Tag Archives: publisher

Impressionen Swiss Publishing Day  Mai 2015

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Der swiss publishing day zum Thema Druck-Innovation hat gezeigt, dass die Entwicklung nicht nur hin zu immer höherer Geschwindigkeit und Produktivität geht, sondern dass die Anbieter dem Drucken jetzt ganz neue Dimensionen erschliessen wollen. Da ist zum einen der viel diskutierte 3D-Druck, dessen Einsatzgebiete so vielfältig sind, dass sich durchaus auch Anwendungen im Bereich Marketing ergeben sollten – also dort, wo der Druck traditionell zuhause ist. Und schliesslich zielt auch Heidelberg mit dem sogenannten 4D-Druck auf ganz neue Anwendungen jenseits des angestammten, auf das Medium Papier fokussierten Geschäfts. Mit den jetzt vorgestellten Jetmaster-Dimension-Systemen soll sich vom Ball bis zum Sportwagen alles bedrucken lassen. So erhält der Göttibub zum Geburtstag künftig nicht irgend einen, sondern seinen individualisierten Fussball. Ein entsprechendes Web-Portal hat die Liechtensteiner BVD bereits aufgeschaltet.

Diese Ansätze zielen stark in Richtung industrielle Produktion, wo Automatisierung das A und O ist und das Internet als Prozessoptimierungsplattform genutzt wird. Und doch gibt es den Wunsch nach Individualität auch in der Beratung. So geht Flyerline als eines der innovativsten Drucksachen-Portale jetzt dazu über, eigene Stores zu eröffnen. Hier können sich Kunden persönlich beraten lassen und Druckmuster gleich anfassen und erleben. Neben der durchautomatisierten Druckfabrik im Sinne von Industrie 4.0 scheint es also auch einen Trend zur digitalen Manufaktur zu geben. Und im Gegensatz zur althergebrachten Manufaktur wird Individualität hier dank digitaler Produktion erschwinglich. Spezialeffekte wie auf unserem aktuellen Cover lassen sich dank digitaler Systeme auch in Kleinauflagen preiswert realisieren.

Nimmt man da noch die Entwicklung im Bereich Large Format Printing und Werbetechnik mit dazu, darf man feststellen: Das Drucken kennt immer weniger Grenzen und wird damit wieder mehr zum Tummelfeld für kreative Köpfe. Und für solche tun sich vielfältige Chancen auf. Wer es versteht, mit Ideenreichtum die Brücke zwischen den Bedürfnissen der Kunden und den neusten Möglichkeiten der Technik zu schlagen, braucht sich vor der Zukunft nicht zu fürchten.

Martin Spaar,
Herausgeber Publisher, Winterthur/Schweiz


Newspapers dead caused by publishers.001

© 2014 by Value Communication AG, Mainz/Germany


By Sudarsha Rambaran, Value Art+Communication Fellow, Mainz
(This blog post is part of a new Value iBook “The Real Value of Print” which will be available soon)



• Beyond craziness? — The Woeful Tale of the Newspaper and its War with the Internet

• Publishers’ strange behavior (since decades): they ignore the needs of their customers

• The biggest enemy of print & publishing are newspaper publishers and their partners in the traditional media business


Five years ago, in an interview with Horizont, media expert and author of What would Google do?” Jeff Jarvis made some visionary comments about the future of the newspaper industry. He stated that society is being massively restructured because of the internet, however, Google is not the instigator of this process as many believe, but rather a result of it. These days, if you cannot be searched on the net, you cannot be found. The mass market for newspapers may be dead, but there is still a niche for them in the world. The news itself must change: it has to be tailored to target audiences, which is why regional newspapers can benefit so much from Google. Google itself is currently changing their whole marketing approach. They are concentrating on making the advertising relevant to local markets by personalizing the stories (nice example here). They no longer want to mass produce messages that work on a global level, and it’s working brilliantly!

