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Esko Presents Flexo Innovation

On a recent visit to Belgium, I attended a Esko press briefing scheduled in conjunction with the company’s Flexo Innovation Day customer event.


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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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) (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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! (Premium Content)

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! (Premium Content)

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? (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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 (Premium Content)

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? (Premium Content)

“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 (Premium Content)

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? (Premium Content)

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…


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