What’s the Deal with Digital?
What is an effective strategy for introducing the benefits of digital printing while avoiding deal-busting database dilemmas? Why should distributors of label products, in particular, be excited about digital technology? How can manufacturers running both conventional and digital printing equipment determine which workflow is most appropriate for specific jobs?
These are a few emerging issues worth examining as digital printing continues to infiltrate the marketplace. Here, industry professionals offer tips and insights regarding the technology, as they look at how to sell it, where it’s growing and when to use it.
Sizzling Steak or Suffering Succotash
Some distributors are getting so caught up in selling the digital sizzle, they’re failing to serve any “steak” to customers, leaving them hungry for real, practical solutions to business challenges. In fact, Bill Doehler’s motto is, “Think not about everything possible with digital; think about specific digital solutions for particular business plans.”
As the executive vice president of Edison, New Jersey-based Prodigital Printing went on to explain, “I’m seeing a lot of solutions in search of problems, and people being enamored by the buzz words of technology.” The upshot is confusion and frustration. Distributors are being bombarded with all the bells and whistles digital printing can provide. But, when they go out and present these capabilities to the marketplace, they’re discovering the marketplace, in many respects, is not ready to implement broad-sweeping changes to daily operations.
“I can go out and gee-whiz people to death with all the things they can do with PURLs. But, what they really need—and want—are hard numbers, perhaps a way to drive response rates from 2 percent to 8 percent. For example, if the customer is mailing 10,000 pieces, suggest taking 2,500 and trying a PURL or adding a one-to-one element, like a big graphical salutation,” offered Doehler. “Painting a picture of demographic triggers and all the fancy things that are going to happen within the context of versioned documents immediately sets customers on the defensive, due to their inability to provide the data required to do these things. Start slow; if you lead with the bells and whistles, you end up with a client mired in data issues, and a picture that can’t be framed.”
Related story: Digital Labels are the Answer