I was reading Joe Webb’s blog last week that was titled “Where Does Print Media Fit? It’s Up to Us.” A lot of thought provoking information, but it could be summarized by this statement, “Communications markets are changing, and slow economic periods only intensify the interest in disrupting the status quo, especially when it is believed that the changes will reduce costs or increase effectiveness despite austere budgets. This is the marketplace we are in; we can be a part of the overall solution, making new media more effective, or we can choose to ignore the obvious.”
Yet, the real question which has been raised by many, and recently by David Dodd in an online article titled “To Be, or not to be, an MSP,” can a print provider/manufacturer morph his/her business into a Marketing Services Provider. Or should they?
These two authors raise questions that a printing company owner truly needs to consider. We can no longer solely concern ourselves with what type of dot pattern should be used or which brand of printing press to purchase. If the purchasers of print (visual communications) are no longer buying print at the same levels (or not buying at all), we need to be asking the question what does that portend for the business? And what should we do to grow/sustain the business.
Today’s owner or president must be the company’s CVO – Chief Visionary Officer. He or she needs to be looking beyond the status quo and possibly determining a new direction. One just needs to think of what happened to the engraving/color separation business in the ’80s. One day they were here and then they were gone – but many morphed into other types of companies and survived as well as prospered.
In order to stimulate your thoughts, here are some ideas from John Baldoni writing for that little “B” school in Cambridge, MA.