So much of the news regarding the print industry has been ominous throughout the past several years that it seems all but inevitable that the sector would fade out into oblivion before the end of this decade. However, more recently, studies have indicated that demand and revenues for these firms are in fact rising once again, fighting back from the clutches of what was a serious financial crisis in the late 2000s and rebounding beyond what many believed was possible.
Certain trends will be clear and present, indicating exactly what is to come from one industry or another, while others will seemingly rise to prominence and unexpectedly take a turn somewhere down the road. For example, look at three-dimensional televisions, which many analysts and experts thought would be the only devices for home entertainment flying off the shelves in the coming years, but proved to have a short-lived time of popularity and then a complete drop in demand.
Similar types of movements are taking place in digital industries associated with books, communications, marketing, sales and beyond, where technology-based strategies are still important but do not tell the whole story. Rather, print items are seeing their value increase across the board, leading many in the industry to increase their production and become a bit more hopeful when looking at the road ahead.
High hopes indeed
Forbes recently published a branded blog post from Sageworks, a business management firm, that evaluated the findings of a new study that sought to discover exactly what types of movements are taking place in the print industry today, as well as what is to come for competitors therein. Suffice it to say that the results of the report were more than optimistic, clearly showing that the demand for print products among a wealth of clientele – both consumers and corporate purchasers – is remaining resilient in the digital era.
According to the news provider, Sageworks conducted an analysts of companies that are competing in the print industry in one form or another, and found that sales were actually increasing, rather than just decreasing less rapidly as other studies had indicated. One of the more promising findings was that profits have increased substantially of late, with the source noting that average net margins have expanded from 1.4 percent in 2011 to 5.2 percent in the past year.
"Sales growth has been fairly constant over the past five years at somewhere between 3 and 5 percent," Sageworks analyst Jenna Weaver explained, according to Forbes. "In the year ended January 20, sales increased about 4 percent. That shows us this industry is still growing its revenue, even though the popular opinion is that this industry is dying or really struggling. Our data shows that's not the case, at least with these private companies."
The news provider also pointed out that a composite graphic created by Sageworks perfectly illustrated how sales declined substantially in 2010, but have been rising steadily ever since.
"Overall, while this industry's ratios may be a bit lower than some of our shining stars or even the average for all private companies, there are no glaring indicators that they're not going to be able to meet their debt or that they're losing money," Weaver added to the source. "They are still growing sales, and they are improving profits."
More to come
So, it is becoming clearer with the passing of each day that companies, consumers and others are still interested in purchasing and receiving physically printed documents, meaning that businesses cannot stray entirely away from these assets when creating strategies meant to guide sales and marketing down the road. If printers are getting more business because of rising demands and turning the opportunities into higher profits through refined practices, corporate decision-makers ought to be able to establish a plan that incorporates these products and services.
From traditional mail newsletter distribution to sending out sales and marketing communications to current and prospective clientele, there are a wealth of opportunities within the print industry to help companies begin separating themselves from the competition and cementing the brand as a preferred name among a variety of clientele.