New Year predictions - Print & Procurement's Matthew Parker

By Jenny Roper, Monday 17 December 2012

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Matthew Parker, director, Print & Procurement

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What trend do you think 2012 will be remembered for?

If it delivers everything Benny says it will, then I think nanography’s going to be a real game changer for certain parts of the industry, and 2012 will be remembered as the year it came out. And from what I hear, there has been huge progress on this technology since Drupa and the samples have come on a long way. So I think those printers who invest in it are going to be in a very different position to those who are still trying to sell traditional litho work at the kind of runs that nanography is best suited to.
Of course I could be completely wrong, but then by the time it does or doesn’t happen in three or four year’s time, everyone will have forgotten I made the prediction in 2012- so I’m in a fairly good position!

What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2013 and why?

I think the opportunity is to realise the potential for multi-channel communication. There’s now a growing realisation that these things should work in harmony, so it’s not print or email anymore, it’s print and email, and videos and mobile communications as well. If you look at people like Pensord, they’re selling very successfully to publishers because they’re becoming a trusted digital production partner. But people also need to realise that they need to back digital up with print, because there are loads of studies to show that the best ROI is still gained from magazine advertising, or that if you want your emails to be effective you need to back them up with print.

What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2013 and why?

Traditional thinking. The biggest issue is an unwillingness to change, people getting bogged down in the day to day work and never taking a step back to think about what they’re doing with customers. Some printers are doing a fantastic job selling solutions and understanding the customer’s business, but it requires many more companies to think like that for the print industry to do well and survive.

What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2013?

Customer engagement. I had a great piece of design and print from someone recently but the copy was all about a press. Now I’m a fairly geeky print person but even I got bored quite quickly. It shouldn’t be all about the press, it should be how this impacts your customers, and then it makes it about the customer’s business.

What was your highlight of 2012?

Getting, through training and consultancy work and participating in Fuji/Xerox’s Innovate conference, to work with the print industry in many different areas, including India, China, Taiwan, Asia and the Pacific. It allowed me to see where the UK was at compared with other countries. Also, because we’re so developed in the UK, we can take a jaded view sometimes, so it was really nice to see some of the passion out there for print.

What was the most important thing that you learnt in 2012?

The power of social media and how that can be used in the print sector. I’ve been very active this year in places like Linked In and Twitter and as a result I’ve been approached by people I wouldn’t have dared approach myself. I’m at a point now where I get most of my business through referrals and social media. I believe print businesses can build their businesses that way too.

What will you do differently in 2013?

I’m going to try and achieve a better work/life balance!

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