I was having a brief conversation with a friend of mine. He is a semi-retired banker with an expertise in small business and some history with printers. He made an observation which I found interesting. “No one is printing any more catalogs, brochures, annual reports.” He noted that he no longer sees car companies producing brochures, he’s receiving electronic annual reports, and he no longer gets a Sears or JC Penney catalog. Ergo print is dead.
Yet, if we look around as I observed in my last blog, print is still everywhere. It’s just being produced differently and through different channels, but he does not know that! Our biggest challenge as an industry is demonstrating our viability as an effective mass communication solution. We no longer compete with other printers – but with other media and changing perceptions. PIA Southern California’s most recent campaign, “Choose Print,” targets that challenge.
As I explained to my friend, print is still a very viable tool – but it’s just produced differently (on demand and short run print) requiring different equipment/technologies and there are still opportunities. And that brings up another point. If you’re not talking to your banker about your company’s viability and that print is not dead, you will face serious financing challenges when that time comes.