Brilliant minds

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At the Power of Print 2016 seminar in the history-steeped setting of Stationers’ Hall close to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London, an eclectic and fiercely provocative set of heavy-hitting speakers together created a fascinating picture of print and its value – present and future.

Welcoming a highest ever audience, BPIF CEO Charles Jarrold introduced the seminar in the context of this year of great change, including the evolution of print’s role in the multichannel media mix.

The science

The scientific foundation came from Baroness Susan Greenfield, CBE, member of the House of Lords, scientist, writer and broadcaster. The extraordinary Baroness explained the fundamental differences in the way our brains process information via a screen versus the printed page. Engagement, understanding and recall are all significantly higher from print.

The case for print

The case for print was reinforced by Tiffanie Darke, Founder of Method, News UK’s creative agency.  She reminded us that print carries an authority that nothing else can replicate, and secondly, if you want luxury, digital just doesn’t offer an alternative. She also praised print because it’s a proven “platform multiplier”. In other words, it is great when used in conjunction with other channels to enhance Return on Investment.

British advertising legend Dave Trott described creativity as one of the few remaining legal sources of competitive advantage. Dave’s short but very sharp presentation made it crystal clear that when it comes to creativity, simple is smart and complicated is stupid. And the way to succeed in advertising (print or otherwise) is to break established patterns. Stand out from the common herd, repositioning your competition at the same time.

His assertion that much of the messages we see are not even noticed, let alone forgotten, should be a wake-up call to all of us – the simple diagram below sums up his feelings about the process perfectly.

powerofprint

Combining creativity with astute use of data is maybe the key to a bright future for print. Rachel Aldighieri, Managing Director of the British Direct Marketing Association, showed how powerful the partnership can be. And talked about one-to-one-to millions to express the mass use of personalised and relevant messaging.

Not all plain sailing

There are though powerful tides that can hold print back. Kim Willis, Strategy Director of Cedar Communications, reminded us that marketing directors demand to know how effective their campaigns are. And for print, more than digital media, it is expensive to measure results. Further, there is increasing competition for marketing budgets, including from a growing array of “shiny new things” such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

The Keep Me Posted campaign to protect the rights of consumers to continue receiving printed communications was shared by The Royal Mail’s David Gold – including its reach beyond the UK into the EU and other countries.

The future is bright

So, what conclusions can we draw about the prospects for print? I have a lot of faith in Jonathon Porritt, the acclaimed environmentalist and writer, and co-founder of the Forum for the Future. Jonathon highlighted the print and pulp industry’s drive towards decarbonisation and the relatively small environmental footprint of print. In this era of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), it was good to hear that print can play a part in reducing the risks of runaway climate change and the disruption it would bring.

Back to Kim Willis of Cedar, and her parting thought, which was that in response to growing consumer immunity to the relentless surge of online marketing, brands are turning to the communications techniques that are more meaningful and cut through. This includes experiential marketing with for example live events. In this quest for impact and authenticity, Kim concluded, print surely has a major role to play.

Last word to Wayne Hemingway, MBE, founder of Red or Dead fashion brand. At the end of the breathless, captivating tale of his rise from “club kid” to design guru, he reflected on the central role of print in all our lives. From clothes to flooring to wallpaper. “Print is never going” he declared. And that I think is a fitting way to sum up a truly inspiring day.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

Thank you Print Power, Two Sides, sponsors, participants and speakers – we all left feeling positive and energised.

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

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.

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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

An Intelligent Choice for Brands Combating Overextension

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

In a world where consumers’ attention is increasingly spread thin and organisations’ IT and marketing departments are spread even thinner, now can be a frustrating time for marketing departments and service providers. Everyone wants faster turnaround times, higher-quality output, cross-platform promotions, and they want it now – even when “now” isn’t during business hours.

Introducing Ricoh Intelligent Marketing Solutions

The solutions we offer aim to address these concerns, helping marketers create consistent, high-quality marketing collateral while reducing costs and lessening burdens on their organisation. In this way we can help make your marketing communications more effective and less costly. Importantly we can also make it an easier, less time-consuming activity for busy marketing departments.

Intelligent Marketing Overview

Intelligent Marketing Overview

Our solutions address these typical challenges:

  • Are your operations far-flung, making total monitoring and management difficult?
  • Does your brand struggle with inconsistency, especially across platforms and regions?
  • Are you finding certain aspects of the process are costing them productivity, money, or both?
  • Do increasingly high expectations for short turnaround times and 24/7 service make your job harder to do and your customers harder to please?
  • And, perhaps most importantly, is managing it all proving to be just too much, taking away from core business practices and potentially causing their bottom line to suffer?

How Ricoh can help

Products like MarcomCentral aim to streamline the transition from customer order to print-ready job, 24/7; while the FusionPro Product Suite enables a variety of marketing applications (including pURLs, VDP imagery and other customization).. Each of these products targets a different area or aspect of a Marketing Communications workflow, but they share a simple goal: making marketing departments  work easier and more efficient.

Case Study – The World Bank: Marketing Asset Management  lends a helping hand to Printing & Multimedia Services

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The World Bank’s core mission is to reduce global poverty and encourage healthy economies. That’s why they depend on their peoples’ own ‘grass roots’ marketing to educate others about the cause.

