Tag Archives: Value iPad

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

Andreas Weber had a great interview with Mark Lawn, European Marketing Director, Professional Print Solutions, Canon Europe. It dates from end of 2011, but is still valid.

Andreas Weber: The printing industry is in a deep and ongoing crisis (affected as well by the bad economic situation).  What in your opinion are the opportunities for a turn-around?

Mark Lawn: The European graphic arts market remains a challenging environment for printing companies, whose key priorities should be to manage costs and cash and to automate technology for efficiency gains.  Nevertheless, I still see business opportunities for those companies that are also prepared to adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to new business.  In the same way that Canon looks to inspire and support our customers to make a leap to new areas of business they may not have previously considered,  senior management teams need to demonstrate strong business leadership and to have a vision for their company’s future growth, particularly through the addition of new services.  For example, for those companies that are redefining their businesses as ‘marketing communications’ service providers rather than ‘print’ service providers, the increasing adoption of a ‘multimedia’ or ‘crossmedia’ approach to content delivery for companies’ integrated marketing campaigns is proving to be a great opportunity.

Companies need to clarify exactly who they are going to target, how they are going to differentiate themselves and how they are going to add value. They should review their business plan to ensure it’s still in line with the development of their business. And if they don’t have a business plan, they need to write one.  It doesn’t have to be a complex document, but it should cover where the business is now, where the owners want to take it, how they are going to take it there and what they need to take it there.

I’d also urge printers to read the ten-point action plan that Professor Frank Romano laid out in the Canon Insight Report, The Redefinition of the Digital Printer, which was published last year.  One action he recommends is to “challenge the status quo” by investigating each print job for opportunities to add value. For example, a targeted direct mail piece may only partially be a printing job; it will also include database services, personalised URL and Internet services, and mailing services—three new areas for revenue enhancement.

Andreas Weber: Do you realize a gap between the excellent shape of print as an innovative media technology and the service level of the printing industry in general? Because most of the printers miss the possibility to make profit anymore.

I am wondering, how the innovation level and speed driven by a company like Canon could be covered by printers/Canon customers. Canon is offering ideal (state-of-the-art) solutions to make Print as Medium powerful and modern.  But coming down to the printer’s world, there seems to be an “innovation speed slow-down”…

Example: Two years ago Canon was pushing web-to-print. And Canon did that survey figuring out that most of the European printers don’t deal with web-to-print as line extension of their business model (and by the way: today, two years later we have still the same situation!).

Do we have a communication problem between printers and print buyers?  Are DMO-regions/countries in a better position than mature markets like Western Europe? Is there another innovation spirit in developing countries?

Mark Lawn: In relation to the life of the printing industry as a whole, digital printing has existed for a very short time.  Nevertheless, it’s clear that once an industry has been impacted by digital technology (e.g. photography) and the rapid pace of innovation it enables, it can be difficult to keep up with technological developments and the opportunities they create.  Acknowledging our responsibility to support our customers as much as we can, we’ve sought their views through a number of surveys.   Responding to their input, we have then developed a number of value-added services — Canon’s Insight Reports, our Essential Business Builder Program and our customer magazine, Think Digital — to try to ensure that our customers are as informed as they can be about industry trends and technologies, are aware of best practices, and are inspired to consider new directions in which to take their business.

If we take the example of web-to-print, potential users should always evaluate it properly to ensure that it is right for their business.  If it is only used as a delivery mechanism, its adoption is less likely to be successful.  If, however, it is fully integrated into the business, the technology can offer a wealth of opportunities to those print businesses looking for ways to add value to the print services that they offer their customers,

Andreas Weber: From your point of view: what are the key issues to successfully re-position print as a medium in cross-media scenarios?  Beyond technical aspects?

Means: What is the strength of print in the digital age related to the needs of corporate communication demands (by which is meant all the communication activities of a company: push and pull, internally and externally, including marketing communication, advertising, social media and crossmedia)?  A special focus is shareholder and financial community communication

Mark Lawn: I think that we need to continue to strongly promote print as a fundamental part of any cross media scenario – if print is omitted from the mix, the impact is likely to be less successful.  As the only medium to reach all five senses, print remains the most powerful and ideally complements the likes of online communications and telemarketing.  In fact, in the case of direct mail, research by the UK’s Direct Marketing Association shows that print’s effectiveness is growing: open rates for printed DM have increased from 88% to 91% since 2006, whereas email acquisition open rates have fallen from 21% to 11% since 2007.

Online media better meets a requirement for fast, direct information, but where a company needs to communicate a mass of information and complex messages, an appealing, well produced, printed document (e.g. a company’s annual report) is the superior vehicle and is likely to hold the reader’s attention for longer than its digital equivalent. Nevertheless, it’s also clear that, by taking a multi-channel approach that includes print, an organisation’s corporate communications will be more compelling and produce a higher response than by using any one medium on its own.

[German version published in Value Journal, autumn/winter 2011,
and Value iPad App, preview and download for free on Apple iTunes]

Watch as well the video conversation.
(Andreas Weber interviewing Mark Lawn)


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