Changing Marketplace Focus of PRIMIR Spring Meeting

Figure 1

A growing concern for all firms in the print value chain is the Internet and various digital services and devices that are having a negative impact on print applications. In 2005, PRIMIR conducted a study aptly titled “Electronic Displacement of Print,” which provided an understanding of the new technologies and media that would take share from the ink and toner on paper print segments, how technology developments would impact print, and when as well as to what extent. (See Figure 1)

At the recent PRIMIR Spring Meeting held during the NPES 2010 Industry Summit, Dr. John Zarwan provided a brief update of his original research conducted five years ago for PRIMIR. John noted that while some of the change has come faster than originally predicted—particularly the decline of newspapers—print is still very viable and relevant. He noted that there is uneven impact from electronic media with some applications more affected than others.Many advertising print media applications were the first to shift, driven by changes in consumer behavior, economic trends, increased broadband access and other market factors.

Dr. Zarwan noted that the biggest change since the study was completed is the torrent of Social Media usage—which wasn’t really on the radar screen in the study and the growing use of Mobile (smartphone) advertising. Advertisers continue to chase their audience—many of whom have migrated to online instead of traditional media like newspapers or magazines. Many advertisers have created ‘fan’ pages to capture the social media market. The next big thing is mobile advertising, where spending is expected to top $1.5 billion by 2013. He concluded that print will remain viable and vibrant; however, firms in the print value chain must understand their costs, learn about their customers’ business and communications requirements and most of all understand why people print. Done right, print can enhance or complement new media.

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