WhatTheyThink

Commentary & Analysis

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Transpromo Messaging: More Likely to Be Seen in Print

Are your clients buying into the paperless billing trend? If so, this survey from Consumer Action shows that they might want to think twice, especially if they are doing transpromo messaging.

The Trap of One More Software Feature

Don’t let a feature stop you from implementing what works for you today. Don’t let the people in your organization that are good at looking for all the ways something won’t work win. Implement what works and then find ways around the missing features. Waiting is keeping your business in neutral.

Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Let’s Talk Corrugated

One of the hottest topics in packaging print today is corrugated, and for many reasons. One of those is that it is a market area showing a solid growth trajectory. So, what are the areas of growth, and what are some of the challenges that will affect the growth of digital print, more specifically production inkjet, in corrugated?

Customer Spotlight: Konica Minolta’s AccurioJet KM-1 Inkjet Press Opens New Business Opportunities for Hummel Integrated Marketing Solutions

Senior Editor Cary Sherburne interviewed John Hummel, fourth-generation owner and CEO of Hummel Integrated Marketing Solutions, to gain insight into how the acquisition of a Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 UV inkjet press has enhanced his business.

Executive Q&A - Wim Maes, Summa

Many of our readers will remember Wim Maes for his tenure as the CEO of Xeikon, a role he held from 2009 to March of 2017. From Xeikon to Summa, Wim Maes helps make the company a worldwide industry leader.

WTIN Shares Insights on Smart Textiles for Fashion, Entertainment, Lifestyle

Last week, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne tuned in to an interesting WTIN webinar, Smart Textiles for Fashion, Entertainment, and Lifestyle. She summarizes some of the key points here, but recommends that industry professionals interested in smart textiles review the entire free webinar.

June Printing Shipments: The Dog Days of Summer Begin

Printing shipments for June 2019 were—as expected—down from May, and came in slightly below June 2018.

Around the Web: Graphene Gown. Adversarial Fashion. Smart Ovens, Dumb Choices. Amazon Airbnb. Big Apple Retail Apocalypse. Crazy Train. Implantables.

A fashion line designed to mess with surveillance cameras. The smart device invasion. A Seattle Airbnb that offers a mock Amazon job interview. High-profile shopping meccas in NYC shut down. Ozzy Osbourne is an actual genetic mutant (as we all suspected). You can now store your data—and your car keys—inside your body. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Tips and Tricks for Cashing in on This Season’s Print Shows

Approaching print-related conferences with a plan can deliver a wealth of new ideas while also carving a path for business growth. This article offers some tips for making the most of your time during the upcoming trade show season.

Rules of Engagement: Meet an Employee’s Needs, Watch Them Perform

The average person uses around 70% of their available energy reserves to perform their normal activities, including meeting the requirements of their jobs. The remaining 30% is called “discretionary energy.” How can we tap into an employee’s discretionary energy and get them to apply it to their job? The key is engagement. Wayne Lynn explains how to measure and improve an employee’s level of engagement.

Jeff Jacobson Shares Thoughts About EFI’s Past and Future

In a surprise announcement this week, EFI reported that with the departure of CEO Bill Muir for personal reasons, Executive Chairman Jeff Jacobson would be taking on the additional role as CEO of the company. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke to Jacobson to gain insight into his plans for the company’s future.

Takeaways on Triggered and Automated Direct Mail

Takeaways from a recent webinar on triggered and automated direct marketing, both from a high-level technology perspective and from the perspective of a mid-sized printer producing real programs every day.

The Primary Reason Print Software Gets Thrown Out

Print software gets thrown out by printers primarily because of factors that are 100% in the printer’s control.

Summer Stroll: The Signs Around Us

What kinds of signage and display graphics are in fashion? You don’t need elaborate market research surveys to find out—sometimes all you need to do is get out of the office and have a look around. Just doing a little recon can often generate ideas for new product areas to expand into.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Using Targeted Print Samples: Restaurants

In the latest installment of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she builds on the previous installment and puts together a print sample kit for a different specific vertical market: restaurants. If you or your sales reps are trying to sell your services to these kinds of establishments, what kinds of items should you include in your Restaurant Marketing Sample Kit?

