Inspiring Print Transformation with Ricoh’s Pro C7100X

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

Since the launch of Ricoh’s  Ricoh Pro C™ 7100X digital press   we have found that many Print Service Providers (PSPs) have been able to offer a  new level of value added capabilities to their clients.

The key to this is the highly accessible and cost effective fifth colour on the cut sheet digital press.

PSPs are discovering just how the fifth colour can produce an amazing array of eye-catching effects, particularly in combination with speciality media. By using the 5th colour station they can enhance their print offerings by printing on a variety of speciality media such as black or coloured sheets, transparency or metallic media.

 

Adding a fresh dimension

PSPs can choose the fifth colour to add a fresh dimension to all elements of print, from books and brochures to business cards, invitations, posters and packaging.

The ability to print additional colours, other than CMYK, such as clear gloss and white toner provides added value. So does offering spot gloss, flood, and watermarks along with printing on coloured and clear media inline, with no need for separate costly and time consuming processes.

We have seen customers develop some very special applications around the fifth colour supported by an ever growing choice of substrates and value added software products such as Color-Logic.

A number of examples have really stood out for me are as follows.

  • white toner used in combination with metallic board to create a hot-foil effect on the HarperCollins childrens book covers we demonstrated at drupa
  • Black envelopes such as those from Blake Envelopes which we used to create impact as part of our own drupa marketing campaign.

Here’s how the 5th colour station is helping some Ricoh customers to strengthen relationships with their clients.

Pushing the boundaries with some amazing results

It is the flexibility of the Pro C7100X that appealed to Dutch operation Benda Drukkers. They  use a lot of unusual paper types for their portfolio of services ranging from business stationery to brochures and books. With the white toner Benda Drukkers also now produces a high image quality on coloured media.

Loesje Benda, owner of Benda Drukkers,  says the operation can now offer existing customers a broader portfolio. It can print on all kinds of special paper stocks, as well as envelopes and even plastics. This versatility has also attracted a new audience of, for example, graphic designers.

The business has been able to bring in new clients as a result of its Pro C7100X. And, by inspiring people to use the new possibilities in creative ways, its print volume is on the rise as well.

He says that adding white and clear enables it to produce all kinds of special effects that no regional competitors can match. It allows them to get ahead of the game and create new applications and opportunities.

More about Benda Drukkers

Another fan is family owned printer Offsetpaino L.Tuovinen Ky, Finland. It printed its own business cards on 0.3mm birch veneer using white and CMYK.

More about Offsetpaino L.Tuovinen Ky
To learn more about the fifth colour please watch https://youtu.be/r73ZlELmk_I

For application ideas please visit ..

https://ricohppshowcase.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/amazing-5th-colour-applications-at-drupa/

 

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/

 

Insights from Ricoh’s first Global Innovation Summit

In my role as Head of Commercial Print Operations for Ricoh Europe, I am constantly looking to grow our presence in the Graphics Arts market.  That’s why from 27-29 January Ricoh organised its first Innovation Summit in Tokyo for 15 of the largest commercial printers globally. This is part of Ricoh’s Large Commercial Print Program initiative, under which the 100 largest commercial printers are members of the program and globally get benefits of the program like Global Account Management, joint business development activities, national/international senior management sponsorship and close interaction with Global Ricoh R&D.

As part of this program Ricoh organised for the first time the Innovation Summit. The main goals were for the customers to get new insights into the market via external key note speakers and Ricoh’s strategy and future developments as shared by the senior management.

Attendees of first Ricoh Global Innovation Summit Jan 2016

Attendees of the first Ricoh Innovation Summit 2016 in Tokyo

The Innovation Summit was kicked off by Zenji Miura, CEO Ricoh worldwide with a strong message about strengthening our customer centric approach and continue our investment and focus in the Commercial Print business. No surprise of course as this is seen as one the major growth areas of Ricoh and a very reassuring message for the commercial printers in the room.

After this intro by Zenji Miura, external key note speakers Abe Smith from Oracle, Marco Boer from IT Strategies and Ulbe Jelluma from Printpower followed. They talked about the speed of change in current society and the digital disruption.

Some interesting conclusions to consider:

  • Only 12% of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are still active
  • 75% of auto shopping is done on-line, before stepping in showroom
  • Offset pages shrinking 6% year over year, but not always because of digital print
  • Digital print is growing 8% per year, with colour inkjet growing 20% year over year last 7 years
  • Printing is still very much alive, but need to add value and complement with digital media
  • Digital colour print remains on the growth path with inkjet leading the charge
  • Number one priority for marketeers is increasing the customer experience, lowering costs is only second
  • Need to ask ourselves the question if we are in the business of print or in business of producing meaningful and impactful communication.

