Xerox interview on the future of the print industry

Ahead of PRIMA 2017, confirmed speaker Frank Blomme, Programs & GTM Support Marketing Manager Graphic Communications Solutions Group International Operations at Xerox gave us a short interview on the challenges and the future of the industry

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How do you foresee the future of pulp/paper/print industry over the next 5 years?

We foresee a growth in digital printing of 6% CAGR over the next years. Today there are 50 trillion pages printed annually, whereof 98% in a traditional way and 2% in digital print. The actual shift that is taking place in our world forces brand owners to look for the optimization of their messages combined with the maximization of their resources. We believe that of all that is printed today that what is without (added) value will disappear and all that is of value will prevail. This will bring a mix of e-media and printed media. Digital printing allows a decrease in warehousing, an increase of speed in go to market, the tailoring for the message to the individual, and most importantly, an increase in revenue and bottom line results when print is personal and relevant.
 


What are the main challenges the industry is facing and how do you think this conference can overcome them?

The main challenge that the graphic communications industry is facing is the fact that a large portion of the decision makers are skilled artisans that learned their trade on the job. The ever increasing speed of change requires a different toolset and will force to a higher degree of industrialization as was visible last year at Drupa. The opportunity here is to reach consumers through simple, focused content. Getting your message noticed in today’s oversaturated media world is an ongoing challenge. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, so successful marketers need to focus on relevancy and personalization in order to cut through the clutter. If you create meaningful, engaging content, then there shouldn’t be distraction; customers will clearly see your content and will still want to open your email.
 

Although, current statistics speak volumes about the importance of direct mail, even in today’s digital world. Shoppers who receive a direct mail piece directing them to an online site spend an average 13 percent more than those who do not receive a printed piece. Now is an exciting time for the printing industry because brands are creating innovative, inspiring and impactful printed pieces that engage consumers both traditionally and digitally.


What are you most looking forward to at the Prima conference in Berlin?

Besides some of the interesting topics addressed other speakers, I’m looking most forward to the ability to network with other participants to the conference.


Can you provide a brief summary of what your presentation will cover and why it’s important for delegates interested in Prima to attend?

My presentation will cover how individualisation combined with a multi-channel approach can give a new elan to catalogs. This opens up new opportunities to the catalog market. The topic will cover a real life case study of a well-known French textile brand operating in 5 countries that worked through an expert in catalog production (text and image data management) and an expert in data management on a multi-channel campaign that had a measurable ROI.
 


Why do you think it is important to attend the Prima conference?

 It is important for us to attend the Prima conference because it gives us the opportunity to share with the audience what our vision is on the future of digital printing with the dawn of new applications that answer to specific needs and allow the creation of specific added value.


Why should delegates attend Prima and what are the top 3 over riding takeaways they will receive?

As it is my first participation to Prima it is difficult to say but the agenda looks very promising, it covers a lot of the growing segments in print. The top takeaways will be most certainly the networking and the ability to be challenged with new ideas.