Digital Printing of Textiles: A Growth Opportunity

World Textile Information Network (WTIN) has released its latest data regarding worldwide digital printing of textiles and we recap some of that information here.

Surface Tension: Specialty Substrates Are Proliferating, but Printing on Them Has Its Challenges

"Inkjet devices can print on any surface" is a common industry talking point, but the practical reality is a bit more complicated, involving the chemical and physical interplay of inks and substrates. This article offers an inkjet printing reality check.

Getting to Critical Mass in Augmented Reality

Welsh artist Alexander Ward designs stunning augmented content—like a recent interactive book cover—with Spark AR Studio.

The New Print Reality

VR, QR, AR and interactive print merge the digital and the physical.

The Four Rs

A primer on QR, VR, AR—and "print reality."

Why Address Quality Matters: The Cost Of Undeliverable Mail Adds Up

According to the DMA’s 2017 Response Rate Report, direct mail has a much higher household response rate (5.1% customer – 2.9% prospect) than digital channels such as email (0.6%), social media (0.4%) and online display ads (0.2%).

Executive Q&A—Wim Maes, Summa

Cary Sherburne talks to Wim Maes, Executive Member of the Board at Summa NV, a global leader in cutting and finishing equipment for the printing, signage, outdoor advertising, packaging, and textiles industries.

“New Print” Will Prevail

Where will printers make money in the future? Some say it will be from digital printing. But digital printing is usurping analog volumes and analog volumes are not growing. In order to grow, the printing industry must find new products and new services.

Sustainability and Offset Inks: The Latest Trends and Issues

According to a recent study by the European Printing Inks Association (EuPIA), the share of offset printing inks is less than 2% of the overall eco footprint of the printed paper material or paper packaging on which they are used.

Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing Establishments—2016

in 2016, there were 1,200 establishments in NAICS 322211 (Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing). About half of these establishments (49%) have 50 or more employees and more than two-thirds (71%) have 20 or more employees.

Around the Web: Mobile Medals. Human Tails. Reviving Bookshops. Ugly Gerry. Dog Mode. Artificial Tongue. Libeling Parrots.

The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are being made from recycled mobile phones. An Irish teen wins the Google Science Fair for a system for removing microplastics from the oceans. Can Waterstones’ savior duplicate that success for Barnes & Noble? A typeface based on heinously gerrymandered Congressional districts. Scottish researchers develop an artificial tongue for whisky tasting. 3M streamlines packaging material. If you’re a UK publisher, go ahead and insult all the parrots you want. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

OpenText Enterprise World: A Shift into the Information Era!

Offering insights into the latest trends as well as stories on successful digital transformations, OpenText Enterprise World is designed to help attendees unlock their information advantage. This article provides a brief overview of the 2019 event in Toronto.

What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About Why Magazine Ads (and All Good Print Marketing) Work

Highlights from the white paper “What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Why Magazine Advertising Works?” Published by the Magazine Publishers Association, the white paper synthesizes years of neuroscience studies on why people understand, recall, and are better motivated by information provided in print rather than digital.

What’s in a Letter?—July 2019 M&A Activity

Monotype Imaging Goes Private, DG3 Acquires, Coloredge Merges, and more…

Strategic vs. Tactical Print Employees

Your print business has two kinds of challenges: the challenge of getting jobs out the door (tactical) and the business of continuing to strategically evolve so you maintain relevance and competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) Acquiring NAPCO Media

The state of printing industry associations is still very much in a state of flux with a few still trying to survive. This latest move may tip the scales.

Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Front Line Report from Rochester’s Mercury Printing

This article is a part of a series looking at production inkjet solutions leading up to and through drupa 2020. We will look at what’s new, how it’s being used, and how it’s  transforming print service providers. In this article, we go to the front lines and we take a look at Mercury Printing of Rochester, N.Y., a perfect example of a digital technology and business transformation. And for all the right reasons…

New in Technical Textiles: Smart Diapers, Lava Suits, and More

The topic of technical textiles can be a bit geeky. But there are always new and interesting developments in this area. Take P&G’s new smart diapers, or the protective lava suit for geologists from the University of Missouri working in volcanic areas, for example. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne digs into these topics and more.

