2014: It's Time to Embrace Change
Excerpted From InfoTrends’ Business Development Services 2014 Road Map by Barb Pellow

Embracing change is vital to your business’ ongoing success. The tools that businesses and consumers use to communicate are ever-changing. While print remains a core communications tool that is not going away, the ways in which it is used and produced are changing. Customers’ expectations are changing too—they expect providers to deliver more value. In 2014, dynamic businesses will meet these changes head-on, prepare to address the risks that the changes bring, and have the fortitude to adjust their business models to thrive and succeed. Success will require exploring new target markets, emerging technologies, new competitors, and print as well as non-print media alternatives. Navigating the year ahead starts with identifying the key trends and forces that will shape the business landscape. InfoTrends believes that the following 10 trends will yield the most influence:

  1. Follow the pages! For a significant number of print applications, changes in print demand will drive the transfer of offset produced pages to digital devices (electrophotographic and inkjet).
  2. Digital printing today is more than four-color. Texture, sparkle, and enhanced color add more value and margin to digital print.
  3. The right substrate opens the opportunity for high value (margin) print in today’s market.
  4. It’s more than “big data” – it’s the right data in real time!
  5. Lean is still in. Workflow is at the heart of productivity and profitability, and more and more tools are available to deliver on the lean promise.
  6. Mobile-to-print and print-to-mobile will become critical value-added services due to the pervasiveness of tablets and smartphones.
  7. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make print interactive!
  8. Print service providers are stepping up to the challenge of repositioning their businesses.
  9. Sales professionals will be business differentiators in 2014. Your sales team needs to deliver insight to drive sales!
  10. Acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships will continue. The best results will come from deals that are designed to transform businesses and expand value-added services.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “The only constant is change.” In the printing industry, change has happened more quickly than many would have wanted it to. There is no denying that transformative technologies have arrived and economies have shifted. The difficulty of change is not the problem, though–the real obstacle is the in-between time before we accept the fact that business transformation is critical.

Successful businesses recognize changes and embrace them early, because that’s much easier than playing catch-up. Waiting too long can put you at a competitive disadvantage. In 2014, I hope you are excited about change and that your business takes the lead in embracing it!

InfoTrends’ 2014 road map provides our recommendations on how to harness market trends to grow revenue and profit in 2014. Click below to read the full document, which includes details, statistics, and examples.