Adding Value to Digital Printing
During PRINTING United, NAPCO Research presented a newly developed study on adding value to digital print, referring specifically to special effects and embellishments. The research surveyed print buyers and providers in various segments of the industry, and aimed to understand how these services fit into various print segments.
According to the study, Nathan Safran, director of research at NAPCO Media, explained that print providers struggle to understand the technology behind these methods of adding value, which could impede their ability to take advantage of them.
Print service providers that start with enhancements familiar to them, and then expand into new effects, allow these services to become more accessible and possible. But it’s important for these companies to understand the services and enhancements that are most beneficial and profitable to them, which can vary depending on the company’s market and customer base, before expanding into new effects.
Lisa Cross, principal analyst, NAPCO Research, explained how a general lack of education on what is possible with modern digital printing is why customer demand is low, and why print service providers are hesitant to invest in these services. This knowledge gap is prevalent throughout all segments of the industry, Cross explained, and print service providers need to find ways to educate print buyers on what is new and what is possible.
These special effects are often dismissed by print service providers for a lack of ROI. Without that initial education, PSPs don’t understand the affordability of these processes, or why they’re worth investing in. The research study shows that when print service providers educate through sample kits and proofs demonstrating the value of embellishments in digital print, customers are more likely to invest in them.
According to the study, marketers prefer to work with print providers that incorporate these enhancements and special effects. Marketers rely on the guidance of their printers to determine the right processes and special effects to meet their printing needs.
Education and training, not only for production and sales staff, but also for print buyers, brand owners, and marketers, can help all segments of the printing industry take advantage of enhancements to digital print.