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Trade Comment

The Printing Industry in 2020?

With the end of the year upon us and we reflect on our goals and things to come, Genevieve Lewis asks:“What can we expect from the printing industry in 2020?”

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Brendan Perring, general manager, IPIA

Strategy for 2020

A recent roundtable debate the IPIA held in partnership with Canon gave us some good insights into how the print industry needs to think about its strategic approach to 2020. There can be little doubt that the trends that are currently shaping the UK commercial print industry are complex and multi-faceted. But at the very heart of understanding what the future holds for our beloved sector — so full of passion, history, and technical excellence — are some fundamental questions: Where will its growth come from? What will tomorrow’s print buyer look like? How will we generate new non-commoditised print volumes?

There can be little doubt that the trends that are currently shaping the UK commercial print industry are complex and multi-faceted


The answers to these core questions are inextricably linked to one overarching challenge: how can print businesses influence the marketing mix in order to better promote print?

For decades a significant number of business owners and managers in our sector have viewed our industry as a watering hole that was once fed by a great river, but has now been largely cut off and is slowly shrinking.

The mission, as they see it, is to push and shoulder their way closer to the receding water in the hope they can be the last standing. What they simply do not realise is that hundreds of print businesses have lifted their heads just long enough to realise there is a torrent flowing just meters away that takes the form of high-value, personalised, and creative print solutions. Their product is not ink on paper as they see it, rather it is providing the means for their customers to add value to their business.

A clear finding from the roundtable was that a trend is continuing to build that is seeing a range of marketing and design professionals, in addition to brand managers, returning to print from digital-only media to deliver better results.

To capitalise on this trend, what is needed is a realisation that we as an industry can generate new print volumes through leveraging our immense experience and capabilities to demonstrate that print-based marketing and communication is a strong and effective channel, one customer at a time.

Green credentials

Dave Jones, group marketing director, Premier Paper
 


We believe that printers will continue to diversify and offer a wider range of print-related services and products to their clients as they attempt to increase their turnover and profitability. To this end, we can expect to see continuing investment growth in digital print including: wide-format, SRA3 and B2 installations.

We believe that high-speed inkjet and variable data print will also continue to grow and develop in both capability and quality as data is used more effectively to target customers’ special interests.

Printers will have the increasing opportunity to offer sustainable media and print solutions to clients


There is currently a lot of noise about the environmental impact of all of our activities including our choices of communication. Printers will have the increasing opportunity to offer sustainable media and print solutions to clients who want to demonstrate and communicate their green credentials. Companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and communicate their environmental credentials to the wider market could provide many opportunities for the print market.



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