One of the other interesting results we found is in the chart below. When we asked these professional print buyers how long they keep their wide-format graphics displayed they reported an average of about 74 days, but what is particularly interesting is that it doesn’t much matter whether they are displaying an indoor or outdoor wide format graphic—they still only display them for about 2.5 months or ten weeks. The biggest difference among the individual companies was among retailers, who reported that they typically display indoor graphics for two months, or about 60 days, while they display outdoor graphics for three months, or about 90 days.
There is still a tremendous potential for digital print media that doesn’t try to be the same as screen print media in terms of image permanence. While this may not necessarily be a good thing for the companies that manufacture long-term durable print media, for printers it should be read as good news because it is likely those media products are kind of overkill for the short term promotions people use digital printing systems for anyway.
For years now we have noted that the media mix among print service providers has been moving away from those higher-quality but more expensive cast films and towards shorter-term calendared products. Manufacturers have certainly noticed as well, with leading suppliers introducing more of these lower-cost options. So, the combined trend of more frequent printing and more easily-available low-cost wide-format digital print media should be viewed as a positive for print service providers.
The study showed some very positive news for the wide-format digital printing market, especially in light of other industry developments, such as the strong attendance and buying activities at ISA. Wide-format print buyers like the effectiveness of wide-format digital graphics as well as the ability localize and target advertising messages. These are key abilities and important parts of the sales and marketing messages that print service providers should stress in their sales pitches.
Editor’s Note: Please see Part Two of this reasearch study, focusing on print service providers, in the July-August issue of Wide-Format Imaging.