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New Solutions for New Publishing Challenges

Understanding how to integrate the evolving social, digital media and print platforms driving today’s communication strategies can be daunting. To help B-to-B and B-to-C publishers, print and marketing service providers, ad agencies and marketers learn to monetize, optimize and control content, ON DEMAND (June 13-14, 2012; Jacob Javits Center, New York City), will highlight a wide range of both electronic and print publishing innovations.

And there’s plenty of innovation to be seen. Content management and printing technologies that were once only available to companies with large budgets have become affordable to those with smaller budgets. In addition, the publishing industry continues to evolve as it adjusts and expands services that reflect the growing digital market. ON DEMAND will feature not only the latest technologies, but also the experts behind them to educate and guide companies in adopting advantageous solutions.

The Latest Technology at Affordable Prices

BlueToad, Inc., (Orlando, FL; Booth #202) a digital publishing company, offers digital editions, mobile delivery, email, auditing assistance, animation services, and search engine optimization to publishers worldwide.

BlueToad’s latest offering is Digital On Demand, a customized flipbook for marketing companies and agencies that own content management systems. This service develops custom content for a company’s end audience. BlueToad’s customers layout the PDF, incorporate the content, and BlueToad then converts it into and hosts as a flip book. “Companies have spent so many resources to learn about their audiences – to deliver content in this customizable fashion is the next step,” says Jessica Aslanian, Director of Sales at BlueToad.

Regarding market drivers for this technology, Aslanian notes that “social media has changed readers’ expectations of content. People are more particular about wanting information tailored just for them.”

Because flipbooks are particularly suited for enrollment notices, Digital On Demand is already used in the healthcare industry. The travel industry is also in the process of utilizing this technology as it creates customized itineraries for different travelers. “A family of four would receive a different itinerary from a honeymooning couple or senior citizens,” Aslanian illustrates. “They’d be at the same vacation destination, but have different options tailored to their lifestyle and interests.”

Aslanian also predicts that industries dependent upon time-sensitive materials, such as RFPs, will also adopt flip books. “The faster you can get a customized RFP to your buyer, the better.”

Another benefit of Digital On Demand is that it provides trackable real-time analytics depending on the content. This feature allows a company to see the search words people are using inside the issue, which displays the content that generates the most interest, which pages had the most views, the amount of time spent on pages, and which pages had the most follow through. “We also take care of all the back end services, such as masking the domain so the BlueToad name doesn’t appear, as well as provide Cloud back up,” Aslanian comments.

Aslanian notes that companies such as BlueToad have made flipbook technology affordable to more customers. “The earliest adopters were a high-end solution. Because we do such volume, we can create these flip books affordably and can bring out more to the masses.”

Graphic Whizard, Inc. (Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Booth #416) ) is a manufacturer of print finishing and bindery equipment, whose main product lines include creasing, UV coating, folding, folder/creasers, numbering and slitting/scoring machines.

“At ON DEMAND, we’ll be debuting a whole new series of creasing machines and an independent knife folder that can work with existing Graphic Whizard creasers, or anyone else’s,” says Steve Allen, Graphic Whizard’s President. “One new machine will crease and fold in a single pass, while another will crease, cut and slit all in single pass.”

Noting that the technology has been in use for some time, Graphic Whizard’s machine is the first one offered at a more affordable price. “The original machine, which has been on the market for the past three or four years, didn’t face much competition so it has a very expensive price point for only 5-10% of the market place. We bring great performance at a better price for the average user.”

As manufacturers build larger quantities of machines, they increase their production efficiency, lower the selling price and can still make a reasonable profit margin. “It’s only natural that prices are driven down,” Allen remarks. “We’re delivering the same quality and features – just at lower price point. It’s a lot like what we’ve seen with all sorts of technology.”

“We have a half dozen other products that we’re looking to introduce into the market place within the next 12 months,” Allen says. Because of confidentiality issues, the specifics of those products cannot be released at this time. At On Demand, we will show new creasing machine models as well as a machine that creases and knife folds in one unit. As well, new systems that allow existing customers to do more with the machines and products they’re already using, such as a knife folder that you can add to your existing creaser, will be shown. “We’re introducing a knife folder that takes a creased sheet of paper and folds exactly where the crease line is. To do this without cracking the toner, you need to crease and then fold. We’d previously done creasing but not folding and we’re showing a new line of machines that crease and fold together.”

Spiral Binding Company, Inc. (Totowa, NJ; Booth #403) serves inplant departments and facilities management groups, as well as small and midsized print shops across multiple vertical industries. In early 2012, Spiral Binding became the North American master distributor of the popular Foliant™ line of single-sided laminators, commonly known as the “yellow laminator”, which will be featured at ON DEMAND. The new partnership will increase Spiral Binding’s product offering of automated equipment and will continue supporting the single-sided laminating needs of the post-press printing industry.

Until recently, single-side lamination systems had been prohibitively expensive for small commercial print shops and book printers. The new Foliant Series™ laminators provide the same high quality services at an affordable price point.

In addition, Spiral Binding looks for ways to increase its efficiency in the punching process. “Punching is a huge bottleneck with print production,” says Michael Bossard, Integrated Marketing Manager. “Companies are always asking how can we do it quicker, cheaper and more efficiently, and it’s always a race to see how we can meet that.”

Bossard notes that Spiral Binding increases efficiency and reduces manhours by using a high-volume automatic punching scenario instead of manually punching.

Customer service also plays an integral role. “A customer might think they need certain machine, but after delving into their particular needs, we often recommend a more appropriate machine for their application.”

The larger customers are typically from the financial industry, where customized financial reports, including index tabs and covers, are needed. “Every single hedge fund group has own presentation packet,” says Bossard, “But nicer packages are needed elsewhere – law firms, accountants, and insurance companies creating life insurance policies.”

Adjusting to Print Market Changes

“The biggest challenge that any printing machinery manufacturer faces is that the market place has shrunk,” Allen comments. “The number of customers has decreased substantially over the last two to three years. The smaller number of printers have absorbed the remaining business and are looking for cost-efficient and productive new equipment.” Allen speaks with other printing machinery manufacturers on a regular basis and says that they are all facing the same challenge of ensuring that their companies are prepared to thrive in the new printing environment. He is confident that 2012 will be a good year for those that have worked hard over the past couple of years to position their companies well.

Throughout the changes and challenges in the publishing landscape, ON DEMAND stays at the forefront. Whether a company needs the technology for digital publication or the latest UV coater, ON DEMAND will feature the tools and experts that create tangible and affordable solutions.

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