I just finished reading two articles of interest. The first by Robert Byrne who is Mimeo’s CMM (Content Marketing Manager) titled “How The Printing Industry is Ripe for Disruption Through On-demand Digital Printing Adoption.” The second by Dr. Joe Webb titled “Traditional Publishing Ebbs, and Oh, Those CMOs.”
What I find of interest is there perspective. Byrne is an individual who cut his teeth on the fast-moving world of digital content and marketing. Webb is the grizzled industry veteran who is known for his economic discussions, but is a marketer at heart.
In Webb’s article, my takeaway is the need for a print provider’s sales team to focus on helping customers define their needs and provide solutions with a positive ROI – because marketers are struggling with all the varying channels to create more sales. In Byrne’s article, my takeaway is the need to embrace the technological solutions. It’s what Paul Reilly (New Direction Partners) calls “Proprietary Customer Interface.” The ability to create customer solutions which are supported by online technology.
If you were to read the articles separately – or just viewed the world from those single perspectives, I feel you would miss opportunities. Technology has always been the core of the industry, it just looks different today than 30 years ago. For the vast majority of the industry (and their clients), online solutions have to be supported by knowledgeable and competent sales individuals. Technology alone is not the solution. If one is to look back at the print providers (or whatever you want to call them) who have succeeded over the past 30 years, there success is built on being able to sell solutions — and merge the right technology. It’s always been that way — just ask Johannes Gutenberg, who ended up in bankruptcy.