The power of digital printing—and its subsequent growth within the graphic communications market—is a story told many times over in industry publications, on the tradeshow floor and during vendor sales meetings. But the fact remains, successful print service providers seek to do four things:
- Serve their customers in every way
- Grow their business
- Save money through cost controls and maximize profitability
- Optimize operations to get more jobs through their shop
And digital print is often the vehicle to get them there.
While the jobs that can be produced digitally are only limited by a print provider’s creativity, there are a number of key applications driving significant growth in the market today—high end sales collateral, direct marketing, short-run books and manuals and transactional promotional.
A strong indication about the future direction of digital print is showcased in the winning entries of Xerox’s Best-of-the-Best contest. The contest is held annually among the 800 members of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network of leading print providers. Following is a look at some of the winning applications. Many will be on display in Xerox booths #400 and 600 at GRAPH EXPO 2010.
Powerful, compelling marketing materials increase brand affinity and sales. According to Caslon, 52 billion pages of marketing collateral will be produced on digital printers by 2013, creating an excellent growth opportunity for printers who can deliver the high image quality and simple ordering required by clients.
When Sheri Buxton, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Realtors in North Carolina, decided to refresh her brand, she partnered with Xerox’s Best-of-the-Best winner Keiger Direct. Using Xerox’s FreeFlowWeb Services 7.0, the Keiger team developed an online stationery store exclusively for the agent’s use in creating and printing open house brochures. Buxton simply uploads copy and photos, which flow automatically into a highly customizable template for online proofing and automated printing on a Xerox iGen4Digital Press. The completed brochure is delivered in two days or less, saving time and money.
Keiger benefits, too. The firm has developed a deeper relationship with the agent—they are currently adding new brochures and business cards to the site—and the company has won additional business by marketing the solution to other prospects.
Short-Run Books & Manuals
The category is diverse—photo books, education books, technical manuals, self-published works—and many segments are spiking. Savvy print providers are taking advantage of the demand and using digital systems to offer quantities as small as one.
When MyPicTales, an online book publishing company, received a request to print a high quality cosmetics photo book, the company partnered with Xerox’s Best-of-the-Best winner Colorcentric. Since image quality was of the utmost importance to the customer, Colorcentric used the Xerox iGen3110 Digital Production Press with a Xerox FreeFlow Print Server to create the book.
The photo book was a huge success for the cosmetics company, capturing the finest detail of its work and proving very effective at trade shows. The application also created an influx of work for MyPicTales, which continues to partner with Colorcentric, driving revenue 20 percent higher in eight months.
When it comes to direct marketing, the printed page still grabs attention, strikes up emotion and forces a prospective customer to react—translating to new business and increased revenue. Print companies are benefitting from print’s pivotal role in direct marketing by utilizing digital print technologies to produce these applications efficiently and economically.
Xerox’s Best-of-the-Best winner DMM created a postcard program for the BioDiversity Research Institute’s (BRI) Adopt-a-Loon campaign. Consistent ink distribution and excellent photo reproduction were imperative to BRI, so DMM utilized a Xerox iGen4 Digital Press to print the specialty photo postcards. DMM also used variable text to help BRI target new prospects as well as past and current contributors.
The campaign resulted in a 14.4 percent increase in revenue over the previous year for BRI, along with a six percent response rate. More business is also projected for DMM as BRI partners with the company to produce additional postcard campaigns in the future.
Transactional interactions with customers, such as retail, financial and telecom statements, are a viable marketing vehicle, increasing revenues and improving customer relationships. As these documents take on increasing importance among customers, they are also becoming profitable applications for print companies to produce.
Citadel, a credit union based in Pennsylvania, wanted to revamp its out of date statements and increase member satisfaction by making the documents more usable and less confusing. Xerox’s Best-of-the-Best winner Cathedral Corporation stepped in to help, using a Xerox 980 Color Continuous Feed Printer to create a full-color statement with customized promotional messages that enhanced usability and understanding.
The new statements not only helped Citadel save money on production and mailing, but also reduced call center expenses. Cathedral continues to expand its work with Citadel and is currently using this success to market its capabilities to other credit unions and community banks.