The numbers don’t lie. The printing industry entered 2018 with sales of approximately $84.0 billion, 9.1% above the 2011 low, but still 14.6% below the 2007 pre-Great Recession level. As the printing industry continues to evolve and change, what are you doing to develop a strategy for growth in changing times? We’ve compiled a few tips to help you focus on how to grow your business in 2019 as a modern printer.
Tip 1: The Details is in the Data
There is no doubt that personalized integrated communication is the future. Customers now expect one to one communication via print as well as online. Marketers and Printers need to collaborate together to seamlessly deliver this experience to end users. Can you deliver? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I invested in my database structure?
- Do I have the right people in place to facilitate data management on print projects?
- Can I execute a variable data project flawlessly?
If the answer is “No” to any of the above questions, then make this a priority for 2019. Data is not going anywhere. You’ve probably heard the term omni-channel and data is at the heart of an omni-channel strategy.
Tip 2: Invest in Talent
Have you heard of the silver tsunami? By 2022, more than 25 percent of the U.S. workforce will be 55 years old or older. Every day, nearly 10,000 baby boomers are achieving retirement age. The average print industry employee has between 20-30 years of experience. Investing in talent is a necessity if you want to grow and thrive. Jake Walker, Vice President of Print & Marketing Automation at Vision Graphics, Inc. gives some excellent insight in “The Biggest Threat to Print.” He discusses how you can craft your talent strategy and what you can do to combat the talent shortage that is especially impactful in the print industry.
Tip 3: Customer Connection
Connecting with your customer in new and different ways will be even more crucial in the next year. Stop thinking of yourself as merely a printer and think about how you are solving your customers’ problems. For example, you may have new customers that may not have a good understanding of print and how print technology works. You can be their personalized guide to help deepen their knowledge of how to buy print and get their projects produced with exceeded expectations. Or ask yourself what other problems your customers are having and how you can solve them?
In order to be successful, printers must start adopting new solutions and strategies to get ahead of the competition. The new modern printer must look at data and understand how to communicate with this new generation of consumers.