June Jobs: Up in the Short Term, Down in the Long Term

In June, overall printing employment grew +0.5% from May to June 2019. On a year-over-year basis, it is down -2.5%. Production employment was up +0.4% from May to June, but year-over-year was down -4.9%. Non-production employment was up +0.7% from May to June, and year-over-year was up +2.6%.

Around the Web: Mechanical Marketers. Breathable Lava Suits. Smart Diapers. Wearable Air Conditioners. Paper Organs. Geomessages. Butternauts! Words About Words. Craving Carvers. Rebooted Airplanes.

Chase replaces its copywriters with AI. What to wear when immersed in molten rock. “If only there were a way to determine when a diaper needed changing...” Look cool being cool. Creating organ models from maps of Zürich, for some reason. Sending messages via geomapping. The dictionary explains “fursona,” upsettingly. The stone carver job market heats up. New books for language nerds. “We will start boarding as soon as the plane has rebooted.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Why is TransPromo Hot Again?

TransPromo—bicapitalized with a T and P to emphasize the link between transactional and promotional communications—is experiencing a resurgence. Consumer-facing communicators are using TransPromo techniques in their printed and digital communications. This article explores why TransPromo is re-emerging as a talk track.

SAi Launches Augmented Reality App for Signmakers

SAi’s new VirtualSign is an augmented reality (AR) app that lets signmakers show clients how a sign will look in situ before it is printed and installed. We spoke wth SAi’s Gudrun Bonte, Vice President of Product Management, who oversaw the development of the app.

Areas Where Only Print Can Reach (Still)

We have been hearing for a while that 24% of Americans in rural areas still have no access to broadband, making print critical for marketers looking to reach those areas. This isn’t just a small pocket here and there. There are entire communities, even cities, without broadband access, where only traditional channels like print can reach.

Five Critical Issues Brands Face in the Global Packaging & Printing Supply Chain

Idealliance CEO Timothy Baechle identifies the five most critical issues that brands face today in terms of their global packaging and printing supply chain: finding qualified vendors, effective communication, evaluation, validation, and the need to never stop learning. This article looks at those five issues and how mastering them can help build an unbreakable supply chain.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story—Using Targeted Print Samples: Banks

In part 7 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she puts together a print sample kit for a specific vertical market: banks. If you or your sales reps are trying to sell your services to a bank, what kinds of items should you include in your Bank Marketing Sample Kit?

Lectra Acquisition of Retviews Helps Bring Realization of Industry 4.0 Closer for Fashion Brands

Lectra offers solutions that give fashion, automotive, and furniture companies the means to embark on the Industry 4.0 journey. Its recent acquisition of data company Retviews is another arrow in the company’s quiver. We spoke with Maximilien Abadie, Chief Strategy Officer for Lectra, to learn more.

Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2016

in 2016, there were 3,638 establishments in NAICS 3222 (Converted Paper Product Manufacturing). More than four out of 10 of these establishments (42%) have 50 or more employees and two-thirds (65%) have 20 or more employees.

Around the Web: Medical Tattooing. Etsy Faces the Music. Guinness’ Road Less Traveled. Another Press Conference Cat-astrophe. Slugs in Medieval Manuscripts. Wienerbnb.

Disney’s “Escape from the Haunted Mansion” papercraft. Tattoos that function as medical diagnostics. Etsy buys musical marketplace. What technology will be obsolete in your lifetime? Is the world’s steepest road really the steepest in the world? What is it with these cat filters? A long, but well-worth-it Twitter thread about slugs in Medieval manuscript illumination. Spend a night in the Wienermobile...if you dare. “Disruption has come for toilet paper.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Are You 100% Digitally Transformed?

Many businesses believe they’ve made the digital transformation, yet market shares of digitally printed pages are only in single digits. This article explores the disconnect between perceptions and reality in our industry’s digital transformation, and also discusses what must be done to help close this gap.

Beware of Dog: Automation and Wide-Format Printing

Automation for wide-format printing can encompass a lot of different processes, from automatic file processing, to robotics, even to database management. Where once wide format was deemed too “artisanal” or “craft-like” to be automated, the times are changing. After all, as competition in the wide-format segment continues to heat up, automation becomes a key element in controlling costs. We’ll take a look at the current state of automation for wide-format printing.