The advantages of the online world for newspapers are many; low costs, cheap distribution, fast updates, and discussions with the readers. There was the nice example with the New York Times. They took down the paywall on their  site and their internet traffic rose by 40%, which started a snowball effect: they earned more money from advertisements, and they moved up the list on the Google search page, which led to even more readers.

Currently, the German regional newspapers are rebelling against Google, because they believe it doesn’t help their sites, especially on the Google News side. One prominent example of this is the “Braunschweiger Zeitung”, which has abandoned the Google News feature. Their  reasoning for this, in my opinion, made little sense: they wanted to show their confidence and independence from Google. They also want Google News to suffer for it; if many regional newspapers leave it, Google will have a problem. Yet in reality it would be their problem if they can’t be found! The whole story reminded me of this:

On the other hand, the Zeitung went about this in a clever way, as they started a massive marketing campaign in order to raise awareness and advertise the newspaper. However, They could have done the marketing campaign without leaving Google, and Google would only have supported it! The marketing campaign did increase the visits to their website by 27%, though, but I still don’t see how leaving Google helped with this.

So the big question we asked ourselves here was: why blame Google for the decline of the newspaper industry when all it’s doing is helping? (And why not Twitter, which would have made far more sense?). The facts:

  • Google is a great source of promotion. We send online news publishers a billion clicks a month from Google News and more than three billion extra visits from our other services, such as Web Search and iGoogle. That is 100,000 opportunities a minute to win loyal readers and generate revenue—for free.
  • In terms of copyright, another bone of contention, we only show a headline and a couple of lines from each story. If readers want to read on they have to click through to the newspaper’s Web site. (The exception are stories we host through a licensing agreement with news services.) And if they wish, publishers can remove their content from our search index, or from Google News.
  • The claim that we’re making big profits on the back of newspapers also misrepresents the reality. In search, we make our money primarily from advertisements for products. Someone types in digital camera and gets ads for digital cameras. A typical news search—for Afghanistan, say—may generate few if any ads. The revenue generated from the ads shown alongside news search queries is a tiny fraction of our search revenue.

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google Inc, writing for the Wall Street Journal

It all speaks for itself, really. Readers also don’t necessarily want to read newspapers solely on digital platforms, as many in the newspaper industry fear. The actual percentage of people who do exclusively want digital content is at 10-12%.

“News is not one-size-fits-all” – Jeff Jarvis

The newspapers do not just have a problem with the Internet, they also have a content problem. They need to change their approach by tailoring news to target audiences rather than trying to reach everyone, which is why regional newspapers, like the Braunschweiger Zeitung are so important today. Dr. Andreas Vogel put it quite nicely in a study:

“Bloß die Verlage glauben, [dass sie] mit einem Einheitsprodukt alle Leser [gewinnen können]”

Roughly translated, this means that only the newspapers themselves believe that they can reach all types of readers by creating one mass product.

Dr. Vogel believes that one possible solution to this content problem is to differentiate the product by offering different versions of it. Not too many, however; perhaps three or four intelligently created versions, which can be decided on by polling the readers and asking them about their interests. These versions might be smaller/thinner than the original edition, and cheaper. This is a great idea, as it is more personal, which is so important these days, and it views the buyer as a reader/consumer. Many newspapers seem to ignore this; fact is, what might be academically recognized as quality journalism may not be something the reader can cohere. Newspapers need to connect to their readers, or at least write pieces that their readers can relate to.

Now back to the evil that is Google, according to publishing companies. A German organization, VG Media, own by a number of media companies like Axel Springer SE, sued Google for copyright reasons; they claimed that Google was stealing from them by showing short snippets of their articles on the search page. The result was a law, called the Leistungsschutzrecht, which forbids Google from showing these snippets (it is rather vaguely written, though). The result of all of this ridiculousness was this: October 1st, 2014, Google announced that it would no longer show the snippets, instead just the name of the article and maybe the author. They don’t even show the paper’s logo on the search page. And the papers are crying wolf at Google again. At the end of the day, what really happened is that the newspapers blamed Google for the problems they were having (and still are). They were simply afraid that Google was taking business away from them and thus making more money. Whereas in reality, Google only promoted and linked to their content, thus delivering readers to them on a silver platter! The PR brochure promoting this stated that “If someone wants to use our content, they have to ask.” It’s pretty easy translate this into what they really meant, and German blogger Stefan Niggemeier did so flawlessly: “Google must use it and pay”. Now Google isn’t using it or paying, and they’re left crying in the corner because they got what they wanted; Google doesn’t showcase their content anymore. And they will lose clicks.

