Print needs a single sustainable voice
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By Marcus Timson, director, EcoPrint
30 May 2012
EcoPrint research shows that print, an introverted industry, needs to find a single sustainable voice.
The recent EcoPrint white paper, written by Jon Stack from PMC and featuring the findings from a survey of 200 or so print professionals, highlights some key challenges for the print sector, as far as I am concerned. The headline stat is that only 7.3 percent of respondents believe that print is actually getting its sustainable message across to buyers.
Print is an introverted industry. Buried in the supply chain, very few of our businesses are truly extroverted in that we don't communicate very well with our customer base. And in a world of rapid-fire decisions, where information can transcend continents in the blink of an eye, I do think we need to find our voice or risk getting lost in the rapid blur of change and information.
It didn't come as any surprise to me that only 7.3 percent of our informed community believe that print is getting its sustainable message across to our buyers, because I just don't think that print is necessarily effectively getting its innovative message across either. Sorry, I don't mean to be negative; the leaders amongst us are doing the right thing, there are those who can inspire change – but the mainstream in our market are not challenging or leading their customers with marketing innovation.
There is, and always has been, a huge chasm between print production companies and the buyers of print. But there is an opportunity in that our buyers do actually need print. The good news is that of course they still want it – the demand may have contracted through the forces of the recession, but buyers are starting to demand print that it is produced in a responsible and sustainable way.
To those that say 'no-one is asking for sustainable print', I say this: the mainstream really doesn't ask for anything, until something is, well, mainstream. And more importantly, no one asked for digital print, the automobile or the iPhone either!
So for those of us who don't want to join the shift to sustainability, you will not attend EcoPrint anyway. To those of us thinking about sustainability, go on, join us. EcoPrint will provide you with the answers for sustainability and also how to communicate that to your customers.
To gain a free copy of the EcoPrint White Paper, please register to visit EcoPrint.
Marcus Timson is a director of EcoPrint, a sustainability-focused trade show taking place on September 26th and 27th 2012.
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