Are You Walking the Customer Retention Walk with Your Customers?

Whether it’s a print business or any other type of business (such as your customers’ businesses), retaining customers is critical. But knowing how important it is and being able to develop and execute an effective strategy are two different things. Here are five tips you can use to guide your customer retention strategy, as well as your customers’.

RFPs Are Not a Good Way to Procure Print Software

Learning is the most important part of software procurement decisions. The vendor needs to learn about you (to assess if you are a good fit for their solution) and you need to learn about the vendor. An RFP doesn’t facilitate any learning.

Production Inkjet: Welcome to the Revolution—Time to Take Stock

Production inkjet solutions are proliferating at an ever-increasing rate. The quality of many of the solutions has finally reached that of offset, and the productivity has surpassed that of toner. There are also a lot more options and opportunities. Perhaps it is time to step back and take stock of where we are and where things could be going?

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: How To Demonstrate Your Company’s Capabilities

In part 6 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she identifies some specific print samples to use to demonstrate your company’s capabilities.

SensorKnits: A New Approach to Wearable Tech

As part of our coverage of textiles and apparel, we look for interesting developments, both in the more conventional textiles and apparel market as it transitions to a more digital approach, as well as developments in technical textiles. In this article, we present the work being done at the MIT Media Lab to use knitting to embed conductive fibers in fabric in order to add functionality.

May Printing Shipments Up from April

Printing shipments for May 2019 were up from April—and even came in above May 2018 shipments, albeit only very slightly.

Around the Web: Newspaperless Starbucks. Printless Textbooks. Madless Al Jaffee. Memeless TikTok. Painless Airplane Seats? Monkless Chanting. Methless Gators.

Starbucks stops selling newspapers. Pearson switches to etextbooks. All about the semicolon. Coder Margaret Hamilton saved the Apollo 11 mission. The inventor of the computer password is ******. What is TikTok? IBM patents a smartwatch that unfolds into a tablet. Whatever happened to all those Bob Ross paintings? F. Scott Fitzgerald and “cocktail” as a verb. Heavy metal knitting. Twinkies for Breakfast. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Why Gamification Matters to Print Service Providers

There are lessons that PSPs can learn in watching how the general public interacts with video games—a roughly $140 billion dollar industry that exists simply because people like to have fun. By bringing elements of game design into their companies and products, PSPs can create better, stronger training practices for their employees while also developing more engaging versions of their products. All of this can be accomplished through a process called gamification.

Getting the Most Out of Your P&L Statement

Do you use your monthly profit and loss (P&L) statement to its fullest? Although few do more with it than quickly glance at—and perhaps lament—the bottom line, the P&L can offer valuable information about how your business is performing. In this latest installment of his Pricing series, Robert Lindgren explains how.

Is Heavier Weight Paper Worth It? This Study Says Yes

Last week, I posted a list of links to neuroscience studies showing the power of print over digital in many areas, including content retention, recall, and willingness to buy. One of those resources contains a reference to a 2015 study that is often overlooked. The study looks not just at print vs. digital, but the weight of the paper, as well. If you are not familiar with this study, you should be.

The Event the Print Industry Needs

A learning event vs. a selling event—that is the event the print industry needs. An event where you go to solve your challenges through active collaboration, open-minded because nobody is trying to sell you anything.

The Evolution of APTech and the Future of the PRINT Show

Cary Sherburne talks with Thayer Long, the current president of the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech), about the evolution of APTech, the upcoming PRINT 19 show, and a look ahead to the new Brand Print Americas 2020, the result of a strategic alliance with the Tarsus Group, owner and organizer of Labelexpo and Brand Print Global Series, which will replace PRINT 2020.

Dare to Be Different!

The impression is dead—long live the impression! Long live printing that is integrated alongside other communication channels. This is the way forward and to get it right, you need to make two changes: throw away the old baggage you’ve carried for so long and embrace a change of mentality. You must swap the old habits of traditional printing for digital ones!

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: Evaluating Your Print Samples

In part 5 of Pat McGrew's ongoing series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how to evaluate the print samples your sales team uses to sell your company’s capabilities.