Newspapers dead caused by publishers.001

ValueCheck! — Print sink!.001

@ 2014 by Value Communication AG, Mainz/Germany



Offenerer Brief von DigitaldruckForum-Sprecher Andreas Weber an alle, die es interessieren sollte!


Liebe Freunde des DigitaldruckForum, liebe Freunde der gedruckten Kommunikation!

Seit Jahresanfang 2014 hatten wir viel zu kritisieren:

  1. Die Print-Branche kommuniziert schlecht, um nicht zu sagen saumäßig… Alle sind mehr mit sich als mit Kunden und Märkten beschäftigt.
    (Die einzigen, die von guter Marktkommunikation profitieren, sind die Online-Printer, die stark und profitabel wachsen, im B2B reüssieren, auch dank Bernd Zipper, der eine gute Fach-Kommunikation via leistet).
  2. Bei den Herstellern/Lieferanten für Digitaldruck-Technologien sind jede Menge sog. “Manager” in Führungsposition der 1. und 2. Ebene, die sich als Dilettanten hervortun — und die man rasch rausschmeissen sollte, was zum Teil gerade passiert (bye bye Armando)…
  3. Verlage wie auch Agenturen bekommen Richtung Print kaum noch was auf die Reihe. Und es wird eher schlimmer als besser (ausser bei Calvendo!).


Und jetzt das (was zu erwarten war, aber trotzdem schockt):

Innovations-Primus Xerox verliert in seinem Stammgeschäft Digitaldruck-Maschinen im 2. Quartal 2014 fast ein Drittel des Umsatzes.
Autsch, das geht in die Milliarden!

Wer jetzt hämisch denkt, haha, selbst schuld, sollte bedenken, dass dieser Umsatzverlust bei Xerox keineswegs von anderen Herstellern aufgefangen wird.
Siehe: The Decline of Digital Printing continues. Is Xerox lose its core business? #value #print

Richtig ist vielmehr, dass die gigantischen Multi-Milliarden-Euro-Investments in Digitaldruck-System in keinem ökonomisch vernünftigen Verhältnis stehen zu den Wertschöpfungsmöglichkeiten der meisten Druckereibetriebe; dadurch bleibt der Anteil von Digitaldruck am Gesamtdruckvolumen der Print-Branche bei marginalen 15 % konstant gering.


Zur aktuellen Lage der Hersteller in Deutschland

Klar ist, dass seit Jahren kaum ein Hersteller sich mit Ruhm bekleckert oder tatsächlich Märkte innoviert und weiterentwickelt:

  • Konica Minolta ist in Deutschland zum Platzhirsch geworden (verkauft aber riesige Mengen an Digitaldruck-Systemen an die Kunden der Druckereien!).
  • Heidelberg kann wieder Anlauf nehmen und hat nunmehr (wieder einmal) eine neue “Digital Strategy”, die in zwei bis drei Jahren Erfolg zeigen könnte.
  • Ricoh packt es irgendwie, ist aber nahezu unsichtbar und lautlos, und im Druckmarkt von Heidelberg abhängig, die gerade mit Fuji anbandeln.
  • Canon und Océ verwandeln ihre Synergie-Erfolge zur Schrumpf-Kunst und werden immer unsichtbarer und unbedeutender für die Print-Branche!
  • HP Indigo stagniert (wenn auch auf vergleichsweise) hohem Niveau, leidet aber unter fataler Kommunikations-Unfähifgkeit der “Oberen” auf EMEA-Ebene und des Konzerns HP insgesamt.
  • Landa ist bestens beim Geld-Einsammeln und kommt noch lange nicht in die Puschen. (“Nano nanü”, was ist da los? Haha!).
  • Die Klassiker wie manroland und KBA inkl. ihrem Partner Kodak sind selbst die einzigen, die sich bei Digitaldruck ganz, ganz vorne sehen.
  • Nur in der Nische gibt es “Lucky Guys”, wie z. B. Xeikon, Dainippon Screen, EFI oder Domino.
  • Apropos: Die Papierhersteller haben sich längst schon auf zurück gehende Nachfrage eingestellt. Vor allem im Digitaldruck im sog. Office- und Homeprinting-Bereich ist der Rückgang eklatant; ähnliches wird im kommerziellen Print-Markt auch erwartet.!


