Yesterday morning, attendees gathered early for the annual InfoTrends Breakfast to learn about the results of the organization’s recent research projects and to tap into predictions about emerging trends.
President Jeff Hayes opened the session with what he refers to as the “next trillion pages.” He noted that the first trillion pages that transitioned from analog to digital were worth $90 billion. Of those, 750 billion pages were black-and-white and valued at $20 billion and the other 250 billion were color pages that were valued at $70 billion. That was the low-hanging fruit, Hayes said. As pages continue to migrate from analog to digital, it will take five trillion pages to match the comparable value of the first trillion because the value proposition has changed.
Hayes noted that “technology disrupts and recessions clarify.” As a new technology arises, it fosters change in the way print service providers deliver products and services to their customers. Because of the natural ebb and flow of the economy, we tend to experience recessions every five to 10 years. By the time the economy begins to recover from the recession cycle, it becomes clear how the old and new technologies will coexist. After a time, the new technology ultimately supplants the old and another new technology arises to create yet another challenge to the status quo.
The situation facing printers today, according to Hayes, is that they must establish a highly efficient workflow, expand their range of business services, adopt multi-channel delivery, and develop strategic selling skills. All of these things must then be delivered to customers through a variety of channels.
Barb Pellow followed up with an explanation of the newest trend in sales philosophy, which is called insight selling. Pellow cited a Harvard Business Review article that noted the Internet has changed the way customers make their purchasing decisions. They now have all the resources at hand to research and determine what their needs are.
It is now the place of salespeople to approach customers with insight into the core of their businesses. This will allow them to bring to the table fresh concepts about the highly targeted marketing opportunities that are available. Group Director Jim Hamilton spoke about the emergence of inkjet and liquid-based electrophotographic technologies as a disruptive force. Even though it still has its place, he said “offset is under siege.”
Hamilton then introduced Benny Landa, President of Landa Corporation, to talk about the nascent technology of Nanography. This revolutionary concept employs water-based inks that are employ nano-sized ink droplets. Landa went on to explain that Nanography will be a game changer, not only for the printing industry, but for many other areas of technology.