Written by Mary Roddy
Global Marketing Manager, Premier Partners Global Network
Direct mail, book publishing and transpromo are gaining momentum as the most promising sources of growth for graphic communications providers, who continue to find digital printing helps them expand their businesses.
These are among the results of the annual survey of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network consisting of leading graphic communications providers. The survey was conducted online in six languages during August 2013 by GMC Analytics Software among more than 400 Xerox Premier Partners.
Some 44 percent of Premier Partners expect to significantly increase their revenues through direct marketing work, up six points from last year, when direct mail also was the top growth-oriented application. Those expecting growth from book publishing more than doubled to 26 percent from 12 percent last year. Also gaining was transpromo, which was named by 20 percent, up from 13 percent two years ago and 16 percent last year.
Not surprisingly, then, four out of five Premier Partners said they experienced rising demand for variable-data printing services, which are fundamental to direct mail and transpromo applications. Graphic communications customers also increasingly require online ordering—70 percent said demand is increasing, up from 57 percent two years ago.
Print Creates Emotional Connection
A smaller sampling of English-only respondents indicated that print plays a key role in cross-media marketing. Some 35 percent stated that print creates an emotional connection that no other media can and the same percentage cited print’s utility as an advantage—it is practical, portable and readable anywhere without compromising the design. In addition, more than 27 percent indicated that print’s strength is that it complements digital media and vice versa.
Looking to the future, nearly 64.8 percent agree that high-speed inkjet will make mass customization a reality.
Graphic communications providers continue to face significant challenges, as well. Nearly 90 percent cited differentiating the business (86.5 percent) and establishing new services (85.7 percent) as challenges. In addition, the number who cite transforming to a marketing services provider as a top challenge grew by nearly 10 points in the last two years, to 78 percent. Those citing meeting demand without sacrificing quality jumped by more than 6 points over last year to 79.2 percent.
The accompanying infographic highlights these survey results and other relevant industry statistics.
How do the results stack up with your perceptions of the graphic communications market? How are your customers planning for print in their marketing mix? Where do you see the greatest growth opportunities?
Written by Mary Roddy