* Transactional printing is quickly going to evolve from largely pure statement printing to documents that will also incorporate promotional messages and offers.
* Maximum sheet size capabilities for color digital presses, Romano contends, must increase to enable continued market growth and new product applications.
* Like many traditional offset printing operations, digital facilities will employ devices from various manufacturers within their plants.
To reinforce Romano's contention that digital printers need to do a better job in marketing their services, Kodak and Xerox executives gave presentations on techniques and available resources for promoting digital printing businesses. Barb Pellow, chief marketing officer and vice president of Kodak's Graphic Communications Group, used actual examples to show how various printers are successfully leveraging public relations efforts, developing good Websites, hosting customer training events, taking advantage of speaking opportunities, and getting involved in groups and associations geared toward marketing professionals.
Likewise, Gina Testa, Xerox vice president, business development, highlighted her company's Profit Accelerator resources for digital printers. These include, among others, the ProfitQuick financial modeling tool and kits to assist printers with sales and marketing, including demonstrating the value of personalization, as well as educational primers and swatch and digital chip books that digital printers can provide to designers.
"Digital printing is ready for prime time. It has reached that tipping point," Testa said, noting digital color's compound annual growth rate of 20 percent vs. 2-3 percent growth for offset printing. She indicated that today's hot applications for digital output are promotional transactional printing, one-to-one marketing/cross-media publishing and digital books.
Web-to-print solutions will also be a key driver for future industry growth. Addressing this topic at the conference was a panel consisting of Steven Amiel, Strategic Content Imaging, Carlstadt, NJ; Kate Dunn, Digital Innovations Group, Richmond, VA; Wilhelm Soll, Digital Print GmbH, Garbsen, Germany; and Pete Sweers, of K/P Corp. in Seattle.