In the print production market, including Graphic Communications and Industrial Printing, customers’ needs and expectations have changed over the last 30 years. As printing technology has changed, the method and means of production has changed, but print quality and impact are still the most important considerations. As digital quality levels and speeds keep increasing, new communication channels (email, social, etc.) and print embellishments or decorations (such as with our MGI solutions) have been the moving factors that continue to reset expectations for end customers.
If you’ve paid attention to the print industry, you know that Variable Data tools and Data-Driven Marketing have existed for 25 years or more. Now, new forms of personalization are pushing the limits of the imagination. With Konica Minolta MGI products, not only does Variable Foiling respond to this segment of the market, but we can now attack the anti-counterfeiting market with Variable Holograms (which is being shown at Print ’17 in September). In the very near future, Augmented Reality management platforms will allow us to produce Variable Data Video (VDV), which is customized to the recipient with data such as account balances, spending patterns, etc. Personalization is not just VDP anymore. New Personalization takes a mass consumer experience and makes it personal and actionable.
Changes in the market mean changes to how we approach our clients. The consultative sales approach is critical to becoming a trusted business advisor. However, this means we need to continually be learning about the industry our clients are servicing and learning from the client about their needs. At Konica Minolta, we strive to fill the role of consultant first and foremost. When we deliver true value, we assess opportunities with the help of LEAN methods and tools. In the end, value is brought forth when new perspectives and ideas are openly discussed.
The next five years will bring interesting new value to our clients. New markets are gaining velocity; it’s truly exciting for the printing industry. We will see significant growth in packaging, labeling, conductive inks, OLED, etc. Perhaps someday soon we will even be venturing into new areas like electro-luminescent inks and printable batteries, effectively blurring the line between print and true manufacturing beyond where we could have imagined 30 years ago.