Selling print documents doesn't have to be a struggle, even in the digital era. It's true that some fields are moving in a completely online direction, with little need for physical forms. The way to stay afloat in the print provider marketplace isn't to chase down businesses in those shrinking fields – trying to turn back trends is too big a job for anyone, never mind a single business. Instead, it's time to focus on the industries that have resolutely stuck to print.
If you look carefully, you can detect whole industries that haven't severed their respective relationships with print. Whether they are using the documents for vital internal functions or sending them to consumers to create stronger bonds, these firms are prime targets for the printing industry. An organization in one of these fields will still need a relationship with a printing business, and you can fulfill that role. But which companies have the greatest demand for print?
Finance at the forefront
A recent Printing Industry column by contributor Phil Riebel pointed to a likely candidate for an industry in need of paper: personal finance. The author indicated that not only do people like to deal with credit card providers that offer paper billing statement, they may refuse to sign up for a new account if the bank won't provide printed documents. The push in finance toward online billing has only gone so far and, at least for the moment, there are plenty of consumers who consider the presence of paper to be a vital element of choosing a financial institution.
As long as these factors are true, the financial sector will be an ideal market for your business forms. The demand for secure and important documents is the strongest possible signal that your paper products will be welcome. No credit provider wants to face backlash or lose subscribers, and those outcomes may result from the elimination of physical forms.
Riebel presented hard data to support his assertion that paper is still strong, including figures from Creditcards.com and some from his own organization, Two Sides. He explained that people are more likely to read bills when they get physical copies of them – only 15 percent of digital statements are actually viewed, and the number balloons to 50 percent for paper documents.
The preference for paper still runs deep, even among digital transformations. Riebel stated that 8 in every 10 consumers like to have paper bills for their own records and files, and 64 percent would not sign up for an account with a credit company that only offered e-billing. The author explained that, while financial firms often couch their electronic-only systems in green language, people see saving costs as the real motivator, even feeling deceived by their banks.
The customer is always right, and banks will do what it takes to please their cardholders. This means, as presented by the above data, that they still have strong motivation to stay in the paper billing business in the years ahead. Your role is to provide the forms that will keep this relationship between financial firms and clientele strong.
Credit firms appeal to millennials
Of course, selling to the financial services industry would be difficult if these companies were falling out of favor with the public. According to Forbes contributor Kate Ashford, however, there's little danger of this happening – millennials have become a strong new group of credit users. She explained that earlier warnings about low amounts of card ownership among millennials were based on a data pool skewed by the inclusion of those too young to own cards.
Ashford noted that when FICO polled millennials between the ages of 25 and 34, it revealed that 83 percent of these young people are credit users. Furthermore, half of those surveyed use multiple cards – at least three per individual. These figures show the ongoing demand for financial forms. If you can provide banks with documents that suit their needs, they will be able to serve their customers well, making your firm a valuable partner.
There's no need to try and re-open markets that no longer use paper in great amounts. Finance, and other industries like it, remains a great prospective sales environment for your business forms. Consumers want to read paper bills and, as such, companies will keep using them – customers dictate the ground rules.