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Dr Ulrich Hermann un-plugged subscription.001

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value

What is right, what is wrong? While many of us still struggling with the ever-present innovation dilemma, the current discussion in the print industry laments about price wars, margin erosion and technical issues (for example, is digital printing better than offset printing, or is the future in online print?).

If you look closely and look over the edge, it becomes clear what really matters: key for success are new economic systems for new business strategies and business model architectures that provide entrepreneurial freedom and enable connection to the digital age and Industry 4.0.

On the sidelines of the international media event on #subscription at Klampfer Druck in Graz, Austria, I was able to interview Dr. Ulrich Hermann in a short but substantial ‘un-plugged’ video. The Member of the Management Board and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is driving forward the digital transformation, not only at Heidelberg, but also in the customer market.

Alluding to a current printers association study, which shows that the majority of printers are overwhelmed with the topic of digitization and Industry 4.0, I wanted to know if and how to solve the ‚Industry 4.0‘ dilemma at printing companies.

 

Info tip

The ValueTrendRadar subsidiary publication #hotspotsubscription – The Renewal of Print ‘is waiting with exciting news about digital transformation in the team with subscription solutions.

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German Version

Was ist richtig, was ist falsch? Während viele mit dem wohl schon immer vorhandenen Innovations-Dilemma hadern, wird aktuelle in der Print-Branche v. a. über Preiskämpfe, Margenverfall und technische Fragen lamentiert (z.B. ist der Digitaldruck besser als der Offsetdruck? Oder: Liegt die Zukunft im Online Print?).

Schaut man genau hin und blickt üben den Tellerrand, so zeigt es sich, worauf es wirklich ankommt: Neue ökonomische Systeme für neue Geschäftsstrategien und Geschäftsmodell-Architekturen, die unternehmerischen Freiraum bringen und den Anschluss ans Digitalzeitalter und Industrie 4.0 ermöglichen.

Am Rande des internationalen Media-Events bei Klampfer Druck in Graz, Österreich, zum Thema #Subscription konnte ich ‚un-plugged‘ ein kurzes, aber gehaltvolles Video-Interview mit Dr. Ulrich Hermann führen. Der Vorstand und Chief Digital Officer bei Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG treibt die digitale Transformation voran, nicht nur bei Heidelberg, sondern auch im Markt bei den Kunden.

In Anspielung an eine aktuelle Verbands-Studie, die aufzeigt, dass die Mehrzahl der Druckereien mit dem Thema Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0 überfordert ist, wollte ich wissen, ob und wie man das Industrie 4.0 Dilemma bei Druckereien lösen kann.

Info-Tipp

Die ValueTrendRadar-Tochterpublikation ‚#hotspotsubscription — The Renewal of Print’ wartet mit  spannenden Neuigkeiten rund um Digitale Transformation im Team mit Subskriptions-Lösungen.

 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

 

 

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#drupa2020

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value  |  German Version

 


It will be my 11th drupa since 1977, which I will visit in June 2020. First as a ‘normal’ trade visitor, then in the record number of visitors in 1990 as an exhibitor, later as a journalist and in recent years as an analyst and blogger. — Clearly, things are changing. While machines and devices used to be the focus of attention, today solutions, concepts, perspectives and application options are the key.


 

The rush of manufacturers as exhibitors is unbroken. Trade fair director Sabine Geldermann proudly speaks of a sold-out #drupa2020, including the new exhibition hall 1. In 1951, drupa started its successful run when the former Heidelberg boss Dr. Sternberg had rented the whole hall 1.

However, the development in the number of visitors fills me with great concern.

Of course, the advancing automation and the path towards Industry 4.0 bring about rationalization effects that enable personnel savings.

But: For a long time, it has not been possible to inspire new target groups for the drupa to a significant extent — people who have to deal with modern marketing and communication topics on a broad front. They should focus on print, but do it less and less. Why is that? What’s wrong with communication?

 

drupa Stats aus Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia (german edition)

 

Honestly, as long as I can witness it, it has never been so calm in the run up to a drupa. This can not only be attributed to the organizers and partners. The trade press, formerly a guarantor of success, is only a shadow of itself (apart from a few exceptions!), hardly find enough readers and supporters anymore. Outstanding events, such as the Print & Digital Convention initiated by the German association f:mp Fachverband Medienproduktioner e.V., have developed well. But in May 2019 with 1,200 visitors are lean compared to the simultaneous digital events such as OMR in Hamburg with over 50,000 visitors or the re:publica convention in Berlin with 20,000 visitors.

Why is the industry not acting broadly, concertedly and publicly for its concerns and, above all, its right to exist? And takes a clear position on what and how things have changed in the digital age.

