TRANS/PROMO & MARKETING SERVICES — PROPELLING DIGITAL PRINT
FASTER, BETTER, targeted, personalized, long run capable and continuously improving quality utilized by a new breed of information providers--transactional/promotional and marketing service providers--are prime drivers of digital printing growth.
The idea that digital printing is limited to very short runs of static content material or limited runs of rather basic personalization is obsolete. The high profit dollars for print providers are in long run, increasingly complex, personalization. Long runs--sometimes in the millions on short turnaround schedules--are being produced on several different digital equipment configurations.
The most common current approach is to utilize one of two methods of hybrid printing: off-line or in-line production. Off-line production utilizes a separately printed base form or shell, which is then imprinted digitally. Digital imprinting is often done only in black, sometimes with a spot color and, in a few applications, with process color. In-line production entails a hybrid press, which usually combines offset litho-graphy and digital printing done sequentially on a single machine.
With either approach, hybrid output may feed directly into in-line finishing equipment, or it may be fed into a near-line or off-line finishing operation. However, the now emerging, long-term trend is to produce a complete piece digitally in a single pass, on full process color equipment incorporating in-line binding and/or finishing. Blank paper in; finished; addressed; colorful, personalized product out; and in the most advantageous postal discount sequence.
Printers of transactional documents--typically utility bills, credit card and bank statements, as well as invoices--are enhancing documents by adding variable color and reducing their costs with full in-line production. These documents are being converted to revenue producers by adding advertising. This combination of transaction information and promotional material has been dubbed "TransPromo" by Kodak Versamark.
Although billing statements have long included offset printed, inserted advertising, color digital printing of promotional material directly onto the statement is a relatively new twist that is becoming a key driver of digital printing growth.