Also worth mentioning is Ulbe Jelluma’s presentation in which he explained how agencies today consider print as an application in the total communication mix. He highlighted some new print applications all driven by the generation of emotions in using print like putting a mint flavour on the tickets of a parking garage drawing the attention to the ticket with an advertisement of Extra mint!

Another example of ‘existing content, different application’ with books that are printed in Brazil for the public transport authorities, serving as a ticket and a planner at the same time as being a reading book. Or what to think about a plasticised newspaper that can act as an umbrella, in a country such as Ecuador ‘where it rains a lot’?

All creative examples of how print is being used in many new and different ways.

As the voice of the customer, Lynn Terhune from publisher John Wiley & Sons and Makoto Enomoto from the advertising agency Dentsu explained to the audience what’s happening in their market, what they expect from commercial printers and how they have used digital print to enhance their business for their customers.

Of course senior management from Ricoh gave their views on on the Graphic Arts Market and Ricoh as a company. Key messages expressed were the following:

  • A market leader for 80 years with a spirit of innovation
  • Ricoh invests over $1 billion annually in R&D, and we are a top 100 Global Innovator
  • Ricoh’s Production Printing business growing 18% between 2014 and 2015 and is now generating $2 billion
  • Ricoh has strong commitment to supporting a sustainable and environmentally friendly world
  • Customer Centricity to create value for our customers by delivering high performance solutions, cross media software support and broad range of substrate support
  • Commercial Print/Graphic Arts seen as key growth initiative for Ricoh and commitment to continue to invest in this market

This approach was very pervasive during the visit to Ebina, Ricoh’s R&D facility with 5000 R&D persons that work day in day out on developing new innovative solutions, which fit the needs of our customers.

During the Open House we showed under non-disclosure some specific new developments for inkjet, industrial and reprographic applications, which will certainly help our customers develop their business.

We created a special mailer for the event, to showcase the latest Ricoh technologies.For more information see: Making an Impact at Ricoh’s Global Innovation Summit.

And finally Christian Haneke from Print and Service Group Haberbeck presented the reasons for their investment in the Ricoh Pro VC60000 being the first one in Germany. A perfect example of a company who has adapted to the changes in the market and developed into a full service media provider for print and non-print.

This day was ended with an interesting presentation from Robert Crooker from Heidelberg, who talked about digitalization as it also is for Heidelberg a key enabler for future growth.

So for me Ricoh’s first Innovation Summit was a great success and featured a series of diverse speakers with a broad spectrum of experiences, insights and predictions to share. It seemed that all customers got a better idea of scale and commitment that Ricoh has dedicated to helping commercial printers successfully grow their business.

Finally one statement stuck with me which I think we constantly have to remind ourselves as being part of the printing industry is:

Are we in the business of print or in the business of producing meaningful and impactful communication?

Eef De Ridder Head of Commercial Printing Operations, Ricoh Europe

Eef De Ridder
Head of Commercial Print  Operations, Ricoh Europe

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

 

Insights from Ricoh’s first European Commercial Print Council

User groups … I’ve done a few in the last 30 years.

Big ones and small ones, graphic arts ones and other ones, national and international ones.

So I was pleased to organise Ricoh Europe’s first Commercial Print Council.Which took place in the Ricoh offices in Staines on Thames (near Heathrow) UK, last month, when 15 clients gathered, representing eight companies from six countries.

2015-11-RCPC_Group Picture

Attendees of the first Ricoh Commercial Print Council Nov 2015

Not only was there close interaction with Ricoh on the technical product level, but there were also three external speakers, each with their own specific topics.

Ralf Schlözer from Infotrends, the analyst company, looked into his famous crystal ball to give insights into opportunities for digital print in the commercial print market.

Print technologies are becoming more diversified: but not all technologies will be in reach for every printer.

His conclusions were:

  • Printing is very much alive
  • Digital colour print remains on the growth path with inkjet leading the charge
  • But one should consider the whole print production chain; including the impact of the Cloud on software solutions
  • Media integration is progressing: prepare for an omni channel view rather than simply a cross channel view
  • Print technologies are becoming more diversified: but not all technologies will be in reach for every printer. Meaning that new businesses will emerge and they’ll use ‘print’ as a way to manufacture things (3D, textiles, etc…)
  • Number one priority for marketeers is increasing the customer experience, lowering costs is only second

Enrique Parilla from digital publishing company Lantia gave a privileged view on how he established his company as a publisher-printer-software developer, handling the publishing business in a completely different way from how traditional publishing companies do.

