New whitepapers available

Ricoh has commissioned Smithers Pira to create a series of whitepapers. These look at opporunities for Print Service Providers to open new worlds in a number of key market segments.

Whitepapers available now:

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Corporate Print: bringing the world in-house

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Digital commercial print: the new world order

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Direct Marketing: printing the personal

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – Retail point-of-sale: the new frontier for consumer engagement

Ricoh Pira whitepaper – The new world of publishing with virtual stock

Evolution of the Print Service Provider – why it’s time to get closer to your corporate clients

It’s Monday 8:30 AM, the day’s print production has not even started and you have just got that call that you dread. Your sales rep has called you to tell you that a reshuffle at your biggest corporate client has meant that your purchasing contact has left.

The organisation has brought in a new purchasing manager and now they want to switch all of their corporate print to their supplier of choice. Now it seems that no new business is likely to come your way.

This is potentially a nightmare scenario for printers; you can lose a big corporate client without any warning or time to consider the impact on your business – or have an opportunity to fight your corner.

Most Print Service Providers do not have a relationship with their clients’ management that influence the overall marketing strategy. Instead they communicate with a print buyer not a marketer – and this is the fundamental issue in the above scenario.

Digital first can mean print last

These days many marketers have a digital first strategy, where most of the marketing team’s focus and energies goes into digital communications. Print can be seen as a low priority item.

Unfortunately this means that the Print Service Provider (PSP) is seen by many marketing executives as a commodity, providing something that can always be done cheaper by someone else, and switched without any real impact on their day to day business.

This is why in many cases print is managed by purchasing and not marketing. So how does a PSP start to influence beyond the purchasing department?

How can a Print Service Provider start influencing marketing executives?

Direct marketing banner

First,  offer great personalised print  

Providing personalised and relevant content is a growing requirement for marketing as it is proven to drive response rates – and is therefore a great opportunity for the PSP to offer added value to their corporate clients via personalised printed collateral.

Adding links to enable interactive content that bridges offline and online media via QR codes, Personal URLs (PURLs) and visual search technology (such as Ricoh’s Clickable Paper) help to ensure that print can enable and link to other aspects of a wider digital marketing strategy.

Second, add value

There is also a huge amount of other corporate assets that need to be created as part of marketing communications. For instance, signage and display, videos, digital assets, etc.

You may well wonder how the PSP can add value here. Helping the brand manage all of this, as well as the printed piece, is the key part of moving from a print only based supplier to becoming an integral part of your client’s business.

Third, enable controlled customisation

Customisation of assets to make them relevant for a local market is a growing requirement for a corporate brand.

Typically local agents and franchisees want to adapt collateral supplied from central HQ Marketing to make it relevant for their local market or customers. However, enabling asset customisation whilst protecting the brand is a major challenge for most corporates and there is not an easy solution.

Helping to manage the brand

In summary, there are major opportunities for Print Service Providers to help Corporate clients, but it has to go beyond print alone and start to help them solve the everyday issues they face in managing and protecting the brand.

Managing and protecting the brand is a key issue for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or brand manager. It is vitally important to ensure that the brand is presented and protected across all of the collateral, campaigns and via its remote channels to market such as local outlets.

How to get started

What the PSP needs to do is get so entrenched in the client’s organisation at the highest level possible, so that no matter which individuals come and go it remains integral to the way the organisation does business and is not easily dislodged.

This can mean building relationships with contacts other than those responsible for buying print such as the brand manager or CMO. In many cases the PSP does not have a relationship with these people. After all, print is only a fraction of what they care about, so why should they even bother speaking to a print service provider? What does a PSP know about managing the brand?

If your clients have any of the following branding challenges, then you have a great opportunity to help them solve them:

  • A widely spread organisation with a strong brand identity
  • Tight brand control and messaging with lots of “stuff” to manage
  • Getting content into the hands of stakeholders, e.g franchisees
  • Customisation that is not controlled

The challenge with evolving from supplying print to supplying a wider variety of marketing services is how do you get started, what services do you offer and what solutions do you need to invest in?

