How to feed your press a healthy diet of ROI

Some of today’s hottest revenue drivers for the print industry include packaging, embellishments, direct mail, textiles, signage and wide-format. According to piworld, the top 100 print buyers forecasted for 2020 will comprise more than 26% of all print demand next year and – at the present rate of corporate agglomeration – is forecasted to be up $1.16 billion from 2019. The top 10 buyers will account for more than 5% of print purchased in 2020.
Print buyers are looking for ways to enhance each customer’s experience by transforming their digital world into a physical one. With a voracious appetite for print, brands like Netflix, Amazon, Shopify and Nike are using physical stores, merchandise branding and “pop-ups” to provide memorable immersive experiences. These “phygital” approaches enable brands of all sizes to bridge the physical-digital gap and engage customers with an experience that transcends platforms, devices and location. Seven of the top 100 forecasted print consumers for 2020 are billion-dollar-plus buyers.
One of the major factors driving the growth in our industry is the increasing need to keep customers engaged through communication over various channels. Delivering a memorable, positive experience is the primary consideration for companies hoping to whet the appetite of today’s print and business buyer. Print is a proven, premium channel – and it’s being embraced as an integral part of the customer acquisition process.
A lot of time and money goes into the decision to purchase a new piece of equipment for your print business – one of the most important of which is its revenue generating potential. Whether it’s replacing older equipment, being purchased because of client demand, or because you want to tap into new revenue streams, your shiny new piece of equipment requires a steady diet to turn a profit.

Who are you feeding?

Consumer buying habits and expectations have altered the way business buyers research and purchase equipment, technology and print. While you were being wooed by equipment manufacturer speeds and feeds, your customers were being wooed by glossy magazines, touchable textures, eye-popping colours and other brand-showcasing items. These same customers expect excellent customer service 24/7, regardless of the size of their job, while more and more expect an app/portal where they can check the status of their job, and place orders and campaign details. Yet printers continue to answer the question, “What do you do?” the same way – with equipment information and promises of excellent service, outstanding reputation and quality.

By tapping into the value of touch, printers can create a long-lasting, money-making customer experience.

Today’s biggest consumer group in history, the Gen Z and millennials, will soon account for $4 billion in discretionary spending. A survey of college students found that 92% prefer reading print material to digital material. Frank Rose, at, reports that 78% of millennial respondents said they enjoy the smell and feel of books and paper. 58% said the same of magazines.
MPA’s Magazine Media Factbook 2018-2019 states that in the United States, “The top 25 print magazines reach more adults and teens than the top 25 prime time shows. And, despite generational differences, magazine consumption is strong.”
Compared to digital documents, paper is seen as more official, more trusted, easier to keep confidential and safer/more secure. More than three quarters of people surveyed by RIT say documents are less trustworthy in digital format since they can be altered without your knowledge. Identity theft is a concern.

When I buy a car, I don’t care what equipment was used to manufacture it.

The main sectors capitalizing on print’s customer journey value are: healthcare (24.5%); food and beverage (19.9%); technology (12.9%); publishing (11.3%); and retail (7%). The marketers and designers who live in these worlds are hungry for brand-showcasing opportunities that enhance their digital programs. They’re not looking for equipment. They’re not looking for run rates. They’re not looking for promises.
Use that shiny new piece of equipment to feed these print consumers a menu of treats that spice up their digital strategies – while you spice up your ROI.

Joanne Gore
Joanne Gore is a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print and has spent the last three decades helping companies maximize their marketing and communications efforts. Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, she helps companies tell their story to a new generation of print and business buyers. Email: Follow her on Twitter: @joannegore121

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