That’s very much the story of today’s graphic arts: printing companies are not in the business of selling print, they’re in the business of selling impactful and meaningful communication!

He used the following interesting analogy: in 19th century America, companies selling ice for refrigeration were big business. But … they didn’t realise in which business they were in. They thought they were in the business of selling ice … when it was actually refrigeration they were selling.  So when the electrical refrigerator was invented, it wiped away the ice business. That’s very much the story of today’s graphic arts: printing companies are not in the business of selling print, they’re in the business of selling impactful and meaningful communication! In trade book publishing for instance, publishers are not selling books but stories!

Next time you drink your G&T on the rocks, do ask yourself: ‘in which business you really are’?

Ulbe Jelluma works for Frysk, a B2B advertising agency, specialising in serving international clients (in the graphics, industrial, financial, pharmaceutical, telecom and automotive industries). He started with an attention grabbing statement: ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder … And it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye!’

…agencies today consider print as an application in the total communication mix

Ulbe explained how agencies today consider print as an application in the total communication mix. He highlighted some new print applications all driven by the generation of emotions in using print. He also showed some examples of ‘different devices, same content’ or how the advertising industry is using an omnichannel approach to push its message.

Another example was of ‘existing content, different application’ with books that are printed in Brazil for the public transport authorities, serving as a ticket and a planner at the same time as being a reading book. Or what to think about a plasticised newspaper that can act as an umbrella, in a country such as Ecuador ‘where it rains a lot’?

All creative examples of how print is being used in many new and different ways.

So Ricoh Europe’s first Commercial Print Customer Council featured a series of diverse speakers with a broad spectrum of experiences, insights and predictions to share. For me, though, there was a common thread.

It was the sheer resilience of print as many different players in different markets explore its unique characteristics to keep it as relevant now as ever.

Erwin Busselot Commercial Print Solutions Director Ricoh Europe

Erwin Busselot Commercial Print Solutions Director Ricoh Europe

Content is king

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

When there is financial turbulence, it is often said that ‘cash is king’. Similarly, these days, when brands are challenged by fast changing consumer preferences the message from the marketing community has become ‘content is king’.

Over the last few years there has been a massive shift in marketing budgets into Content Marketing. So what is Content Marketing and why has it suddenly become king?

According to Forbes magazine:
You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it.

Relevant and valuable information in the form of infographics, videos, web content, podcasts, books and customer magazines are all examples of Content Marketing. Often concentrating on lifestyle issues with useful information on subjects such as recipes, holiday tips, and home improvement advice.

And it is on the rise because increasingly marketing-literate consumers are rejecting standard selling messages from brands. In order to get their attention and respect, switched on marketing departments are generating content that will engage on a more emotional level.

The Content Marketing Association reports that 70% of British marketers are using Content Marketing, highlighting the top three most effective uses as:

  • Long term customer engagement
  • Brand building
  • Customer acquisition.

Further, having grown as a share of brand communications budgets by a net 25% in each of the last two years, it now makes up 21% of this total budget in the UK.

For a Print Service Provider, the surge in Content Marketing from your clients can be viewed as both a threat and an opportunity. An apparent threat because, typically, brands that use CM spend less on print and direct mail than brands who don’t do any CM (source; Content Marketing Association). However, print is a medium that is particularly well suited to displaying and showing how to navigate around content. PSPs who understand the true value of print in this context can start to develop relationships with a new breed of marketing agency – the Content Marketing agency. They specialise in content and customer engagement and are increasingly playing a central role among brands’ roster of agencies. Now is a good time to identify and approach the leading agencies in your market.

A further opportunity is in the increasing investment in Marketing Resource Management systems to administer content and assets efficiently. Some marketing departments have invested in their own systems, but many others will prefer to outsource that responsibility. As the number of marketing communications assets these departments own expands, in the form of print collateral, web and mobile material, videos, merchandise, etc., they need a reliable partner who can create, manipulate, manage and distribute them as needed. Ricoh’s cloud based MarcomCentral solution manages and customises marketing material across entire organisations enabling PSPs to support their clients’ brand control and asset distribution with anytime, anywhere access.

Content Marketing has quietly captured a leading role in the minds and wallets of marketers across Europe. It is a phenomenon that shows no signs of abating as brands recognise that valuable content can be the key to customer engagement and loyalty. For the PSP who doesn’t want to get left behind, now is the time to understand how to take advantage of this situation. Both through positioning the unique properties of print; and having a marketing resource management system that can improve your clients’ marketing supply chain, now, when the content they have is probably growing at an unprecedented rate.