There is still some time left. But something must happen very quickly. Otherwise it means (again): “Operation succeeded, patient dead.” And to find an inglorious end like the CeBIT, that is the drupa and the print industry not to be desired.

 


As far as I can, I like to help and offer a number of opportunities to get involved. So the expert network #Think!Paper, supported by Mondi, GT Trendhouse 42 and Jubels; or even with the new blog “HotspotSubscription”, which has occupied as a theme “Renewal of Print”, and thus from the stand for high attention, especially outside the industry. The Digital Printing Forum, founded by myself and partners, is still active as an industry initiative and has over 1,200 group members via XING. Last but not least: my blog ValueTrendRadar.com as a compendium for communication with print has found over 120,000 readers from almost 160 countries in the world since #drupa2012.


There are many possibilities. You just have to grab it. In that sense, I am still optimistic.

And what about you? Share your thoughts and let’s start a good conversation.

 


 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

#drupa2020.png

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value |  English Version

 

Es wird seit 1977 meine 11. drupa sein, die ich im Juni 2020 besuchen werde. Zunächst als ‚normaler‘ Fachbesucher, dann im Besucherrekordjahr 1990 als Aussteller, später als Journalist und in den letzten Jahren als Analyst und Blogger. — Ganz klar ist, die Dinge wandeln sich. Standen früher Maschinen und Geräte im Fokus, sind es heute Lösungen, Konzepte, Perspektiven und Anwendungsmöglichkeiten.

Meine Presseakkreditierung


 

Der Andrang der Hersteller als Aussteller ist ungebrochen. Messe-Direktorin Sabine Geldermann spricht stolz von einer ausverkauften #drupa2020, inkl. neuer Messehalle 1. Hier hatte 1951 die drupa ihren Erfolgslauf gestartet, als der damalige Heidelberg-Chef Dr.  Sternberg die ganze Halle angemietet hatte.

Die Entwicklung bei den Besucherzahlen erfüllt mich aber mit großer Sorge. Klar, die fortschreitende Automatisierung und der Weg Richtung Industrie 4.0 bringen Rationalisierungseffekte mit sich, die Personaleinsparungen ermöglichen.

 

drupa Stats aus Wikipedia.png

Quelle: wikipedia

 

Aber: Seit langem ist es nicht gelungen, neue Zielgruppen für die drupa in nennenswertem Umfang zu begeistern: Menschen, die sich auf breiter Front mit modernen Marketing- und Kommunikationsthemen beschäftigen müssen. Und dabei Print im Fokus haben sollten, es aber immer weniger tun. Woran liegt das wohl? Was läuft in der Kommunikation schief?

Denn, ganz ehrlich, solange ich es miterleben kann, war es im Vorfeld einer drupa noch nie so ruhig. Das kann man nicht nur den Veranstalter und Organisatoren anlasten. Die Fachpresse, früher ein Erfolgsgarant, ist nur noch ein Schatten ihrer selbst (von ganz wenigen Ausnahmen abgesehen!), findet kaum noch Leser und Unterstützer. Herausragende Fachveranstaltungen, wie die vom f:mp Fachverband Medienproduktioner e.V. initiierte Print Digital Convention haben sich zwar gut entwickelt, sind aber zuletzt im Mai 2019 mit 1.200 Besuchern mager frequentiert gegenüber den zeitgleich stattfindenden Digital-Events wie OMR in Hamburg mit über 50.000 Besuchern oder der Berliner re:publica mit 20.000 Besuchern.


Warum setzt sich die Branche nicht breitenwirksam, konzertiert und öffentlich für ihr Anliegen und vor allem ihre Existenzberechtigung ein? Und bezieht klarer Position, was und wie sich die Dinge im Digitalzeitalter verändert haben.


 

Noch ist etwas Zeit. Aber ganz rasch muss etwas passieren. Sonst heisst es (wieder mal): „Operation gelungen, Patient tot.“ Und ein unrühmliches Ende zu finden wie die CeBIT, das ist der drupa und der Printbranche nicht zu wünschen.

 


Im Rahmen meiner Möglichkeiten helfe ich gerne und biete eine Reihe von Möglichkeiten sich hinzu bringen. So beim Expertennetzwerk #Think!Paper, das u.a. von Mondi, GT Trendhouse 42 und Jubels unterstützt wird; oder aber auch mit dem neuen Blog „HotspotSubscription“, der als Thema „Renewal of Print“ besetzt hat, und damit aus dem Stand heraus für hohe Aufmerksamkeit gerade auch ausserhalb der Branche sorgt. Das von mir und Partnern gegründete DigitaldruckForum ist als Brancheninitiative immer noch aktiv und hat via XING über 1.200 Gruppenmitglieder. Last but not least: Mein Blog ValueTrendRadar.com als Kompendium für Kommunikation mit Print hat seit der #drupa2012 über 120.000 Leser aus fast 160 Ländern der Welt gefunden.