Addressing Color Management Challenges in a Hybrid Analog/Digital Textiles & Apparel Industry

In the textiles and apparel industry, color management has historically been a given. Now with the introduction of digital textile printing into the mix, new color management challenges have arisen. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current state of color management in the textiles and apparel industry, and where it goes from here.

PR Agency Employees—2010–2016

In 2016, there were 58,489 employees in establishments in NAICS 54182 (Public Relations Agencies). Employment in this category has grown +17% from 2010 to 2016.

Around the Web: Knitted Sensors. Disabled Books. The City that Invented the Publishing Industry. Brands and Amazon Search. Most Valuable Brands. Underwater Internet. Another Photo Cake Incident.

The MIT Media Lab develops knitted sensors. Microsoft discontinues its ebooks—and erases everyone’s libraries. Venice and the dawn of book publishing. Most of product searches on Amazon are brand-free. Sea-level rise may adversely affect the Internet. An AR application to identify street artists. Working for the [Robot] Man. Use AI to keep your prey-toting pet out of the house. Levitating turntables. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Handling Objections: It’s About Preparation and Identification

Sales objections can be daunting for even the most seasoned salespeople, creating a feeling of disapproval or opposition. Objections can come in many forms. This article explores how all salespeople, regardless of experience or tenure, can properly prepare for them.

Making More Productive People Decisions

You know how it is: You’re looking to fill a position in your company. You find a prospect who has a great resume and interviews like a pro. They know the job and have the requisite experience, so you hire them, only to find their actual job performance lacking. What happened? Chances are, you only evaluated basic technical qualifications rather than behavioral traits that could determine if that employee was a good for for your company. In this article, Wayne Lynn explains why you should look beyond the resume.

Email Is a Terrible Way to Communicate (Internally)

Internal communication deserves better tools than email. Real collaboration happens best when more, not fewer, people are involved. Taking internal communication out of email reduces the cognitive overhead of deciding whom to communicate with.

Neuroscience and Print: Compiled List of Links

Print and digital communications both have their strengths, but when it comes to comprehension and recall, studies consistently show that information communicated in print is more deeply embedded, recalled with more detail, and creates a more powerful emotional engagement than digital. Here is a compiled list of links on studies on the neuroscience of print, or how our brains respond to print vs. digital communications, listed in chronological order of publication.

Landa: And They’re Off…

Benny Landa first introduced the concept of “Nanography” at drupa 2012. There was a reaffirmation of the introduction at drupa 2016, and since then, lots of quiet. It turns out the quiet was self-imposed, and in the interim Landa has been very busy building an organization and shipping presses.

Let There Be More Light: LED Signage Hits the Big—and Small—Time

Advances in LED technology—and of course lower costs—have enabled LED signage to move indoors, and are even replacing LCD-based dynamic digital signage (DDS) for many applications.

Digital Technologies, Innovation and Sustainability Top the Conversation List at ITMA 2019

Digital technologies, innovation and sustainability were key elements that drew a great deal of attention at the recent ITMA 2019 show in Barcelona. In this second ITMA article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne highlights some of the advances she noticed during the show. This just scratches the surface of ITMA announcements but provides a feel for the speed with which the industry is adopting digital technologies that affect the entire supply chain.

Print Publishing in Turmoil—June 2019 M&A Activity

Justice Department Blocks Quad, Condé Nast Sheds W, Colortree Closes and more…

Xerox Baltoro Inkjet Platform Overview

Xerox has announced the availability of the Baltoro High Fusion Inkjet Press. Xerox has positioned the Baltoro as a “platform” in the model of the Trivor, iGen and DocuTech series of devices.

Printing Industry Profits: What Goes Up...

Industry profits data came out earlier this month, and overall profits slipped a little. Annualized profits for Q1 2019 were $3.58 billion, down slightly from $3.66 billion in Q4 of last year. Again, it’s the large printers that are dragging down overall industry profitability.

Around the Web: Yet More Meeker! Madvertising. Roasting Design. Trouble On the Map. Public Domain: The Musical. Danger: Slugs! The ENIAC Programmers Project. Portugal’s Plastic Rocks. Fishbots!