Was heisst das?
Für Sie, für uns als DigitaldruckForum, für innovative Druckdienstleister?

Nun: Vor allem sollten rasch einiges ändern.Und zwar ab sofort!

Wir brauchen einen disruptiven Ansatz, uns von all diesem o. g. Missständen zu verabschieden. V. a. um dem Markt, sprich den Verbrauchern und Unternehmen, klar zu machen, was mit Digitaldruck möglich ist (gerade in Kombination mit Social Media; und last but not least: Es muss klar und deutlich, faktisch wie emotional glaubhaft werden, was wir im Digitaldruck per innovativer Printkommunikation drauf haben, um klare Nutzen und profitables Wachstum zu erzeugen.

Aktuelles Beispiel als Beweis dafür, das es doch geht: Die schwedische Gruppe Elanders AB, die mit Digitaldruck und Innovationen weit über dem Marktdurchschnitt wächst; die Waiblingen zum Digitaldruckzentrum ausbaut und im Packaging sowie in Supply Chain neue Märkte erobert. — Siehe unsere ValueCheck!-Analysen und das Interview mit Magnus Nilsson.

Wer sich sich also engagieren will, das Ruder herumzureissen, hat gute Chancen.
Und kann sich gerne bei uns im DigitaldruckForum melden.

Wir haben im Sommer eine Serie von Maßnahmen und Neuprojekten gestartet (Stichwort Innovations-Coachings, inkl. ValueCheck! und ValueTalk!), um zu retten, was zu retten lohnt: Innovationen, die dem Markt zugute kommen, gekoppelt mit neuen Go-to-Market-Prinzipien. — Es genügt also/längst nicht mehr, nur kompensieren oder zu verbessern, was bis dato schief läuft!

Ich freue mich auf Ihre Nachricht. Gerne auch über die DigitaldruckForum-Gruppe auf XING.

Beste Grüße aus der Gutenberg-Stadt,

Andreas Weber
Gründer und Sprecher DigitaldruckForum
CEO von Value Communication AG


Bildschirmfoto 2012-12-06 um 18.22.08

VALUE MODEL “Value-driven Transformation of Needs“.


Note: The post is also available in German language, see



Why you should read this post:

  1. Recognize: “Something old became something new!”.
  2. Find your individual way to deal with value and the sense of purpose.
  3. Don’t be afraid of innovation in the digital age!


Gutenberg Era vs. Social Media Era: The communications market is infected by confusion


If media continues to be important and digital literacy is relevant in the production and distribution of media products, then a mistake must be corrected in the communications market. Technologies collide, digital is facing off against analog. Apple fights against Google, Microsoft, Nokia and others to be the best, dominant technology supplier., the leading German retailer wants to win customers over Amazon. Print and online communications compete for attention. Consider that digitally printed “print” media and digital online technologies used have common digital media techniques. For the print media production process, technologies like color management and imposition are much more complex and sophisticated than for pure online content. Digital print is the strongest combination of traditional print and online communication. There is no conflict at the expense of print technology, just the challenging perception of print as an “old fashioned” technology.

Why and how the communications market 
is infected by confusion

As professionals in the communications market all of us have to adjust significantly to better deal with innovative digital technologies aimed at changing the needs of people, companies, organizations. Needs based on values are still valid. And vice versa: the importance of values are based on needs. Value systems and the way in which we deal with values have changed through the use of technology. This has always been and will always remain so.

