Friday, January 2, 2009

Predictions for Print in 2009

Interesting stuff at Trans-Promo Live. It's worth the click to read the full post.

He said, in the lede,
2009 World and TransPromo Predictions The change in the white house will send the signal to the world, that America is changing. The reinvestment of dollars back into America will create new pride in our products and services. The changing of the guards will symbolize new hope and birth the New Economy. The programs put into place will be smarter, and as America reclaims status in the world New Economy. This new economy moves faster, has massive infrastructure, and is socially connected at work, play and on the web. Once Americans unite - expect mega change . . . more
I said, in the comments,

I think you’ve nailed it. Just some additions,

It will be getting closer to tipping point time for education, health and government. Cell phones will connect physical print to the Cloud. The information in the Cloud will come back into real life in Print. Google will store and deliver real time locational analytics. iPhones, Blackberries and competing 3G phones will be standard. As this scales, around 2012, direct mail as we now know it, disappears.

Formal educational institutions will be forced to share the value created by Cloud based communication with faculty, students and parents. New organizations, without the legacy overhead of a monopoly market, will form that will offer education at appropriate prices. The disruption of newspapers and the auto industry will be small potatoes compared to the coming disruption of “higher ed.”

Added after the comment at Trans-Promo Live.
Check out this post about online higher ed in California because of the budget crisis.

For health this means a printed poster, cell phone linked to a website, with a printed booklet for that baby boomer with their specific medication protocol. It will be printed at the point of contact at the primary care facilities. It will start at Walmart or another retail health delivery functionality.

For government it will be online posting of legislation and executive rules in process. The content will go to a wiki, be crowd sourced and then printed versions pulled down from the cloud by interested people to distribute to their friends, constituents and representatives.

For newspapers it will be using the long tail of content to produce paperback books, posters and customized newsletters delivered to avid readers who are willing to pay money for them. Some of those readers will be bottom of the pyramid high school kids and their parents.

Print will begin to migrate away from advertising and towards printed content that people willingly pay for.

New print capacity will move towards printed electronics, focused on RFID, OLED displays and printed solar panels. As the printed electronics industry grows, the supply and demand of print capacity will be rebalanced.


Value comes from doing something easier and better than your customer. The thing that every printer does easier than almost every customer is manufacture books, news(letters), posters and packaging.

The trick is seeing that a "book" includes magazines and any bound multi page document. That means presentations, power point in print, stapled handouts.

"News(letters)" includes company newsletters, the NY Times,Church bulletins, brochures and billing statements. That means pages that are meant to be scanned, but mostly read.

"Posters" include business cards, signs, printed pens and apparel. That means stuff that is mostly meant to be scanned and sometimes read.

Packaging holds stuff with elements of posters thrown in if that helps getting it distributed.

Real innovation comes from figuring out new ways to use the stuff that printers already make, not by printers becoming communication providers. Except of course, for those printers that actually become communication experts.

1 comment:

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