Ricoh Marketing Asset Management (MAM) Solutions for PSPs

MarcomCentral® from PTI (a Ricoh company) is already used by a large number of global corporate clients, and by PSPs providing services to their corporate clients.

 

Intelligent Marketing Overview

Intelligent Marketing Overview

For a PSP, MarcomCentral offers its clients “evolution in a box”. It enables the PSP to offer a service to its clients that helps them control their brand, manage branding challenges and solve highly complex branding dilemmas – avoiding issues like rogue marketing, pre-printed stationery costs and much more.

MarcomCentral allows the PSP to offer clients their own branded portal offering both static and customisable assets. These are configured in the portal by the PSP via templates that allow the brand to lock down corporate elements (logos, colour schemes, etc.) but allow customisation of other specified areas. Templates can include print, direct mail pieces, PowerPoint, email and video assets.

These assets are presented within the portal to registered users using an intelligent menu-driven user interface, ensuring that incompatible selections are not possible. Items can be customised (within the boundaries defined), previewed and then either downloaded locally (if authorised) or ordered via the integrated e-commerce module. Print orders are routed to the PSP and other items (such as apparel) are routed to alternative suppliers that the PSP manages. It is a true marketing service offering managed by the PSP.

This is reinforced by the Danish client BordingLinks who purchased and installed MarcomCentral in 2015 from Ricoh. Mads Busk (IT Manager) explains as follows:

“By providing the means for our customers to manage their marketing assets, we have made it easier for them to do business with us. We are now engaged earlier in the process and, controlling the workflow, we are winning more of our customers’ business.”

 

Find out more

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

At drupa 2016 Ricoh will be presenting a range of solutions and applications, including MarcomCentral, showing print service providers how they can work with their key corporate clients to help them solve their complex brand compliance challenges – and “open new worlds” for their own business to evolve from just print based offerings to broader marketing based services.

http://www.ricoh-europe.com/open-new-worlds/

 

Open New Worlds Photoshoot – Commercial and Corporate Print

The location

The location we selected for the Commercial and Corporate shoot was a strikingly beautiful and dramatically designed home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK. The home of a renowned artist, it has been used as the setting for great brands and will feature in a forthcoming series of Cold Feet, the UK TV drama. It also appeared in the March edition of Grand Designs magazine. The house is also right around the corner from Lindow Common, where the body of a mid-first century AD man was found, preserved in a bog. The Lindow Man can be found on permanent display at the British Museum.

In order to accommodate both shoots in one location, we needed flexibility of space, with one room that could be dressed to replicate a fashion student’s bedroom and one that could be used as a gallery space. We were fortunate that the house actually had its own gallery space so we could remove the contents and use gel lighting to create the desired vibrant shades on the wall.

The idea

Commercial Print – we wanted to capture the wonder of seeing colour for the first time, to highlight the breathtaking print quality available through Ricoh’s digital print technology.
So we created an image of someone entranced by amazing colours.

Corporate Print  –
the idea was to focus on a fashion designer of the future, working in their bedroom, to illustrate how Ricoh’s intelligent digital print technology can help universities attract new talent, and enable other corporations to communicate effectively.

 

The Results

A suite of images for the Commercial and Corporate route, to be used throughout the campaign.

Open New Worlds photoshoot – Rock Band

 

 

The location

These shots were taken at Blueprint recording and rehearsal studios in Manchester. Loved by many leading artists, Blueprint has played host to Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Duran Duran, Moby and it is where Elbow recorded their massively successful album – The Seldom Seen Kid.

The idea

Use a Rock Band to illustrate how Ricoh’s variable printing helps you
respond to the most variable of needs.

Therefore we created a made-up band, called – appropriately – the Fake Dolls.
Each member of the band was holding a different piece of Ricoh print collateral, in the form of the covers of their latest album, all printed using Ricoh technology. And so highlighting the quality and possibilities offered by Ricoh’s digital print solutions.

The Results

A suite of images for the Direct Marketing route, to be used throughout the campaign.

