The world of digital print is an exciting and dynamic place to be. Talk of a “decline in print” can be considered a thing of the past as the industry builds confidence and gathers momentum. From stunning interior décor to the emergence of books-of-one, high quality photobooks and the transformation of multichannel communications, digital print is reshaping the very perception of print.
While the industry has seen some consolidation and certain areas of print suffered from commoditisation, it has never been more relevant. It has faced the challenges from electronic alternatives such as online media, email marketing and e-books and kept its important place in our lives.
Print service providers (PSPs) - inspired by their passion - continue to push the boundaries, seize new opportunities and grow. In 2015, global printing output was projected to reach €870 billion and annual growth of 2% per year is predicted through until 2020.
One of the primary reasons for this industry-wide growth is an increase in demand for the higher-value printed products. But how can ambitious PSPs unlock the potential of print?
Whenever new opportunities in print are discussed, wide format is frequently mentioned. Printing for interiors and industry are both generating genuine excitement as PSPs combine developments in technology with their own ingenuity to create new opportunities. By thinking more broadly about how applications could apply to a different market, they move away from commoditised markets and offer higher value printed products. If they were already printing wall graphics, for example, recognising the value in personalised photographic wallpaper is a logical next step.
Take business communications as another example. Successful PSPs in this arena recognise that print should complement rather than compete with other channels in the multi-channel communications mix. It can play a unique role, helping brands to attract and retain their audiences’ attention and communicate a particular message. As part of a holistic, cross-media marketing campaign, for example, personalised direct mail can be used to drive prospects online. An online retailer, on the other hand, may use a printed, customised catalogue to communicate with customers who have not purchased from them for six months. In both cases, print’s effectiveness can be measured through the responses it drives.
Digital print is a disruptive force and has inspired whole new business models for some publishers. As book printing run lengths have fallen and the volume of available titles has grown, more publishers are switching to a sell first, then print model. Indeed, now it is cost effective to print and finish one book at a time, opportunities are opening up to print previously out-of-print titles on demand, introduce self-publishing services or offer customised books.
Be bold, be brave and experiment
Regardless of your current market and expertise, you can unlock more value and potential in your business. Look beyond your current capabilities and product offerings and think about how you can inspire your customers. If you need to adapt or change – whether that’s exploring new applications, investing in new technologies or adapting your business model – find a partner to help.
The print industry is a place of great optimism and potential. Join us and unlock that potential. #UNLEASHPRINT