Möglichkeiten gibt’s viele. Man muss sie nur ergreifen. In diesem Sinne bin ich weiter optimistisch.

Wie steht es bei Ihnen? Ich freue mich auf Ihre Meinung. Lassen Sie uns in einen aktiven und konstruktiven Dialog treten!

 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

 


 

ThinkPaper Rüdiger Maaß.001

 

#Think!Paper Edition 3, Vol. 9

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


Nothing stands in the way of the prospering future of print. Assuming we know how it works! That’s the way to describe Rüdiger Maaß‘s credo. For about two decades, he has been tirelessly committed to contemporary, highly effective print media production with a penchant for digital printing and specialties in print. It is therefore fun to deal with him and his actions and to break new ground.


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Rüdiger Maaß: I think the right answer is a multi-layered list:

  • Multisensory and thus the possibility of deceleration to reach a best-in-class attention
  • Interaction to better bond with the brand
  • Experience through action
  • Immense credibility and navigation aid in the jungle of information aesthetics
  • etc. … the list can be extended as a never-ending story!

But in the end, it’s not just about the “beauty” of print, but about the effect. And this effectiveness becomes all the stronger, the more print is staged by an overall concept in line with digital communication. The task is – as always – to put the strengths of print in the right place.

 


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Rüdiger Maaß: Is it really like that? I’m convinced that digital printing (in whatever form) is immensely fast and fully automated. From my experience, the associated ideas and concepts from the advertising industry are missing – and of course the access to the digital data of the “users”. And in the end it’s all about the courage !

And “fast” is always in the eye of the beholder. Customers who do not know would be surprised to learn that they can get an individual print product in less than 24 hours or even a same day delivery.

 


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

Rüdiger Maaß: The key to success is certainly the conceptual advice — who can not afford, can only assert itself as a ‘print-mate’ in the niche. With our unique ’Creatura’ initiative, we developed the Creatura meta-analysis for advice support how to use print media and special effects in the best way.

This meta-analysis is the bible of ’print staging / conception’. However, the resulting knowledge base is immensely important not only for the service providers, but also for the advertising and communication agencies and for the advertising companies. The key to success is rethinking the direction of impact rather than moving on with speeding up the production process. Because knowledge about the effect of print beats ’quick&dirty reach’.

 

The Creatura meta-analysis “The Power of Print” is a must have and must read publication. Available in german and english.


 

About

Rüdiger Maaß is Managing Director of Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. f:mp — the Association Media Production e.V. — f: mp. From the beginning, he has dedicated himself to the topic of digital printing and has always started effective initiatives to open up new application possibilities for and with print. In the meantime, f: mp has numerous projects and cooperations that lead beyond narrow industry boundaries. High-light is the congress trade fair PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, which will be realized together with Messe Düsseldorf and will provide important impulses at drupa 2020.


 

Im Original: Die deutsche Textversion

Der prosperierenden Zukunft von Print steht nichts im Wege. Vorausgesetzt, wir wissen wie es geht!  So könnte man das Credo von Rüdiger Maaß beschreiben. Unermüdlich setzt er sich seit rund zwei Jahrzehnten für eine zeitgemäße, hoch wirkungsvolle Printmedien-Produktion ein, mit einem Faible für Digitaldruck und Spezialitäten im Print. Es macht daher Spaß, sich mit ihm und seinem Tun auseinanderzusetzen und neue Wege zu beschreiten.

Frage 1

Ich denke, es ist eine vielschichtige Liste:

  • Multisensorik und damit die Möglichkeit der Entschleunigung mit höherer Aufmerksamkeit
  • Interaktion zur besseren Bindung mit der Marke
  • Erlebnis durch Aktion
  • Immense Glaubwürdigkeit und Navigationshilfe im Dschungel der Informationen
  • Ästhetik
  • usw. … die Liste lässt sich beliebig erweitern!

Aber am Ende geht es nicht nur um die „Schönheit“ von Print, sondern um die Wirkung. Und die Wirkungseffizienz wird umso stärker, je mehr Print durch ein Gesamtkonzept im Einklang mit der digitalen Kommunikation inszeniert wird. Aufgabe ist es also – wie schon immer – die Stärken von Print richtig in Szene zu setzen.

Frage 2

Ist das wirklich so? Ich bin überzeugt davon, dass gerade der Digitaldruck (in welcher Form auch immer) immens schnell und voll-automatisiert ist. Aus meiner Erfahrung fehlen die zugehörigen Ideen und Konzepte aus der werbungtreibenden Industrie – und natürlich der Zugriff auf die digitalen Daten der „User“. Und am Ende der Mut !

