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Is the printing industry in SERIOUS trouble?

Is the printing industry in SERIOUS trouble?

 

Cliff Hollingsworth

Cliff Hollingsworth

Now that I have your attention, pay attention. If you are a consumer of media, and the ONLY thing that your current printer can provide is “printing”, then your printer is a “dead company walking”.  Surely by now, in 2014, you realize what’s happening. I recently “tweeted” and discussed on my LinkedIn group the concept of “A page is a page whether it’s printed or not!!” Are you prepared as a consumer, as a marketing manager, as a PR professional or as ANY other disseminator of information to address this concept?

I am seeing a trend nationwide as a result of the economic “reset” of the last 5 years towards a much stronger focus and use of electronic media by our clients. The net result for companies that JUST PRINT is a serious reduction in print spending and a decline in sales volumes.  Businesses continue to blame the economy for the drop in print spending dollars and marketing professionals are challenged daily with a further dilution of their former print budget, requiring the monies that used to be spent on print to be distributed across a multi-channel budget. What everyone is missing is that the changing business economy is in fact creating a drop in print spending, BUT, the pages aren’t going away. They are being transmitted electronically in the form of e-mail, PDF’s, PURLs and other forms of electronic media. I will state in this column that I believe that print as we knew it in the last 5 years will NEVER return. Only the trade association, NAPL in their annual “State of the Industry” report comes close to saying this. Their insights are always on target, but they stop short in my opinion. The rest of the print industry trade journalism population is in denial.

If you are just a printer, then you aren’t sure what to do about this. At TruColor we believe that, printing is not about the press, it’s about what the digital process will do for our clients. TruColor has many forms of electronic capabilities, and we have the ability to help our clients address the spectrum of needs that they have. Printed products today are one form of communication that makes up this spectrum and although many of our competitors claim to be “communications providers” or “marketing communications specialists” this is just not accurate.  All they can do is print, because in the end, they don’t have the local or in-house skill sets to deliver what they say they can. They don’t manage data effectively, and they can’t execute campaigns or manage digital printing because they are not focused on doing what it takes to be successful.

TruColor saw the need and addressed it several years ago.  We were in a strong position to make the changes necessary to attack the changing landscape in a constructive and deliberate way. We were willing and are still in the evolutionary mindset of change that is required to stay relevant every day in our marketplace.

In closing, I understand completely the challenges that our industry is facing today. I am also aware that most printing companies have ignored the fact that digital printing and solutions sales should have been at the forefront of their thoughts for the last 10 years. The TruColor management team has put into place a group of flexible, creative-thinking sales people and support staff that can help you drive your business where it needs to go.

It is my sincere hope that this column will be helpful to you in the coming weeks and months. You can rest assured that the TruColor team is ready to provide consultative and concrete solutions to your multimedia needs.

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