New Opportunities in New Places

By Andrew Paparozzi
In February 4, 2013

We recently asked NAPL State of the Industry participants which services they expect to grow fastest over the next two to three years. Their responses show that there is a lot more to our industry’s story than the decline of commodity printing.

Over 25 different services were cited in all. Digital color, variable-data digital color, and wide-format color topped the list. Even more important than individual rankings, however, is the diversity of services cited: Web-to-print, signage, fulfillment, 1:1/cross-media marketing, database management, Web page creation/hosting, and even video for the Web.

Not long ago this list would have looked very different. But as NAPL has long emphasized, our industry is not simply changing, it is being redefined, creating new opportunity to get involved in our clients’ work earlier, stay involved longer, and satisfy a broader range of their communication needs—print or otherwise.

We have to pick our shots carefully, understanding what’s really necessary to offer the services we’re targeting profitably. For example, do we have the skills to sell variable data? Do we have the marketing expertise to develop 1:1/cross-media programs? Do we have the IT staff and infrastructure to offer a real fulfillment or database management service? And we can’t just add services—we have to integrate them into programs that our clients value most.

But the opportunity is there. And many State of the Industry participants are capturing it. We’ll talk about how in next month’s Printing Business Conditions, which NAPL members can access at, and in future blogs.

Andrew Paparozzi

Epicomm's Andrew Paparozzi, Vice President/Chief Economist, is well-known for his accurate and thoughtful discussions on the economy and US commercial printing industry. A foremost author and speaker on economic business trends in the printing industry, Paparozzi heads Epicomm's Printing Economic Research Center.

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