Newspaper and magazines may be in a freefall, but other parts of the printing industry have been gaining steam as the economy recovers from the Great Recession, according to data and analysis from Dr. Ronnie Davis, vice president and chief economist of Printing Industries of America. Digital printing, for instance, grew 17.4% between 1998 and 2010, while the print industry overall declined 2.9%.
Davis recently shared his thoughts on how companies can compete for print’s thriving future. In spite of the dip in periodicals and book publishing, “I still believe print has a very good future ahead.”
The trends are especially positive for businesses like PostNet, a digital printing franchise that offers marketing and online services to small businesses. Davis pointed out that profit leaders in the industry continued to reap strong profits even during the Great Recession.
How? By using the types of strategies that PostNet uses to serve its customers. You can learn more about PostNet’s approach at postnetfranchise.com.
One factor Davis cites is that they are specialized and don’t try to be all things to all people. Equipment costs can eat away at profits if you’re not careful, which is why PostNet Centers work together and with trusted vendors to complete jobs without requiring each franchisee to have dozens of pieces of expensive equipment in-house.
Another factor: Profit leaders offer a broad menu of services, David says. They don’t just print — they help their customers strategize and execute marketing plans, will coordinate and manage direct mail, will help create online storefronts and email marketing campaigns, and will provide analytics to help clients understand more about their customers.
“You want to sell a complete solution and not just the print,” Davis said. “You have to be a marketing service provider, an integrated services provider.”
Printers who have offered these services continued to earn 20% to 30% profit on sales, even during the recession.