The market research presented here covers wide-format printing to see what shifts are taking place during times of economic recovery.
By Tim Greene
As I write this, I am heading to Orlando for the International Sign Association Sign Expo 2010 to see the public demonstration and launch of some of these new tools. Readers of this magazine have likely seen the increasing introduction of variable data tools for wide format RIPs, but this year we’re seeing operational cost calculators that go well beyond ink and media costs, workflow tools that go beyond job queues, and business analytics that will drive top-line revenue. That’s right—top line revenue. How? By adding in new ways to look at wide-format print jobs, by type of customer, by type of job, by time of year, the data collected about your wide format work can be analyzed and applied to your marketing efforts to simply draw repeat business or to help you build out different marketing strategies and promotions. Analysis of what you are presently doing for customers in particular market segments can help you re-engineer your sales and marketing tools to improve your marketing methods. Analysis of the profit margins on a per-job basis can help you re-engineer your sales efforts to try to drive more high-margin business.
During the economic, downturn many-wide format print service providers went through these kinds of efforts. As the data from one of our recent surveys shows (Figure 2), many print-service providers have adopted a number of new tactics and strategies to help cope with the economic downturn. While the number one response has been to seek new markets, the second and third most common strategies that companies have undertaken have been to make changes within current sales strategies or focus on key market segments. These tools can significantly enhance a printer’s ability to make these types of changes.
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