Und „schnell“ liegt ja immer im Auge des Betrachters. Kunden, die es nicht besser wissen, wären sicher überrascht, zu erfahren, dass sie in weniger als 24 Stunden ein individuelles Printprodukt bekommen können. Oder sogar eine Lieferung am selben Tag!

Frage 3

Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg ist sicher die konzeptionelle Beratung – wer die nicht leisten kann, wird sich als ‚Print-Erfüllungsgehilfe‘ nur in der Nische behaupten können. Mit unserer Creatura-Initiative haben wir zur Beratungsunterstützung – quasi wie Print und Veredelung eingesetzt werden muss – die Creatura-Metaanalyse https://www.creatura.de/metaanalyse entwickelt.

Das ist quasi die ‚Bibel der Print-Inszenierung/Konzeptionierung‘. Die dadurch entstehende Wissens-Basis ist jedoch nicht nur für die Dienstleister immens wichtig, sondern auch für die Werbe- und Kommunikationsagenturen und für die Werbungtreibenden Unternehmen. Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg besteht im Umdenken in Richtung Wirkung und nicht im Weitermachen mit Geschwindigkeitssteigerungen im Produktionsablauf. Denn Wissen um Wirkung von Print schlägt schnelle ‚Reichweite‘.


Über Rüdiger Maaß

Rüdiger Maaß ist Geschäftsführer des Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. f:mp. Von Anfang an hat er sich dem Thema Digitaldruck gewidmet und stets wirkungsvolle Initiativen begonnen, um für und mit Print neue Anwendungsmöglichkeiten zu erschließen. Inzwischen betreibt der f:mp zahlreiche Projekte und Kooperationen, die über enge Branchengrenzen hinausführen. High-light ist die Kongress-Messe PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION, die gemeinsam mit der Messe Düsseldorf realisiert wird und auf der drupa 2020 wichtige Impulse geben wird.

 


 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

Note

Read as well the summary of all #Think!Paper Conversations and get access to all of them.

 


ThinkPpaer-Key-Visual-Blog-Post.001

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do
We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission
We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners
We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.

 


 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT

 

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value  |  German Version

With regard to dramatically falling stock market prices: Are printing press manufacturers and, with them, the printers (once again) in a deep crisis? The answer is “no, but …” — because the most sensitive thing is that the structural change in the print media business has a deeper impact than previously thought. And most underestimated that.

Status quo: Nothing goes any further!

  1. The vast majority of printers and their suppliers can no longer produce organic growth.
  2. Cost-cutting measures are largely exploited resp. certainly not a guarantee of success in the long run.
  3. The tried and tested measures for the industry in critical situations — the switch to new technologies for print media production (eg inkjet printing) — does not pull anymore, as it has not really got going for years and therefore only looks like a drop in the bucket.
  4. Last but not least, according to the feedback from the audience: media-effective, public events such as press conferences at trade shows or financial press conferences are usually completely overcrowded, dripping and riddled with insider details that prevent them from gaining an eye for the essentials.

Are ad hoc measures still possible? Yes and no. — Too much has to change fundamentally, as the valuable #Think!Paper expert analysis shows. Over the past eight days, leading minds from Europe and America have come to the heart of their assessment of the future of print. Tenor: Print has a future and fits perfectly into the digital age. Provided the business philosophy is radically refurbished and new go-to-market strategies and implementation solutions are found accordingly

 


If you want to know how this affects suppliers, read the #Subscription blog in an interview with Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Chief Digital Officer of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG: “Subscription & Print: Insights, Developments and Market Scenario”.


 

Thanks to Fraser Church from the UK, the most important finding for print shops is that the industry actually has the best chance. Because print as a medium delivers through its outstanding core properties — Trust and Value – exactly what print companies and their suppliers have to use and assert.

This is best achieved through exemplary multichannel marketing campaigns designed for conversations, which make print appear brilliant in networked communication scenarios. — But far from that there is nothing to see. Functioning genre marketing has always been foreign to the industry! Everyone always cooks their own soup. Pity!


 

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Further reading

The current and exclusive #Think!Paper expert analyzes in the form of short interviews at a glance: 

Rüdiger Maaß: Put the strengths of print in the right place!

Fraser Church: „Use print when you need something considered or need to promote trust and value!

Hamilton Costa: „Print is not a common thing anymore! But it’s still relevant!“

Peter Gunning: „Print creates an unspoken trust!“

François Martin: „Print will remain but it will never be what it was!“

Jeroen van Druenen: „Print is always the start of a good conversation“

Bernhard Cantzler: „Print is a natural ’digital detox’ and helps deeper thinking!“

Morten B. Reitoft: „Print has a way higher impact than mobile and web!“

 


 

ThinkPpaer-Key-Visual-Blog-Post.001

 

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do
We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission
We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners
We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.