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They needed a multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment where all offices could access, localise and distribute the latest marketing materials using a new solution that was fast, flexible and web accessible.
The Results:

  •  Full deployment in less-than 6 months
  •  Tens of thousands of assets available
  •  Huge savings using system’s translation services
  •  Reduced creative workloads by 25%
  •  96% Reduction to processing time for the field (15-18min production time cut to 30secs
  • Increase labor savings per year by just giving users the ability to customise wall maps
  • Positive ROI achieved within first 3 months

Read the full case study

Empower your in-house marketing capability

Find out how Ricoh’s Intelligent Marketing Solutions empower your in-house marketing capability and let you take control of your brand and communication costs.

http://www.ricoh-europe.com/services-solutions/production-printing/corporate-print/intelligent-marketing-solutions/index.aspx

Making the Most of Mobile: What a “Mobile First” Strategy Means for Your Business

Mobile technologies have taken the world by storm.  Our purpose in this white paper is not to spew out a lot of facts and figures about how many smartphones and tablets there are, and how many are Apple versus Android versus others.  There are plenty of resources that can give you that information. Let’s just say it is a big number! In fact, according to a special report from Raconteur, 2014 saw one smartphone for every five people on the planet. And the numbers are not declining anytime soon, nor will the transition from feature phones to smartphones slow down.

See the infographic

See the infographic

 

As an example, in the EU5 alone (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK), 57% of mobile users owned a smartphone in the 3-month average ending December 2012.The EU5 online video audience grew 5 percent over the past year, whilst the number of mobile video viewers has jumped by 162 percent since December 2011. (Leading online video platforms across Europe are YouTube (Google), Dailymotion, Facebook and VEVO.) In the UK, the outlook for mobile business is rosy, according to the Raconteur report: “Figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research show 5.6 million people already use their mobile devices to buy goods and services online This is expected to rise to 20 million in the next six years, by which time online mobile purchases will be worth more than £18 billion, up from £48 billion in 2013.

What we will do is talk about the usage trends, what they means for your business, and how Ricoh can help. We will delve into three aspects of this:

  1. How mobile technologies can be leveraged in your own business to improve productivity in terms of production and business management, employee satisfaction and more;
  2. What you need to consider in terms of customer-facing applications in order to allow your customers the flexibility of conveniently and comfortably accessing your business from any device, anywhere, anytime, ordering print and other products, reviewing job status and more; and
  3. How you can take advantage of the rapid adoption of mobile technologies to add new (profitable) products and services to your portfolio that not only generate new revenue streams but add value to your customers’ businesses.

These factors have implications with respect to your investments, staffing, production, web development and sales/marketing strategies.  While many of the concepts and ideas stated here are applicable to any business – including your customers’ businesses – the content is tuned toward the needs of printing and marketing services companies. It should be noted that while larger printing companies have likely implemented many of the suggestions contained in this white paper, it is also critical for small to mid-sized companies to take notice and begin to plan for mobile adoption, or to re-evaluate plans already in place based on the content presented here.

Find out more, download the whitepaper here.

Why you should be fans of the Marketing Rockstars

M_Rockstars Hall

The Marketing Rockstars Festival in Graz, Austria this month was not the kind of event that would normally grab the attention of Europe’s Print Service Providers. After all, it was designed firmly for the marketing industry; attracting nearly 2000 marketers from brands and agencies, tempted by the mix of superstar marketing speakers from, for example, Google, Starbucks and Adidas, and the 100 exhibitors with their marketing-oriented offerings.

So why should PSPs show an interest in an event like this, where the marketing community gathered to learn and talk about current marketing issues? Well, Ricoh was a key partner of the Marketing Rockstars Festival and it was very clear why this, and similar, events, are so relevant to the professional printing industry. It is, put simply, because it is at this type of forum where marketers collect information and insights, gain inspiration and ideas. Including on crucial questions such as how do I make my campaigns more successful, which channels should I be selecting, how do I integrate different channels effectively? Where does print fit in? And who can support me?

It is the marketing departments, advised by their agencies, that decide the shape of the marketing activities you will often be fulfilling in part at least through print. So the impact on the production printer of decision-making gatherings like this is profound.

Serving the needs of the marketing community

Ricoh’s stand was a busy one, as visitors explored how data can be cleansed and analysed, the process of consumer profiling and segmentation, the benefits of our Precision Marketing consultancy service and how Clickable Paper can bridge the printed page and the online realm. All in the interests of helping them achieve impressive returns on their marketing investments.

The fact that people could walk away with a personalised front cover of what was only the second issue of Forbes business magazine in Austria, complete with their own face on it, drew many marketing professionals to us. They saw at first hand how our marketing asset management and variable data solutions – MarcomCentral and FusionPro – work, and they benefitted from our expertise in harnessing data to create powerful, omni channel campaigns, with printed direct mail at their heart.

Exploiting the richness of data was also a major theme of Thomas Haas’ presentation. Our Precision Marketing Principal explained how the intelligent use of data can transform the impact of marketing campaigns, and how Ricoh can provide the expertise and solutions to help marketers make this happen. With direct mail often the hero channel thanks to its unique properties.

We will keep talking

Benoit Chatelard,   Vice President Production Printing Business Group

Benoit Chatelard,
Vice President
Production Printing Business Group

Ricoh will continue its dialogue with influencers in what we sometimes call the direct marketing ecosystem. Particularly with brand owners’ marketing executives and their marketing agencies. Talking to them about integrating print into communications, about harnessing data for first class results and about the power of Clickable Paper interactive print technology. It’s about raising their awareness and understanding – building demand for the direct mail and direct marketing services that our progressive production printing clients can deliver and add value to.