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Print industry predictions part 7: selling print remains depressingly similar

The printing industry is often not good at selling Many printing companies seem to offer nothing more exciting than good service, good quality and cheap prices. There is a relentless focus on machines and processes that buyers just don’t care about. The average website is uninspiring with pictures of printing presses and nothing to interest a prospect. The average conversation or sales letter or e-mail is generally just a request for a quote. The printing industry has often relied on one sales strategy. Let’s deal with the myth of the book of business Sales people often recruited because everyone hopes…

Print industry predictions part 6: the need for online trust

How do you trust someone if you only meet them online? This has been a struggle for big brands for a long, long time. Some have created a huge tribe of raving fans. Others have been rather less successful.  However, it has never really been an issue for printing companies. They have always had a friendly sales person or customer services member who should be able to build a trusting relationship with a customer. But, with the rise of online business, things are changing Building online trust will be essential for printing companies  Online will have to be the primary…

Print industry predictions part 5: the rise of e-commerce

How much purchasing do you do offline? For the average person it will be very little. The majority of our purchases are delivered to our door from supermarket online shopping sites, Amazon and specialised retailers. Even if you buy something in person you will have researched it and even maybe paid for it online. The printing industry is already heading the same way There has been a big rise in online purchasing. This has happened in two ways. Firstly, end users are increasingly purchasing from online printing companies. But larger companies are often using their own personal web-to-print portals. Everything…

Print industry predictions part 4: the rise of carbon balancing and the circular economy

We are still not doing enough about the environment Everyone agrees that the environment is important, but few people seem to be prepared to change their working practices enough to make an impact. Some companies are now beginning to declare that they are carbon negative. However, to the best of my knowledge, none are from the printing industry. In the future we are highly likely to see legal requirements to lower our impact. If printing companies don’t adopt more environmentally friendly practices now, they will soon be forced upon our industry. What does a printing company in an environmentally friendly…

Print industry predictions part 3: the death of press operators

The role of the press operator is already marginalised This is a series of predictions on how the printing industry might look in 10 years time… Running the press is no longer such a big deal. Whether you like it or not, the days of printing being a craft have long gone. Lead press people are now minders or operators. It is now far easier to operate and achieve good results from a press than a few years ago. Much of the key skillset of a press person has now been automated. Colour management has taken over from the human…

Print industry predictions part 2: the death of litho

This is a series of predictions on how the printing industry might look in 10 years time…, We live in a world of personalised data Data drives everything. From decisions on our health and our finances through to what marketing messages we are shown, the focus is relentlessly shifting to the individual. Nearly every experience we receive has been personalised to some extent. The most powerful companies are those that harvest data. That is why we have seen the meteoric rise of corporations such as Amazon and Facebook. But there are also a lot of very influential companies that are…

Print industry predictions part 1: the death of e-mail

This is a series of predictions on how the printing industry might look in 10 years time… Isn’t life without e-mail unthinkable? It’s the primary way that so many of us communicate. These days we rarely speak on the phone: we e-mail instead. E-commerce is built on sending us the right e-mail updates. Marketing often depends on e-mail newsletters. Bills, company updates, spam? All sent by e-mail. The trouble is that many of us are sick of it. I delete around 50% of my e-mail without reading it. And I am receiving significantly less e-mail from those I care about…

What will the printing industry look like in ten years’ time?

Here’s one prediction about the printing industry that I’m pretty sure about In ten years’ time the print industry will still be here. It will still be strong and vibrant. There will still be a need for print. I cannot see how it is possible for the majority of businesses to survive without print. Print is present in so many spaces: on all our packaging, in all the buildings we enter and even on the clothes we wear. I don’t see this changing. I’m sure some print sectors will grow and others will struggle. But I still see plenty of…

The printing industry wastes too much time on colour

There is too much obsession with colour in the printing industry I may be setting myself up for a lynching by printers here, but does colour matter as much as the printing industry says it does? Time and time again I have been approached by printing companies that make a big deal of their superb quality and excellent colour reproduction. There seems to be a belief in certain sectors of the industry that you can make a lot more profit from high quality colour print. There are a few areas where this is true: for instance, fine art businesses and…

New ways to sell print in a new environment

Are you fed up with the traditionalists? Personally, I have had enough of the sales messages that I keep seeing that pretend that nothing has happened. Every day I receive e-mails and social media messages that I see from companies that say they are open for business as normal. But these messages ignore the fact that normal has disappeared. If we want to sell print successfully in 2021, we need adopt a new set of values. However, we also need to accept that it is still OK to sell. Businesses need to survive during a pandemic. Our businesses have a…

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