New developments in digital printing offers potential for short-run printing, print on demand, one-to-one marketing, cross media publishing, digital books and above all the power of personalization. Digital printing has the power to change the way businesses communicate with customers by opening the door to new opportunities for expanding personalization.
SHORT RUN PRINTING
The easiest digital printing opportunity to tap is short-run digital printing in color. Print customers are continually demanding shorter runs, produced on demand with fast turnarounds. Many printers have made the move to add digital printing to their traditional offset business and are discovering that short run digital color offers equally good image quality. Digital printing proves to be both complementary and incremental business for offset printing business.
PRINT ON DEMAND (POD)
With the help of order on internet digital printing enables print customers to buy exactly what they need, when they need it – web-based electronic storefronts are a perfect match for this POD model. Already, 60% of businesses order their print work online, helping to drive a 14% compound annual growth rate in POD, according to CAPV and PODi.
The capability to print short runs economically also is changing the publishing industry. More and more publishers are taking advantage of the opportunity to minimize their risk in taking on new titles, by producing them in shorter run lengths to match demand. In some cases, they can actually sell a book, then print it. More often they use digital printing to supplement their longer offset runs, with shorter runs for review copies and end-of-life reprints.
NEW WAYS OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
The value added applications in digital printing today deliver significant value by doing things that offset can’t. Their significance is measured in terms of higher response rates, high profit share, and cost savings. Most of these applications can be developed with a reasonable investment in technology, knowledge, and skills. And, with skilled workforce and business development tools making it easier to implement. Organizations of all scales use personalized business communications to capture and maintain market share. For example, banks that target existing account holders with additional product offerings such as mortgages and home-equity loans have greater success rate than those sending monotonous direct mails.
Companies using customer data to tailor according to the client communications receive a more positive response compared to organizations that treat all customers as one. Customer information is often available, such as transaction histories and demographics, and this source largely goes untapped. With variable data, companies are able to alter communications as part of a dedicated mailing or embedded as a personalized message within a statement.
Both digital color and variable data increase the influence of a personalized message. Color highlights the message and draws attention to it with higher visibility and retention rate of information. Personalization demonstrates the value a company places on its individual customers.
Organizations looking to develop variable data applications or expand customer communications should consider the message and channel that best serves the end-consumer. For example, companies deliver detailed documents, such as financial statements, in print or online formats that are readily accessible and legible, whereas end-consumers accept mobicommunications for account status information. In some cases, regulations dictate the delivery channel. These needs must be considered when determining a delivery channel strategy.
A comprehensive document strategy allows organizations to align the many requirements of multiple applications across various communication channels like print, email, web, or mobile. The latest digital color presses and document composition solutions work together to enable organizations to take personalization to the next level. The real question is how your organization can utilize variable data, current workflows, and color to drive cutting-edge customer communications.