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FEBRUARY 2013



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For Dealers, Media is Critical

Tim Greene, Director of Wide Format Printing Consulting Services

As this year's biggest wide format digital printing events come upon us one of the things I always look forward to is the assortment of digital print media options that hit the market for the first time. The variety of media is big and always getting bigger as more-and-more products are re-engineered to be compatible with the latest ink technology.

Print media is so important to the wide format digital printing market because it enables applications that help the market grow. For dealers of wide format digital printing equipment and supplies, media is a critical part of what they sell. Dealers who don't play very actively on the media side are wasting a big part of the opportunity that wide format digital represents. Let's look at two major reasons why:

Reason 1: Volume & Value
Of course dealers have to be able to provide these media products very quickly, and the wide variety of media products that are required make it a challenge to meet those same day/next day needs.

If you can do it, this is a huge differentiator between you and some other dealers who may "dabble" in inkjet media but haven't made it a strategic part of their business. The ability to fulfill media orders is a key decision criteria for print shops. They'll always go back to "the guys who can always get" whatever media products they need.

The other aspect of print media sales is that it represents a big part of selling wide format products in the first place. In our research we have found that the average wide format shop spends approximately 1/3rd more on inkjet media per year than it does on inks. By that calculus alone the print media is a more important part of the supplies value. But it is also true that many print shops will spend as much on print media in one year as they did on their printer which they would expect to use for 3-5 years.

Reason 2:
Additions=Opportunity

Think about it, how often does a company change the ink formulation for their printer? Almost never. How often does a new media product come out for that printer? All the time! When a new media product hits the market it gives the dealer a perfect reason to call on the users to tell them about the expanded portfolio, explain the benefits of the product, what applications its for, etc.

This is a perfect relationship-building opportunity and it is something we hear over-and-over again from end users that they want to see from their dealers.

Wide format print media is a key part of profiting from wide format products and services. Effective selling is both a highly transactional and "high-touch" effort that can add significantly to the dealers' bottom line.

Annual Average Wide Format Media vs. Ink Spend per Establishment

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Author: Tim Greene, Director of Wide Format Printing Consulting Services, InfoTrends, will field your questions, comments or arguments by email: tim_greene@infotrends.

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