Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Articles by Dr. Joe Webb

Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.

Displaying 401-500 of 1318 articles

Employment Report Stays Mixed

Published April 7, 2014

Dr. Joe Webb on "Unsquaring the Wheel"

Published March 18, 2014

Dr. Joe Webb talks to Cary Sherburne about "Unsquaring the Wheel", a new venture with RIT that aims to help companies assess their business in 3 main areas: Platform, Customers, and Resources.

Ad Agency Revenues On Steady Rise Higher

Published March 16, 2014

Ad Agency Revenues On Steady Rise Higher

Published March 16, 2014

Since the second quarter of 2007, the first quarter for which we can create four-quarter inflation-adjusted moving totals, ad agency revenues are up more than 13%. Publishing industries have note fared well at all.

US Commercial Printing Industry Demographics, 2011 to 2018

Published March 6, 2014

In recent weeks, readers have asked for industry demographics and some prognostication about them. The data tables are below. But first, some information about the data and where they come from. Get a strong coffee.

Does Being a “Marketing Services Provider” Make a Difference? In 2013 it Did, but Not for Everyone

Published February 26, 2014

Many printers have started promoting themselves as “marketing service providers” (MSPs), almost to the point that the terms “printer” and MSP are synonymous.

Advertising Agency Employment Surpasses Commercial Printing, Reflecting the Shift from Traditional Media

Published February 7, 2014

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.

2013 US Commercial Printing Shipments Reach $77.6 Billion

Published February 4, 2014

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

Recovery Indicators Take a Step Back

Published January 14, 2014

Inflation-adjusted Annualized US Publishing & Advertising Agency Revenues

Published January 14, 2014

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.

Were Data Fabricated in Unemployment Reports?

Published November 20, 2013

Employment Improves... Or Does It?

Published October 22, 2013

The Counterproductive Nature of the USPS Pricing Strategy

Published October 1, 2013

Dr. Joe on the Counterproductive Nature of the USPS Pricing Strategy

Dr. Joe on Underlying Trends Playing Out in the Industry

Published February 22, 2013

Dr. Joe Webb discusses high level trends playing out in the industry and the implications for the future.

All Recovery Indicators are Now Positive

Published February 6, 2013

Business Development: Riding the New Sales Cycle

Published December 10, 2012

Last time, Dr. Joe explained why business development is rising as a critical function in print organizations. The nature of selling is changing just as the nature of print in the communications mix is changing. And no, cold-calling has nothing to do with Winter temperatures.

Business Development Is Not a Sales Lead Qualification Process

Published November 26, 2012

In Part One of this two-part column, Dr. Joe explains how the changing dynamics in the printing industry are dynamically changing the sales process. It used to be that a sales call didn't need to start with explaining print-everyone already knew what it was, and the needed it. Not so much today…successful businesses are increasingly turning to business development practices. This is much more than sales lead generation and that will be the topic of Part Two.

The Election: Can Everyone Finally Stop Whining About "Uncertainty"?

Published November 12, 2012

There was no uncertainty about the election results, but there was plenty of whining about "uncertainty" for months and months prior to the election. Now that the election is over, is there really any less "uncertainty"? Why do executives get the big bucks? To make decisions when there's uncertainty, real uncertainty. Dr. Joe explains what's uncertain and what's not... at least we think he does. Guess you'll have to read it to be sure.

Next Wave: Get Ready

Published October 22, 2012

You know you should worry when Dr. Joe uses phrases like "simultaneous critical mass." Then we find out that he thinks that data talks to him. His frugal ways are evident as he delights in the prospect of free broadband. Then there are boats and planes, too. It might be worth reading to make sure the next wave of innovation to hit the market is not one that means "goodbye" for your business.

Media and Elections

Published October 15, 2012

Dr. Joe is focused on denial but not in a myopic way. That may make sense once you dig into the column. Or like a lot of his columns, it may drive you to muttering all day. CNN claims that the USPS is being bailed out by election spending. That is, if you believe a decrease is an increase. And much more…