Western Europe: Applications in Digital On Demand Printing

German Sacristan
Jun 26, 2019

Extracted from a recent InfoTrends Market Report on Print Applications:

Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends (InfoTrends) recently questioned respondents in the United States and Western Europe about the digital and analog print applications they offered for sale. The responses for both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are outlined in the charts below.

Respondents in the United States as well as Western Europe cited an array of printed marketing applications, including business cards, brochures/flyers, catalogs, and direct mail. Although the top two applications for U.S. and Western European respondents were business cards and brochures, there were some differences as well. For example, whereas respondents in the United States were more focused on direct mail, those in Western Europe were more partial to catalogs. Applications like bills and magazines were not strongly represented, which might be partially attributable to the respondents’ commercial printing (analog or digital) background.

Figure 1: Top Print Applications (United States)

Figure 2: Top Print Applications (Western Europe)

Respondents from both regions were primarily commercial printers and digital print specialists, and the U.S. respondents had a good representation of in-plants. The majority of respondents worked in production and general management roles, with a smaller representation of sales & marketing personnel.

Although business cards and brochures were the most commonly produced applications among U.S. and Western European respondents, this does not necessarily mean that these applications deliver the most value at all times. The value of an application is defined by the return on investment (ROI) it ultimately provides to end-users, buyers, and/or brand owners. Transforming these applications into higher-value applications involves determining which technological capabilities and human resources strategies can be applied to the application and its associated job to make it successful for the client or brand.

The combination of customization, specialty colors and substrates, finishing details, a good marketing strategy, and the incorporation of other digital technologies on paper can increase the ROI—and therefore the value—of all applications. In the end, this brings more sales to the brand itself and profitable business to the print service provider.

In terms of ROI, it is important to understand that a cheaper, low-quality printed marketing application/job might ultimately prove more expensive than a higher quality printed marketing application/job. The job that delivers the highest overall ROI will ultimately be the best option, regardless of the original price.

To calculate the true value of a particular solution, consider the following:

• Although print quality is important, it isn’t the only aspect of an effective printed marketing application/job. The overall quality of a marketing piece doesn’t only involve the printed product itself—the marketing strategy (including targeting/customization and content/design), appropriate substrates, finishing choices, and integration of other digital technologies will also contribute to the quality of the final piece.
• What happens if the end customer or brand does not have the budget to produce a large number of pieces to increase the odds of a positive response? In cases like these, the brand might consider a lower number of target deliverables produced at higher quality. A marketing communication might ultimately prove more effective if it impresses a few recipients instead of being ignored by most.
• Some press manufacturers and even print service providers might also ask about print volumes. Although more focused communications might mean lower print volumes, these volumes will likely increase eventually if each job/application delivers a positive ROI.

Focusing on quality in all of its forms and ROI (not price) will always bring a better chance of success for everyone in the value/supply chain, including press manufacturers, PSPs, and agencies/brands. If you’d like to learn more about Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends’ in-depth analysis on digital print applications, please email Deanna Flanick at deanna.flanick@keypointintelligence.com.


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