For years I suffered from ink in my blood – well, not literally. But I did have a very strong viewpoint that if it wasn’t ink-on-paper, and if it wasn’t running through an offset press, it wasn’t worth my time. I think those of us who have been in the industry for decades often feel that “print is dead” because we see the decline in that ink-on-paper model. But what we need is……
A PARADIGM SHIFT
Eventually I realized that print is much more than just “ink-on-paper”. Print now encompases virtually anything that can be imaged, whether it’s a brochure for a trade show, to the booth graphics for that same trade show, to the digitally printed polo shirts that the booth attendants are wearing, to all the chotchkies like pens and bags that you hand out to visitors. When I went through THAT paradigm shift, I realized that print truly is not “dead”.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
If we focus on print just being ink or toner on paper, we miss out on all the other ways we talk about print, and engage our customers on other aspects of print. I think one of the most exciting things in print these days is the HP Inkjet web printer, which can print personalized material at high rates of speed, and could be a game-changer in the self-publishing industry. But print services providers need to be able to adapt to this paradigm shift as well, and have tools in their arsenal that will allow their sales staff to talk about things that clients and prospects may not have thought about. And when we bring print into that kind of conversation, it certainly is not dead – but a living and dynamic way to help enhance the client’s brand.