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Helping Decide Which Frogs to Kiss

(January 2006) posted on Wed Jan 04, 2006

Understanding your business and providing value-add services is key.


By Stephen Beals

If you're investing in a digital workflow, wouldn't it be nice to
know where the work is going to come from? It's one thing to
have all the latest technologies and variable print capability as
well as PDF processing and Web ordering. But once you have all
of that in place, how do you keep the machinery running and
the dollars flowing?

That may be a question that's best asked before the initial
capital outlay is made. Even if you find yourself in a position
of having the workflow technology without the work to fill it up,
however, a new program
announced at this year's
Print 05 show from the
Digital Printing Council of
PIA/GATF"?the "Marketing
4 Digital" series"?may be
able to help.

Beginning in November,
the council will offer a
series of reports that takes
an in-depth look at 24 different
digital printing market
segments and explores
the status and potential
of each market"?how to
reach it, who the players
are, what printing applications
each segment uses, and so on. These industries represent
nearly 80% of all print buying in the US, according to the
council.

Twenty-four market segments

The Digital Printing Council Steering Committee, under the leadership
of David Torok of Padgett Printing of Dallas, approved
the Marketing 4 Digital (M4D) project in October of last year.
The program is being researched by graduate students at Cal
Poly, Clemson, and RIT, under the direction of Frank Romano.
Eleven students are on the initial team, with three working on
the project full time. Administrative and production assistance
for the project is being provided by the PIA/GATF staff. Project
sponsors include Adobe, Canon, HP, Kodak, and Xerox.

The M4D project will analyze 24 market segments specifically
to aid printers in marketing digital printing as well as variable-
data printing. It will also provide information for marketing
of offset printing in general.

"Smart printers know that understanding their customer's
business is key to providing more value-added services," says
Torok. "M4D helps you decide which 'frogs to kiss,' and where
your next top 10 customers might be."


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