 


 

ThinkPaper Wortbild PRINT.png

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value | English Version

Mit Blick auf dramatisch sinkende Börsenkurse: Stecken Druckmaschinenhersteller und mit ihnen die Druckereien (wieder einmal) in einer tiefen Krise? Die Antwort lautet: „Nein, aber…“ — Denn äußerst heikel ist, dass der Strukturwandel im Geschäft mit Printmedien tiefergehende Auswirkungen hat, als bislang angenommen.Und das haben die meisten unterschätzt.

Status quo: Nichts geht mehr vom Fleck weg!

  1. Die überwiegende Zahl der Druckereibetriebe kann ebenso wie ihre Lieferanten kein organisches Wachstum mehr erzeugen.
  2. Kostensenkungs-Maßnahmen sind weitgehend ausgenutzt resp. schon gar kein Erfolgsgarant auf lange Dauer.
  3. Die für die Branche probate Massnahmen in kritischen Situationen — das Umschwenken auf neue Technologien zur Printmedien-Herstellung (z.B. Inkjet-Druck) — zieht nicht mehr, da es seit Jahren nicht richtig in Schwung kommt und wirkt daher nur wie ein Tropfen auf den heissen Stein.
  4. Last but not least, gemäß Stimmen aus der Analystenszene: Medienwirksame, öffentliche Veranstatungen wie Pressekonferenzen auf Messen/Kongressen oder Bilanzpresse-Konferenzen sind zumeist völlig überfrachtet, verkropft und gespickt mit Insider-Detailinfos, die verhindern, den Blick für das Wesentliche zu erhalten.

Sind trotzdem Ad hoc-Maßnahmen möglich? Ja und nein. — Zuviel muss sich grundlegend ändern, wie die lesenswerte #Think!Paper-Expertenanalyse zeigt. In den letzten acht Tagen haben führende Köpfe aus Europa und Amerika ihre Einschätzung zur Zukunft von Print auf den Punkt gebracht. Tenor: Print hat Zukunft und passt bestens ins Digitalzeitalter. Vorausgesetzt, die Geschäftsphilosophie wird radikal renoviert und entsprechend neue Go-to-Market-Strategien und -Umsetzungslösungen gefunden werden.

 


Wer wissen will, wie sich das auf Lieferanten auswirkt, kann die im #Subscription-Blog nachlesen im Interview mit Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Chief Digital Officer bei Heidelberger Druckmaschinen: „Subscription & Print: Einblicke, Entwicklungen und Marktszenario“.


 

Die wichtigste Erkenntnis für Druckereien verdanken wir Fraser Church aus UK: Eigentlich hat die Branche beste Chancen. Denn Print als Medium liefert durch seine herausragenden Kerneigenschaften — Trust and Value – genau das, was Print-Betriebe und ihre Lieferanten für sich nutzen und geltend machen müssten.

Am besten gelingt dies durch vorbildhafte, auf Konversationen ausgelegte, Multichannel-Marketing-Kampagnen, die Print in vernetzten Kommunikations-Szenarien fulminant wirken lassen. — Doch davon ist bis dato weit und breit nichts zu sehen. Funktionierendes Gattungsmarketing war der Branche schon immer fremd! Jeder kocht immer sein eigens Süppchen. Schade!

 


Lesetipps

Die aktuellen und exklusiven Think!Paper-Experten-Analysen in Form von Kurz-Interviews im Überblick:

Rüdiger Maaß: Put the strengths of print in the right place!

Fraser Church: „Use print when you need something considered or need to promote trust and value!

Hamilton Costa: „Print is not a common thing anymore! But it’s still relevant!“

Peter Gunning: „Print creates an unspoken trust!“

François Martin: „Print will remain but it will never be what it was!“

Jeroen van Druenen: „Print is always the start of a good conversation“

Bernhard Cantzler: „Print is a natural ’digital detox’ and helps deeper thinking!“

Morten B. Reitoft: „Print has a way higher impact than mobile and web!“

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 


 

ThinkPpaer-Key-Visual-Blog-Post.001

 

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do
We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission
We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners
We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.

 


 

ThinkPaper Fraser Church.001.jpeg

#Think!Paper Edition 3, Vol. 8

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


There are experiences that are unforgettable. Fraser Church lastingly impressed around 200 top experts who came to the 3rd DigitaldruckForum Congress in Gutenberg’s hometown Mainz, Germany, on November 11, 2004. He described as a profound marketing expert in the opening lecture “Creativity Creates Innovation” how to use print products individually, highly automated, targeted and highly effective. What he was talking about at that time is still valid today!“ — Benchmark!


