Charting the Key Industry Trends
More than 100 people attended the invite-only breakfast before PRINTING United opened on Wednesday morning, charting the trends currently impacting the print industry. SGIA’s Olga Dorokhina, research coordinator and Andy Paparozzi, chief economist, joined forces with NAPCO Media’s Nathan Safran, VP of research, and Lisa Cross, principal analyst, to give an overview on what their research studies reveal about perceived market conditions.
The key takeaways included:
Print is perceived as a premium product. “Print offers marketers and brand owners a credibility factor — compared to digital media — and a ‘wow factor’ with innovations in printing embellishment technologies and the ability to incorporate higher degrees of personalization,” noted Cross.
Staffing is getting more difficult. “A top challenge we find in our research across print segments is recruitment and retention,” said Safran.
Profitability is shrinking even as sales grow. “In our industry,” said Paparozzi, “we are either getting better, or we are falling behind. There is no third option. The opportunities are expanding, but the margin for error is shrinking — you have to get it right the first time.” Across all the segments surveyed, 62% of printers reported an increase in sales in 2018, but only 41% reported an increase in overall profitability.
The market is changing. Dorokhina said that “convergence is really happening,” and there is no stopping it. Commercial printers reported that 24.4% of revenue now comes from new segments, while 17.7% of functional printers and 15.0% of graphic and sign producers report the same — and those numbers are growing.
Toni McQuilken has been writing and editing for more than a decade. Her work includes B2B publications – both in print and online – in a range of industries, such as print and graphics, technology, hospitality and automotive; as well as behind the scenes writing and editing for multiple companies, helping them craft marketing materials, write press releases and more. She is a self-proclaimed "tech geek" who loves all things technology, and she knows that she is one of a select group of people who get to do what they love for a living.