Greetings Citizens of the Printerverse! It’s almost time to close the books on 2019 which means it’s a perfect opportunity to look back at some of the subjects that drove discussions in the Printerverse this year, and what we can learn from them moving forward.

Setbacks

While some manufacturers may have reason to boast about their bottom lines, as a whole equipment sales were down this year. This has caused loss of jobs, loss of services and product lines, office closings, plant closings, mill closings… you get the picture. While it’s never good for the industry for our big companies to lose big money, and we will all feel some trickle-down effects of it in 2020 if you haven’t started to already, it’s also an opportunity for everyone to regroup and look at their offerings.

There is a lot of redundancy when it comes to equipment. Different logos on the outside, not always so different on the inside. I do agree that variety is important as printers have varied needs, but when companies try to be everything to everyone and saturate the market with minor differences, it doesn’t always work out as intended. It will be interesting to watch the mergers and acquisitions space next year… with wide-eyes and a bucket of popcorn!

Comebacks

As I wrote in this post, Printing United Provides Sweet Revenge For Print Lovers, INDUSTRY OPTIMISM is the comeback story of 2019. If you don’t have it, then get it and start spreading print love in your office, your shop, your plant, your mill, your factory and with the world through your blogs and social channels. Print positivity is a strategy. You will attract fellow optimists and print lovers who don’t need “convincing” that print is everywhere, and they will be more approachable for new ideas, products, and services.

Givebacks

Cause marketing inspired the industry to take some interesting turns in 2019. Traditionally we see giving back to schools and students, but this year giving expanded to diseases, veterans, and blood drives; causes that connect the print industry to the rest of world, not just ourselves. Exhibitors at trade shows offered donations in exchange for badge scans, their causes proudly displayed in booths and in marketing materials. This was nice to see, and it felt good having my badge scanned knowing it mattered in a bigger way.

2019 also saw the launch of Project Peacock Print Fair. Over the course of the year, we connected with almost 1000 print customers, creatives, students and printers, and proactively engaged at pop-up events in NYC, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto to share the new opportunities with print, paper and substrates, finishing and marketing technology. We generated new print projects, new relationships between print customers and printers, and most importantly showed some of the biggest ad agencies and brands in the world the cool, new things they could do with print and apply to their projects.

While I am the founder of Project Peacock, I am not mentioning its success to boast. I want to focus on the companies that stepped-up and gave back to the industry by participating, providing amazing samples and educating the print customers, creatives, marketers, and students on their equally amazing technology and what it could do. Project Peacock Pioneers Domtar Paper and Canon Solutions America, along with Agfa, Konica Minolta, MGI, Xeikon, and Xerox are true giveback heroes. They joined me in 2019 to educate the end-users, to create positive industry vibes and relationships with students, and helped update the perception of print to be a modern, cool technology, with our big-budget attendees.

If you are a printer and don’t see the companies that you work on the list above, you are missing out. Once they see the new, amazing possibilities with print, Peacock attendees are REQUESTING help from Peacock Partners to provide contact details for printers they can work with to execute projects, BIG projects. An agency that was Peacocked is now working with a printer who was referred by a Peacock Partner. In this case, the new business was a fast-food account and the initial request worked out to more than $250K a month.

While the size of that Peacock “win” is more exception than rule, a plethora of referrals have generated new business for printers with agencies and brands, as well as corporations, utilities, credit cards, banks, and retail operations. And the leads Peacock Partners received have also crossed into equipment inquiries. One of the Peacock Partners is now in discussions with a national print operation they met at one of the events, for multiple machines. Selling equipment was never the focus of Project Peacock, but it has become an unexpected and wonderful result.

Additional Peacock Partners joined us along the way in 2019 and you can see them here. NAPCO’s Printing Impressions and Target Marketing provided true media support, and information about Printing United and Brand United was shared at every Peacock event, driving attendance to those shows. All our partners deserve some thanks for their industry education giveback and I hope they step up to do more events with us in 2020. You can help by asking your press and finishing reps, favorite paper mills and paper merchants to participate, especially if you are in or around Miami, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Portland. Those are the four cities Project Peacock Print Fair will visit in 2020, dates will be announced soon. Stay tuned to everything Peacock here.

In her 2019 wrap-up blog, Kelly Mallozzi said: “it was the best of times and the worst of times”. To that, I offer up this New Year’s toast to the industry with more hope than ever it will come true… May the best days of 2019, be your worst of 2020!.

Print Long and Prosper!


DeborahCorn-PrintMediaCentrDeborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse™ at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist™, industry speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts from The Printerverse, cultivator of Print Production Professionals the #1 print group on LinkedIn, Head Girl in Charge (H.G.I.C.) at GirlsWhoPrint, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors including the 2016 Girls Who Print Girlie Award and sits on the boards of the Advertising Production Club of NYC and The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi.

Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer. She currently provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through PMC, and works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers, and achieve success with their social media and content marketing endeavors.

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