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Fraser Church: The growth of the internet, digital and social media has changed our lives and how we act as people. Everyone expects instant access to information, and for many the technology has changed people’s behaviours as they want instant “likes” gratification. The speed at which information can be generated and delivered, means that some of the communication sent by both individuals and businesses is not always considered. It also generates content that is often ignored, or at best instantly deleted by the swipe of a finger or the click of a mouse. A phone’s secondary function is now a phone, with the usage enormously skewed towards messaging and listening/watching media.

For may they have lost the anticipation of receiving and opening a personal letter, or the more personal contact from a phone call, rather than an often-misunderstood electronic message.

Whilst many anticipated the demise of print, it is having a resurgence. Why? Well for starters, it is a tactile media that provides a sensory experience. The growth of eBooks has slowed, and by my reckoning based on watching others on my daily commute is declining as we see the resurgence of the printed book. Reading a physical book is a pleasurable experience, not only whilst commuting but also curled up on the sofa or in bed at bedtime. There is something good about folding over a page as you turn the bedside light off – the chapter for that day has finished.

Print also has longevity. Whether browsing for a fitted kitchen or catching up on the week with the Sunday papers, the medium is easily picked up, put down, revisited and shared. It is also a trusted medium – perhaps there is a belief that if someone has gone to the bother of printing something, then it must have been considered.

This is not print versus digital, but the right medium at the right time, with print definitely not dead in the digital age.

 


 

Everything in the mobile age is so fast. Why is the adoption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Fraser Church: In the lifespan of print, digital print is only in its infancy. It is only in recent years that we have seen the quality and speed of continuous inkjet be comparable to some of the more traditional off-set technologies.

Printing companies tend to be established businesses, with overheads, work-force and commitments to owners and shareholders. They have grown steadily with appropriate supporting infrastructures. They are not to be compared to digital start-ups who often are run out of serviced offices with minimal employees, and sometimes investment made on a speculative high risk/reward basis. Print Service Providers are real businesses with real people and established clients.

Investing in digital print technology therefore needs to be considered. The costs of investment are high (we are not talking about disposable desk-top printers), and any properly managed business would look for positive and sustainable ROI before making such investments. Therefore, until the commercials of speed, quality and cost stack-up, printers have rightly sometimes been shy of betting on the future. This is not about having the shiniest new toy, but all about providing a better product at a better cost for each customer.

With some of the recent advancements, I now believe the scales are increasingly tipping towards digital as it can deliver for not only shorter runs on specialist papers, but also long run across a wider range of stocks. Investing in this technology is now a much easier decision.

 


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful and successful print services business today and what will it be in the future?

Fraser Church: Understanding that print is not the only channel and that it can work well when working with other channels is vital. Each media has its own strength: Digital in instant news share, mobile for reminding, Apps for interactivity and print when you need something considered or need to promote trust and value.

Printers also need to understand data. Our industry is not now about producing multiple copies of the same item, but instead delivering unique, relevant experiences for every individual. With the advancement of technology, there is no reason that every catalogue a retailer sends out cannot be unique to the individual, with promoted items selected based on customer profile and shopping habits. But to do this print service providers need to understand how to work with their customers to use the data they hold to optimise the communication, with print often only being one part of an integrated communication plan.

It is also important to recognise that the modern marketer has been brought up in a digital world. Do not expect them to understand either print, or more importantly, what opportunities are possible with modern, dynamic and interactive digital print. People in our industry need to be evangelists.

Business who will succeeded are those that can take their customers on this journey and let them see the art of the possible. Print Service Providers, must now see themselves as Marketing Service Providers, often expanding their range of services to offer integrated campaigns. The future will be bright for those who do not just keep their heads down looking at ways to cut costs, but for those who recognise that we are in perhaps the most dynamic age of communication…and embrace it

 


 

DDF Congress Mainz 2004Fraser Church was already 15 years ago a great supporter and contributor sharing his vision and misson. See as well our “Update: DigitaldruckForum | Digital Printing Forum”


About

Fraser Church


Fraser Church is General Manager of CPX Group (www.cpx.group), a co-operative of eleven of the world’s largest and most innovative print and digital communication companies. He loves nothing better than evangelising about how print can deliver real value and return on investment for brands engaging with their customers.

Fraser is one of the founding members of the #Think!Paper initiave sharing his great insights and observations. 

 


 

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#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

ThinkPaper Hamilton Costa.001.jpeg

#Think!Paper — Edition 3, Vol. 6

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


Hamilton Costa from São Paulo, Brazil, is not only an internationally renowned consultant and entrepreneur in the graphic communication market. He is an outstanding analyst and good friend. For many years we meet around the globe to talk about business and life and the pleasures in general. It is always a great honor and very insightful to talk to him and listen to him.


