In-depth analysis of any trend or industry can turn up some very surprising information when compared to more surface-level research that does not get to the root of matters at hand. Many argue that it is difficult to compare statistics and analysis that were generated several decades ago to those that are developed today because of how much more precise, exhaustive and thorough modern technologies have become in studies.
With respect to the print industry, the rapid decline in demand from both consumers and corporate buyers that took place in the middle of the 2000s proved to be significant, but did not actually appear to give a clear perspective of what is still to come for competitors in the sector. Rather, more recent reports are proving that the digital revolution might not have truly been the biggest cause of declining demand for print assets, but rather that the Great Recession that really made its mark on the industry as it did with so many others.
At the end of the day, hindsight is always perfect, and whether current forecasts for the print industry to experience a significant resurgence will come to fruition or not is still very much to be determined. However, given the consistency with which new reports are indicating an impending resurrection of various print items, there is plenty of reason to hope for the best in the coming years when looking at the trends surfacing today.
Many moving parts
What They Think recently explained some of the reasons why so many studies conducted in the time leading up to 2011 appeared to assume that the print industry was fading out into oblivion, and why other factors should have been compensated for in analysis. According to the news provider, one of the foundational findings that led many to believe the print industry was on the decline was the dramatic drop in companies that were competing in the sector, but this was not necessarily completely caused by a sustainable disruption like digital technology.
Rather, the industry – like virtually every other one – goes through periods of transformation in which many companies will sell off, consolidate and see their leaders retire, and simultaneously open the doors for a new group of entrants. The source explained that the print industry has been someone consistent in the time that data is available with respect to the number of companies exiting and entering each year, and that the sector at large remains ripe with opportunity.
In the same vein, What They Think explained that the print industry is highly dynamic, meaning that there are plenty of niche areas which have no bearing on the others or are not as impacted by broader trends. The news provider used this argument to affirm that every printer still has the opportunity to excel today and in the future, and it is just a matter of finding ways to build a sustainable business model in relatively turbulent conditions and times.
Finally, the source went on to affirm that data from Gallup reveals the past few years' improvements compared to the 2000s with respect to fewer closures and more starts.
All the potential
As is the case with any turbulent market or industry, there will always be just as many opportunities as there are obstacles, and those companies that work to overcome impediments and capitalize on potential will have plenty of reason to continue fighting in the print sector. Additionally, this works for corporate users of print services, in that the trend back toward more preferences for these types of mailings and communications is just beginning, giving leaders plenty of time to get the jump on competitors in this regard.
With the right alignment of modern objectives with print industry assets and services, companies in virtually every industry can continue building business value through traditional types of mediums and platforms. This can fuel the ability to aggressively pursue new opportunities and emerging markets, as well as meet the demands of older generations who are not entirely sold on the prospect of interacting with mobile devices and other digital electronics.