Good insights were delivered by Abraham Maslow, a worldwide well known Psychology Professor. Maslow’s work is dedicated to the Gutenberg Era. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms.” Maslow‘s hierarchical pyramid, proven over generations is no longer static but has changed fundamentally and irreversibly through digitization.

In the Social Media Era, economic interests are brought to the fore. The digital “Global Village” approach enables each of us to address global and local markets alike. Maslow’s self-realization construct has been surpassed by a focus on growth, relatedness and efforts to guarantee profitable existence. The technology development has long been ready for this shift. The focus is on digital techniques that bring together communications and transactions. The classical media/publishing company and agency services, which have held an intermediary position between supply and demand, sellers and buyers, are substituted by digital technology scenarios.

The result is what we define as ‘social media’ is expanding rapidly into social business. Buyers and sellers are linked to each other by (largely) automated digital scenarios. Business processes, services, product offerings, and communications are equally transparent and interactive.

These need and value system changes, driven by digital technologies, require a shift in technology and media use. In Maslow’s world Print (produced in the traditional manner and by monopoly) could conquer, over the centuries, all need levels continuously and cover them. The new digital, intuitive communications systems are, by their social media functionality, pervasive throughout the needs hierarchy and appeal “real time” to both basic and advanced needs.

Social Media Functionality meets the needs perfectly

Social media functionality conquers the level of self-realization quite easily through blogs, communities, Wikipedia and the wealth of open-source efforts made by each of us as we freely communicate, share ideas, and publish content. Social media functionality peaks demand on all levels and needs, fueled by the creation of multimedia content.

The effect that is created becomes highly relevant economically. It leads to massive digital conversations via text, image, sound, and moving pictures. Communication and transactions are as close as possible (one click away) brought together in an integrated process as delivered in apps like “Shazam” or via Twitter “Tweet Cards”. The personal message about a product or service is supplemented with additional information from the original source and automatically coupled with a shop or salesperson. It could not be smarter or faster.

“Farewell, beautiful old media and advertising world?”

Will such a brilliant, continuous process eliminate advertising by classic seals using classic media content to distribute and sell products? If so, then it says: Farewell, lovely old media and advertising world. But wait. In effect, digital social media impact will be considerably strengthened by transmedia|intermedia networking social media functionality coupled with the analogue forms of content to make the virtual something real, tangible and haptic (and vice versa).

The simplest form of this hybrid communication are printed QR codes that can be scanned and interpreted by smartphones to directly link to online services. We call it Print-to-Web.

The maximum efficiency can be achieved if a user on the Web can redirect to print. User-generated digital content can be selected and changed according to personally relevance factors and then printed. Blogger print books, as well as PediaPress Wikipedia users can get their product collections in book form. Photo books, calendars, greeting cards, posters and many more applications will be transformed by the principle of iPhoto and streamed for printing. Recently, through a growing number of websites, we can also personalize product packaging such as beer, chewing gum, chocolates or pralines by the buyer. This form of hybrid communication using online and print is unbeatable in buyer effectiveness and satisfaction.

Digital and analog as teammates not only meet our needs ‘very well’, but perfectly! This momentum means agencies and media houses / publishers and their production partners must understand and collaborate to meet company / supplier and customer / buyer needs in a engaging and efficient way.


Our needs and values world has been changed by the irreversible thrust of digital technology. We still need to use traditional media, but incorporate and leverage digital literacy with a willingness to rethink what we do and how we reach our audiences. The new social media era of Value System needs (see our illustration) demonstrates what change has already taken place through digital technologies and how hybrid scenarios address contemporary personal and business needs and values.

About the Author

Andreas Weber, Founder and CEO of Value Communication AG,
Mainz/Germany, is a leading business communication analyst and innovation expert. Via different social media platforms you could get in touch.

Twitter:  @ValueCommAG  |  @zeitenwende007 | @muchcomm

Value Journal Daily (Online Newspaper):




All Illustrations by Lidia Lukianova, Mainz|San Jose, CA

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