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Hamilton Costa: It’s to keep going relevant. Ten years ago, the mantra was the digital would take over everything, specially printing.

Now when we see the digital properly working, we can better compare it to analogical things. In the case of print there are comparative advantages like relevance: what is relevant, we print; longevity: we can still touch Gutenberg’s bible and maybe cannot find a file from two days ago; sensibility: touch, smell and visual impact. Among other things.


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Hamilton Costa: Mainly because many marketers and creatives today have not experienced printing as they have done with digital applications. Print is not a common thing to them. When they realize what print can do in a communication loop, they adopt it and get better results, better ROI.

On the other hand, for many PSPs [Print Service Providers] the use of variable data and personalization is also not a common thing yet. They have to adapt themselves in getting the best from digital printing technology. It is an education process. It takes time. Unfortunately.


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

Hamilton Costa: First, to develop what I call advanced services. This means to offer services that substitute client’s business processes and save time and money to them. Like logistics, creation, design, digital platforms to marketing applications or make the access to printing customized and easier.

Second, the printing today and even more in the future is and will be part of many industrial processes. Additionally, the printing is every time more environmentally friendly. With this, there are and there will be dozens of opportunities for those with focus in helping and making printing affordable to customers that will require it.

 


ABGT Congresso 2017

Great experience: At the suggestion of Hamilton Coasta, in São Paulo — the global hotspot for transformation — Andreas Weber (heft) was able to get to know eminent and dedicated print professionals at the ABGT Congresso 2017 as a keynote speaker.


About

Hamilton Terni Costa is a senior consultant, author and professor. In his 40+ years career he managed national and international printing companies and experienced many printing market segments. He also managed industry associations. He is principal at AN Consulting in Brazil and Latin America director at Association for Print Technologies in USA.

Frequent speaker in many industry seminars he loves to motivate and challenge audiences in searching news ways to develop their own business.

Hamilton is one the founding partner of the #Think!Paper initiative.

 


ThinkPpaer-Key-Visual-Blog-Post.001

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

ThinkPaper Peter Gunning Interview.001

#Think!Paper — Edition 3, Vol. 5

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

Open minded, charming, visionary, professional: Peter Gunning is a best-in-class entrepreneur transforming print services into an outstanding marketing and communication solution business. It’s always amazing to watch was he is doing and telling us.

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

Peter Gunning: We were told email would drop the COST of marketing to zero. But actually, what happened is it dropped TRUST to zero. Trust in digital communication is at all time low, what with fake news, phishing and scams.

Since print doesn’t cost zero, it creates an unspoken trust. It’s reassuring. We’ve tested marketing with lots of embellishment, and it gets a better response rate than simple flyers. Spot UV, hot foil, thick stocks. The fancier the piece, the more likely the recipient is to think “well they can’t afford to send this mailer to everyone, so maybe it’s worth a look”.

I also think the digital age has opened up more branding opportunities for businesses. Since the cost of producing large pieces has come down, it’s now possible to brand bigger surfaces, cost-effectively. As well as windows and walls, we’re now printing floors, ceilings and whole buildings. We even wrapped one of our queen’s castles!


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

Peter Gunning: It depends how you think about the question. If you’re only talking printer heads and dots per inch, then maybe it is slow, yes.

But if you think about it in terms of the whole client experience, I think it’s moving just as fast as the rest of the tech world.

Clients want to be able to do more things for themselves. As service providers, we’ve got to care about delivering an easy-to-use platform, which caters for that self-service. File checks, proofing, payment online. In fact, our Marqetspace.com online printer was recently the first in the world to offer “Buy now, pay later” with an instant credit check in the shopping cart, powered by Klarna. So, innovation is still happening fast, if you look in the right places!


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Nettl of Exeter, the  newest superstore. — Nettl is one of the most successful start-ups in the current print business worldwide. — Photo: nettle.com


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

Peter Gunning: One word. Diversification. Back in the day we were all about print. We had a network of hundreds of print shops in the UK, selling the usual stuff like flyers and business cards.

Gradually, over time, we found clients were going to a web designer instead of us. So, we knew we had to get into web. But that meant teaching all front-line team members how to pitch for complex projects. And that’s hard. 

It would be really easy to sell a client “a website like facebook” for €500. Actually delivering a project for that budget is a different thing entirely. Because before you can sell it, you’ve got to know how you’re going to make it. And how long that will take. And the time you take figuring that out, isn’t time you can bill the client. 

We thought there must be a better way. 5 years ago we started building our Nettl system. It allows printers to get started with web. It’s training, sales aids and a co-brand marketing toolkit to help win web work (and then keep the print!) What to pitch for and how to win. By following digital recipes created by our Nettl Geeks. 

