Understanding your business and providing value-add services is key.
The market sectors covered in the 24 reports will be segmented
into three separate groups:
Each report will contain a Market Overview including major
trends, marketing budgets, and dollars spent for printed products
"?plus a look at the sector's customer base and special
terminology used. There will also be a section on print applications
used by the segment and opportunities for digital and
variable-data printing. Top companies in the sector will be
named and key contact information provided; a company overview
and organizational structure for these companies are also
Perhaps most important is a section on "How to Market to
This Category," which gives the common print-buying practices
and hot tips on how to get a foot in the door. Supplemental data
will include government-supplied data, associations, and publications
serving the sector and other information.
I was able to get a sneak peek at a preliminary version of
the first of these reports on the Health Care segment. It might
surprise the average print-shop owner that this is a $4.6 billion
print market with $800 million being spent annually on directories
alone. That's about 100 billion sheets of paper, primarily in
black and white, according to the report. This market segment
also spends $100 million a year on packaging labels. Both of
these sectors are ripe for digital production.
The report also delves into market-specific terminology
like HMOs, PMOs, and PPOs, and explains the differences in
layman's language. And it covers major trends, which today
include strong incentives for controlling costs and close federal
and state regulation.
Some of the opportunities for digital print in the Health
sector cited in the report include open enrollment advertisements,
customer billing, prescription packaging, and even
basic patient instructions.
Different issues, attitudes, and dollars
It's good to see PIA/GATF take on an initiative like this. Print
shops tend to get lost in the day-to-day production challenges
and have neither the time nor the opportunity to take any kind
of marketing surveys of their customer base. Plus, all too often
we attempt to sell the same thing to every customer.
These reports, however, will help printers understand that
customers in different sectors face very different issues"?and
have a very different attitude as to how they spend their printing
Being able to access a wealth of important information
about 24 different sectors that has been gathered with the
specific intent of serving the interests of the digital print community
makes this collection of reports a "must have" set. It's
true that not every shop currently deals with customers in all
of these sectors, but it might not be a bad idea to read all of the
reports"?just to see what you may be missing out on.
The first set of eight reports ("Set 1," listed earlier) will be
released at the November 6-9 Variable Data and Personal-
ization Conference in Phoenix, where Romano will present
the findings to event attendees. Set 2 will roll out in January
2006, and Set 3 will do so in April 2006, the council reports.
The studies will be available for purchase through the PIA/GATF
bookstore (www.gain.net) in packages of eight reports. Price:
$500 per set of eight ($199 per set for PIA/GATF members),
or $1200 for the entire series of 24 ($499 for PIA/GATF members).
Members of the Digital Printing Council receive the
reports as part of their membership.
Stephen Beals (email@example.com), in prepress production
for more than 30 years, is the digital prepress manager
with Finger Lakes Press in Auburn, NY.