Mary Meeker Slide Roulette. Brands harness online outrage. How can an Albany antiquarian bookstore outlast its owner? Core77 roasts bad industrial design. Fake businesses on Google Maps. Celebrating the original six ENIAC programmers—women all. Country Time is on your side. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

The Bürkle and EFI Partnership: A LIGNA 2019 Interview

During LIGNA 2019, Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends caught up with José Luis Ramón Moreno of EFI and Olaf Rohrbeck of Bürkle/LIGNA to learn more about the recently announced partnership between EFI and Robert Bürkle GmbH. This article provides a transcription of the interview.

Avery Dennison Launches New Car Wrap Visualizer

To help vehicle wrap installers better help customers with color change vehicle wraps, Avery Dennison has launched an online Car Wrap Visualizer that shows how a particular vinyl film color looks on a representative sample of vehicle types. We spoke with Avery Dennison’s Abby Monnot, who helped develop the tool.

Survey: Multichannel Marketing from a Small Business Perspective

How are small businesses implementing multichannel marketing? What role does direct mail play in those strategies? Taradel decided to find out. This article takes a look at some key findings and takeaways.

Pricing Software Tools That Enable Print Programs

Your print sales team has to evolve to understand and be able to sell the value of the software that enables print demand from business processes. Every printer should have a direct revenue line for their software.

EskoWorld: Packaging Connected

Esko held its 28th EskoWorld in Nashville with an audience of over 550 attendees. Since its inception, this has been a go-to event for those in packaging production and signage, although the audience is now growing with about 25% of which were brand owners. This plays nicely into the theme “Packaging Connected.”

World Gathers in Barcelona for ITMA 2019

ITMA 2019 Textile and Garment Technology Exhibition, the world’s largest trade fair for the textiles industry, is taking place in Barcelona from June 20 to 26. For our printing industry readers, this is like the drupa of textiles. Here are some of the highlights from the show, with a focus on how companies are addressing the growing need for an ecosystem approach to digital textile printing.

Advertising Agency Employees—2010–2016

In 2016, there were 194,792 employees in establishments in NAICS 54181 (Advertising Agencies). Employment in this category has grown +31% from 2010 to 2016.

Around the Web: More Meeker! Press Conference Cat-astrophe. 3D Fashion. A Tale of a Tail. Marking Computer History. Redesigned Mailboxes. Celebrating Tristram Shandy. Bakery Printing Error. Li-Fi.

Mary Meeker Slide Roulette. 3D Fashion Editor. An app-controlled animatronic tail.  A N.H. highway historical marker commemorates the creation of BASIC. Note to press briefers: turn off the kitten filter. The USPS combats postal box fishing.  A look at Laurence Sterne’s classic “Tristram Shandy.” Who wouldn’t want a Marie Curie birthday cake? Internet-transmitting lights. Crocheted body parts. All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

The Commodity Conversation: Who Are We Kidding?

The buying criteria within the printing industry are no different than any other—they come down to quality, service, and price. This article provides a brief overview of these three key buying criteria and explores how print service providers can shift away from a commodity conversation while still respecting customers’ inherent preferences.

ImageMark Adds Promotional Products to Product Offerings

Long an industry trendsetter, North Carolina-based ImageMark recently announced the addition of promotional products to its portfolio of offerings in order to increase its value to customers as a one-stop shop for everything marketing. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with CEO Walter Payne to find out what drove this decision.

Study: Direct Mail Shoppers Are More Engaged, Spend More

Research from Pebble Post/Murphy Research finds that direct mail shoppers are highly engaged and spend, research, and evangelize more than non-direct mail shoppers. What’s behind this behavior? A look at the data from Pebble Post, as well as others.

Hidden Labor Costs of Bad Data

The level of trust you have in the data in your Print MIS impacts all aspects of your business. When printers get their Print MIS to be “trustworthy,” they can move a whole lot faster, with less labor costs, and be more responsive to the never-ending request for more data from all stakeholders in your business.

Enabling Sales with the Right Story: Are Using the Right Print Samples?

In part 4 of Pat McGrew's series on selling in today’s print environment, she talks about how to make sure the print samples your sales team uses reflect the products you specifically want to sell.

