What Will You Be Doing Better?

By Andrew Paparozzi
In January 14, 2014

NAPL and AMSP recently conducted our first joint State of the Industry survey. A diverse group of more than 250 companies, including printers (general commercial, niche, quick, and digital), mailing specialists, fulfillment specialists, and marketing services specialists, participated.

Our survey covered 2013 results, 2014 expectations, biggest concerns, initiatives taken, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and several other critical issues.

The question that interested me most is one that everyone in our increasingly competitive, complex industry should be asking: What must we do better over the next two to three years?

Nearly 72.0% of the participants in our research listed at least three areas they have to improve and nearly 57.0% listed at least five. Only a small percentage didn’t cite any, either because they aren’t sure what to do, believe nothing they do will make much difference until the economy turns up, or believe they don’t have to do anything. The most frequently cited areas for improvement:

Market more effectively both to current clients and to the market at large so more people know who we are and what we can do—i.e., so we have fewer “I didn’t know you do that” responses.

• Upgrade capabilities in key areas such as workflow, digital management and analytics, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, digital infrastructure (workstations, servers, etc.), and SEO.

Increase our value to clients by understanding their business better—“by crawling into their business and then showing how we can help,” as one participant in our research puts it—and by offering the services they value most.

 Document our value to clients; show them why they benefit from working with us.

 Get faster and more efficient by streamlining workflow, reducing steps, reducing touches, etc.

I’ll discuss the survey results at the AMSP Winter Conference 2014, February 3-6, Phoenix, Arizona. The program is filled with experts who will help us excel in an industry that has plenty of opportunity—just not in the same old places or by doing the same old things. Check the lineup out at amsp.org/events/winter-conference. Hope to see you there.

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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