The state of digital printing

Let’s start with some statistics:

1) According to Pira International, the total global digital printing market has grown 122% since 2002, and by 2012, it is expected to double again, accounting for 21% of the overall global printing market as a whole.

2) Today, 30% of print providers offer web-to-print services. (CAPV)

3) 30% of today’s digital work is versioned or personalized. (Interquest)

What I hear loud and clear from these facts is that the future of print is healthy. As the economic situation in our country continues to force companies to tighten their belts and their budgets, the efficiencies of digital printing become more and more critical to a company’s marketing strategy. Let’s take a brief look at the how and why:

(Digital) Print-on-demand: In the past, the price points gained by printing long runs on off-set presses was the key factor in how printed material was produced. The price per unit was the determining factor. Alas, in most cases boxes of printed material was sent to the landfill because it had become irrelevant and outdated.  Therefore the cost efficiency of long runs was not as great as imagined.  POD allows you to create short runs of relevant material at an affordable cost and also gives you the added benefit of being able to personalize each printed piece and take advantage of the power of targeted marketing.

Another advantage of POD is the ability to merge your print production and fulfillment with a web-to-print solution online giving you a greater amount of control in your print purchasing than you could imagine.  Picture this…a company’s sales force can go online and order sales collateral that is personalized for their prospects, in their region and have the product shipped directly  to them without ever having to pick up a phone.  The web-to-print portal can also produce reports on usage, manage warehousing of certain products and provide online proofing and design features.

Integrated Marketing Solutions: What is an integrated marketing solution you ask?  Good question. In our print-centric approach, digital printing’s abiity to create personalized print pieces allows us to harness the power of database technology and the web to create marketing campaigns in multiple channels.  Using Personalized URLS (PURLS) we can create printed materials that drive prospects and clients to websites that are designed to give you the opportunity to A. pitch a product or service B. gather valuable data about the prospect via a survey page including an email address for future marketing purposes C. forwards leads automatically from the site to the proper personnel and last but not least D. provides an online dashboard for managing the campaign. These tools also provide the ability to integrate the campaign with your CRM and your client database.

What kind of strategy does your company have for reducing marketing costs while increasing the efficiency of these strategies?  Can you manage print costs over a large geographic area? Do you have the right tools to drive prospects to your web site? Lets talk about that.

Steve Davison is a marketing consultant providing marketing and sales support to CustomXM. When he is not doing that Steve is a professional touring guitarist.

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