Do Customers Know What “Wide Format” Printing Is?

What’s in a name? Does the term “wide format” mean anything to today’s print buyers? Avoiding industry jargon in sales and marketing efforts—and especially in one’s online presence—can help attract potential customers who may not be hip to our jive.

SmithersPira Hosts Digital Print Week 2019 in Orlando

Once again, market research firm SmithersPira hosted Digital Print Week, with two conferences back to back: Digital Print for Packaging U.S. and Digital Textile Printing U.S. WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne attended both sessions. The WhatTheyThink team also captured some great video content during the conferences, which will be run on the site over the next few weeks.

April Printing Shipments—A New Season?

Printing shipments for April were up from March, happily disrupting what has become the usual seasonal pattern. Even better, April 2019 shipments came in above April 2018 shipments.

Around the Web: Two Words: Mary Meeker! Kirie Eleison. Passenger Drones. Shame-Based Ecology. Kids on Film. LED Earbuds. Ice Ice Hawking.

Data nerds rejoice: Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report is out. The Japanese art of kirie. Robotaxies to take flight. Barnes & Noble sold to a hedge fund. Fujifilm resumes making black-and-white film. Light up your brain, ostensibly. “The queen of eating shellfish online.” A Stephen Hawking-esque voice synthesizer performs “Ice Ice Baby.” All that and more in WhatTheyThink’s weekly miscellany.

Pricing the New Stuff

New technologies, new equipment, and new applications can play havoc with traditional pricing. In the third installment of his series on pricing, Robert Lindgren looks at how to price new capabilities such as digital printing and VDP, wide-format printing on unique substrates, and more.

Tracking Shifts in the Customer Communications Market

As part of its coverage of the customer communications market, Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends conducts annual research of enterprises and consumers. This article provides a brief overview of recent survey findings and also highlights the data points that will be uncovered in upcoming research.

Putting Numbers to Direct Mail’s Ability to Drive Purchases

In concert with Pebble Post, Murphy Research released a study that puts data to what we intuitively know but can’t always document: that direct mail drives purchase consideration and plays a central role in the path to purchase. These are good numbers to have!

Idealliance PPC: Global Collaboration—Where Standards are Born

Idealliance’s Ron Ellis and Tim Baechle provide an update on the Print Properties and Colorimetric Council (PPC), a global think tank in which the top color scientists, consultants, OEMs, brands, service providers, creatives, educators, and global innovators that develops standards, specifications, datasets, profiles, targets, research, and the globally leading practices in order to propel the industry forward.

EXCLUSIVE: Adobe, Datacolor, and CSI Team to Enhance Adobe Textile Designer

Adobe, Datacolor, and Color Solutions International (CSI), have teamed up to continue the enhancement of Adobe Textile Designer for Photoshop by making it easier for designers to seamlessly capture inspiration colors, sending them directly into Photoshop. Adobe’s Mike Scrutton explains the details.

Ricoh Interact 2019—A Very Engaging Experience

David Zwang reports from Interact 2019, Ricoh’s annual customer event comprising nearly 60 sessions which covered a wide range of topics, both high-level and highly detailed. It also provided an opportunity to meet some of the new Ricoh leadership team.

Self-Improvement Is Business Improvement

What does it take to be successful as the leader of a business? It’s not enough just to be qualified to do the job. Are you behaviorally suited? Do you have the strong key traits that distinguish high-performing CEOs from everyone else? Determining how you stack up against the “best and the brightest” can identify areas in which improving yourself can help improve your business. Wayne Lynn of Lynn Consulting explains how.

FESPA 2019: Key Takeaways

FESPA 2019 in Munich was, by all accounts, its most successful show yet. The WhatTheyThink team walked all six halls, attended lots of press events, and did video interviews with a number of exhibitors that will be running over the next few weeks. Here are our key takeaways from the show.

Sports Illustrated Print Edition Heads to Hospice—May 2019 M&A Activity

Meredith sells off Sports Illustrated branding rights, Welch Packaging stays focused, and more…

See the Industry Under One Roof

As it brings the printing industry together, PRINTING United will reveal adjacent opportunities.