 

 

Open New Worlds photoshoot – pixelstick

 

The location

These photos were shot on London’s iconic South Bank, alongside the River Thames, on a wet evening in late December This location allowed us a panoramic view view of many of London’s most famous landmarks as well as the graffiti walls of the South Bank, the backdrop to London’s most well known skateboarding scene.

The idea

Using the latest technology  in light painting – the ‘light stick’ – and overlong camera exposure, we created a unique piece of actual art painted in light.  We commissioned the artist Ben Hughes and used a Pixelstick – a new technology that consists of 200 full colour RGB LEDs inside a lightweight aluminum housing.

The Results

The art of the new...

The art of the new…

The finished piece was composed of patterns of colourful light dancing against the city backdrop.

 

How Ricoh’s new ways to transform your business will Open New Worlds for you

Benoit Chatelard, VP Production Printing Group, Ricoh Europe explains the thinking behind Ricoh’s new messaging..

Can you explain the concept behind “Open New Worlds”

Our world is changing.  Change brings challenges.  It also brings opportunities.
Especially when it comes to print based communications.  There are major changes in the world of Marketing where major brands are now looking for more integrated communications across multiple channels.

And, in the world of Publishing, publishers and printers alike are struggling to adapt to the “new normal” of smaller print runs, fast delivery and new distribution models.

Nobody knows this better than Ricoh.

Dedication to innovation and client insight has seen Ricoh grow from its first development of diazo photosensitized paper to becoming a global document management leader. Today we offer a wide range of solutions which can harness the power of digital print and data and are creating innovative new technologies for omnichannel environments.

We are also a leader in the rapidly growing Additive Manufacturing / 3D print market. Many of our leading innovations in this field will benefit print service providers directly.

In this way Ricoh is creating new ways to manage, maximise and grow any print service and marketing provider’s business. This is what we mean by Open New Worlds.

What will the campaign look like?

The campaign is based on the theme of “Open New Worlds”. It’s about how Ricoh’s technologies and innovations are – quite literally – opening up new worlds of opportunity for our clients.

We’re taking a different approach with the campaign creative, with new photography which illustrates new ways of doing things or new innovations. At first sight the images aren’t obviously related to print – but that’s the point. We live in an omnichannel world where everything is connected, there are no longer silos of communication or innovation.

 

For instance, the first image shows a street artist creating a new art form using new technology – a pixel stick.

Or in the Fake Dolls rock band image we’re illustrating how Ricoh’s digital print technology makes the personalisation and tailoring of print and direct mail to each individual (e.g. band member) so easy.

Can you give some examples of how Ricoh is helping to grow Print Service Providers’ business ?

Integrated workflows – Ricoh’s new solutions can now connect easily and effectively with almost any system or platform, both hardware and software, as well as offering easy and effective digital migration, whilst supporting efficiency and productivity through automation if required.

Production inkjet – since its recent launch the Ricoh ProTM VC60000 high speed inkjet platform has established itself as the leader in print quality and versatility. We already have announced five installations– in Europe alone, and some of these clients are completely new for Ricoh. Our success in production inkjet is directly related to our expertise as a leading developer of inkjet heads and our unique drop on demand jetting technology.

Value-added creative print effects – many of our clients are getting very excited about the new capabilities of the ProTM C7100x with its white and clear toner options, and how it has been engineered to run metallic and other unusual substrates. Some of the applications our clients are creating are – quite honestly – amazing. It’s no wonder that this product has been a huge success for them.

How would you sum up Ricoh Production Print’s business in Europe

Benoit at MKt Rockstars

Benoit Chatelard, Vice President Production Printing Business Group

Ricoh stands alongside the world’s best when it comes to digital printing which means that we offer high value print supporting a wide variety of media, right across a wide spectrum of applications.

Which means that, along with our widely respected business development programmes and thought leadership, with Ricoh as your partner, you can discover new ways to seamlessly manage workflows, maximise productivity, increase profitability, and access whole new markets. Let’s just call it Open New Worlds with Ricoh.

What’s next

Come and see for yourself at drupa 2016.  Register here to keep updated about the latest developments