Trends suggest that digital imaging helps print providers meet new customer demands, add value to existing services, and expand into new markets.
By Tim Greene
We see buyers demanding more of a link to digital media channels and more integration with other marketing collateral. Of the wide-format-print buyers surveyed, 43% reported that they have used interactive media elements in their printed signage and graphics, which is more than twice as many as when we did our buyer study just two years ago. So, print buyers see their printed signage and graphics as an on-ramp to high-level interactions with the brand. We think this means that we will see more of a focus on interactive elements such as QR Codes and Augmented Reality.
Buyers are asking printers to play a greater role in fulfillment by producing the signage and graphics, then shipping them in kits to the locations where they will be used. This is really important for print shops to consider, because many shops don’t give shipping and fulfillment enough attention in their sales pitches.
Our latest research shows that as many as 75% of wide-format providers are adding to and enhancing their services to drive top-line business growth, to improve profit margins, to differentiate their company from their competition, and to fill existing production capacity. The message here is that many PSPs are recognizing the need to do something different because commodity wide-format printing is getting increasingly competitive.
We think that the best print shops are investing in data-driven capabilities that will position them to work with print buyers at a higher level. They are investing in functions that will help them close the sale better by providing better information about responsiveness or by helping customers target their messages and marketing budgets more effectively. A new printer can’t do that. You might say that stuff is the ad agency’s job, but many agencies don’t see the line between agencies and printers, so in many cases, it is just fair play to move into these value-added services.
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