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October 2005
Two dozen exhaustive overviews on opportunities for digital printing that exist in various U.S. markets are slated to be unveiled as Marketing 4 Digital (M4D) reports this fall.

Introduced during PRINT 05 and CONVERTING 05, the findings will be issued in three sets of eight reports, with the final installment being released by April 2006. Each set will consist of a book containing eight complete market reports, each about 40 to 80 pages in length.

The 24 research publications were developed by the Digital Printing Council of PIA/GATF. Researched by graduate students from Cal Poly and the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Marketing 4 Digital program is being touted as unique because it is the first program to analyze market segments specifically to aid printers in marketing digital and variable data digital printing.

It also provides significant information for marketing printing in general.

"The M4D program will provide printers with the detail and insight they need to sell existing and new services to specific market segments," notes RIT Professor Emeritus Frank Romano, who is overseeing the project.

"In order to succeed, printers must be market-driven," he adds. "They must understand their client's business as well as they understand their own. They must be solutions oriented, not sales oriented. These reports contain a wealth of information to help printers pinpoint and achieve business opportunities."

The five-part reports will be broken down as follows:

• Market overview. Included is information such as what the companies do, major trends within that segment, marketing budgets and print dollars within the sector (by printed product).

• Key applications. Most notably the trends and general information on printing applications (opportunities for digital and variable digital).

• Top organizations. Along with the size ranking of major companies in the market segment is detailed information on said organizations. Within this offering are overviews, organizational structure (with names and titles of pivotal company players), corporate and Internet addresses, information about print purchasing done by the company and their internal processes.

• Marketing within the given category. Features print buying practices and key opportunities (and hot points).

• Other resources. The final section includes information databanks such as trade associations and publications, federal data and various other information sources.

Initial findings point to the need for printers to take an active role in seeking out the marketing mavens of pivotal, potential customers and provide them with novel solutions.

"The first reports have discovered that there are many opportunities for both traditional and digital printing within major industries, but much of it is beyond the scope of the traditional print buyer," Romano points out. "Printers must reach marketing professionals with new ideas and new approaches to promotion."


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