manufacturer Probes the Market at Graph Expo 2010

By bringing just one offset press to Graph Expo 2010, it accounted for one-sixth of all offset presses at the show and one-third of the conventional (non-DI) printing machines on the floor of McCormick Place. That would be an unusual distinction for any exhibitor of press equipment, but it seems to have worked out well for Gronhi Graphics International, the U.S. arm of a Chinese vendor seeking a reputation and a toehold in the American market.


Having the Capability to Personalize Communications is Not Enough Today

The concept of personalized communications – in the way we all think of it today – has been around for well over thirty years. And, acquiring the capability to create and produce personalized communications is still a hot topic in our industry. Yet, for each communication you’re involved in, can you answer the question: Am I contributing to “communications pollution” or am I compelling enough to survive in our world that has become an electronic messaging free-for-all?


Analytics: What am I doing and can I prove it? (Premium Content)

In the tenth article of this series, industry expert and WhatTheyThink contributor David Zwang continues his discussion about cross-media communications and production, this time with a discussion of you need to do to get audience attention, and what tools and services you need to prove you are succeeding.


FESPA Brings Global Wide-Format Printing Expertise to the U.S.

For the first time ever FESPA Americas will be held in the United States. FESPA has existed for almost 50 years, and this years’ event promises not to disappoint. Richard Romano has laid out all the details you need to learn more about the organization, the event and its history.


Googled: A Book Review

Google is arguably one of the most fascinating companies of our times. Founded in 1998, the typical Silicon Valley “two guys in a garage,” the company quickly skyrocketed to prominence as the preferred search engine for many as well as a premier advertising platform. In his book, Ken Auletta does an outstanding job of documenting the company’s history and accomplishments to date.


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