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The print market is constantly changing and evolving. As a print consultancy, we believe that print suppliers need to adapt quickly to put the requirements of their clients at the heart of everything they do, in order to remain profitable and relevant in this fast-moving environment.

Advances in digital print technology will provide the opportunity for our clients to connect more directly to their customers than ever before, via a growing number of contact points and channels.

Increased personalisation and shorter print runs are now becoming the norm rather than the exception. This means that printed communications are increasingly more closely targeted to the relevant audience and thus more effective. It also means that the amount of waste is reducing; this has both cost and environmental benefits. Increased environmental awareness has also led to higher recycling rates throughout the print industry. Using paper from sustainable sources with certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is also increasing.

The popularity of printed direct mail as a medium for communicating with consumers is undergoing a resurgence and research shows that print is the most trusted medium when it comes to receiving messages.

Time is money

Another trend we have witnessed at Corvis, particularly in the highly competitive retail sector, is the demand for a reduction in the time to market for the supply of printed communications. Production cycles for the creation and delivery of POS for example have shortened significantly in recent years. A trend that is likely to continue. This could be a threat to print suppliers that do not innovate and invest in the latest technology. However, we believe that it represents a major opportunity for forward thinking organisations. These enterprises will give better support to their clients by offering data-driven innovations, coupled with the latest printing technology. This in turn will shorten production lead times and deliver high quality printed outputs, more speedily than ever before.

The very best suppliers will offer solutions that fit this dynamic communications model, with services that include creative design and data management.

A shrinking, more specialised print market

One of the biggest threats to organisations within the print industry is the on-going consolidation of the print market. A decreasing number of key suppliers are taking a larger market share. This means that we are likely to see some smaller, less responsive or inefficient printers going out of business. Other, more forward-thinking, printers will focus on technology-driven print solutions or on growing niche markets.

We are also witnessing a continuation in the development and evolution of specialist print management agencies. They are moving their service offerings well beyond traditional print technologies, as the struggle to increase sales for their customers now spreads across all communication channels.

The digital revolution could also be a threat to the print industry. This is particularly true in the OOH sector. Digital integration could, however, provide significant opportunities in other sectors. The blending of digital signage with traditional print in the form of printed electronic displays is becoming increasingly common. At Corvis, we consider that this trend will continue, especially as ongoing reductions in monitor costs have seen an increase in the use of video screens.

So, the key message here from us, is there are multiple opportunities for print market to thrive. But only if traditional print companies adapt their working practices to become more customer focused, and are willing to go beyond print, in order to meet the needs of the ever more demanding client base.