The paradox is that now just about everything is achievable with software. The danger is how many rabbit holes you crawl down before you find the rabbit. 

People tell us that becoming a Nettl partner means they get more from their existing team. Maybe that’s why there are more than 200 co-brand Nettl locations round the world. 

Print will always be a part of our business. We just think we need to do other things first, in order to keep the print. That might be signs, websites or even search engine optimisation. I see that trend accelerating.


About

01-peter-gunning nettl

Peter Gunning is CEO of Grafenia plc, the people behind Nettl.com. Nettl is the largest network of web, print and design studios in the UK and has over 230 locations around the world. Nettl is available to printers and designers, as a co-brand programme. They keep their brand and become the exclusive Nettl partner in their neighbourhood. More at https://www.nettl.com/uk/nettl-partner/

 


 

ThinkPpaer-Key-Visual-Blog-Post.001.jpg 

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

ThinkPaper Francois Martin Interview.001

#Think!Paper — Edition 3, Vol. 4

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


Smart, clever, experienced, multicultural — François Martin is a print expert you need to be in contact with. I have known him for almost 15 years, we explored, presented, published and discussed a lot together, sometimes even controversially. The result was always an enrichment for us as well as for others. It is worthwhile to read his thoughts.


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?

François Martin: Print and on-line have their own usage and purpose. The raise of digital made some printed documents such as user manuals and newspaper almost obsolete and this is great – less waste in printing and transportation. At the same time, it is easier to learn using a printed book, it is easier to use a printed catalogue where you can make annotation.

The point is that each of us has his own way to access and retrieve information – some will prefer print (eg a travel guide), others will prefer an on-line information access. You want to disconnect from your screen and this is where paper is important.

The truth is that print declined a lot of the last 20 years and it will continue as you have other ways to be effective. At the same time not all pages will disappear – the one adding value and emotion will remain – and the reasons is simple, we do not want to be only connected.

Something interesting to note is that after years of emailing growth, printed direct mail is back in to the marketing mix. We are bombarded by mails and a cool/funny direct mail will capture well your attention effectively.

The beauty of print is that it can take any shape – it can be flat on a screen when needed, it can have textured effects on a postcard to remind us about something, it can be a nice photobook to read at leisure.

So, print has a role to play, no longer a leading role but a role around commodity, emotion & reaction and memory preservation.

 


 

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow?

François Martin: The adoption of digital for commercial print is not slow. It is slow for the one who assumed it would replace offset totally but the reality is that digital took off in an incredible manner being in almost any print shops and at the same time offset gained in automation.

The total European printed products production decreased by almost 24% between 2008 and 2017 and within the printed production, digital has grown a lot – especially for all what has to be printed on demand and or in short runs. 

Even for books digital made major in-roads. On-demand book printing is great and it saved a lot of trees and money. We do not read less but we read books we want, printed when we need them with far less obsolete inventories. We also have far less magazines returned from shops and we reduced the printed and transportation costs.

I see a continuous trend for digital printing to grow especially when the cost of inks will further decline.

Print is evolving according to the Darwin law. Digital is a new more agile animal which will overtime replace an older specie.

 


 

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

François Martin: The key driver to be a successful print service provider? – easy. Do not say you are a printer but position yourself as a marketing service provider. Print is a way to communicate something – otherwise, why to print? Help your clients discussing with them what they want to achieve and design with them what is the most relevant way. Use embellishment on print more – use personalization / customization – use cool substrates. Make communication emotional and attractive. Combine print with on-line, add Augmented Reality to print if you need. Offer web-to-print capabilities as this is what many want to have for the still to be printed commodity pages – eg a simple brochure still needed.

What will be commercial print in the future? Overall less print – this is truth we need to accept. More web-to-print solutions – easier and offering more choices. Equipment wise fully integrated and automated machines providing print, embellishment and finishing without much human intervention.

In short, print will remain but it will never be what it was.

Merci beaucoup. — Thanks for the great and inspiring conversation.


 

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Coffee Talk in Israel focussing drupa 2012: François Martin and Andreas Weber presenting market trends leading to the analog to digital transformation.

 


About

François Martin has been working in the printing and packaging industry since 2005 in various marketing roles. As Senior Consultant, he today continues to communicate innovations which will help converters and brand owners to create a more agile and more sustainable packaging production across the entire supply chain.

He strongly believes that digitalization, automation and connectivity are the main drivers to shape the future of packaging production. He is also convinced that the new consumer generation will force the entire industry to drastically reduce its environmental impact answering their needs for a customized experience addressing their values. 

Before becoming an industry consultant in 2018, François was the global head of marketing for the HP Graphics Solutions Business.


 

ThinkPpaer Key Visual Blog Post.001

 

#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

 

 

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