Kyocera Production Specialist Heidie-Mari Middel discusses the impact of inkjet on paper-heavy industries
The past 10 to 15 years have not been kind to large-scale print in any industry. In addition, the pandemic has spurred most companies to look to digital instead of print as a cheaper alternative to reach wider audiences on a tight budget.
Enter inkjet. The technology is turning the printing industry on its head. Its flexibility not only allows companies to produce short runs affordably, but to also generate value and achieve a high return on investment by combining the power of digital with the continued importance of print.
The shift towards digital is accelerating as the printing world adapts to new realities. This trend can be put down to the growing need for short runs, which are economically unfeasible with analogue, but ideally suited to digital. Personalised products represent an area for growth, as consumers increasingly expect uniqueness. Although these short-run jobs may involve printing smaller amounts, they can be highly lucrative for professional printers.
What really sets inkjet apart from other digital technologies, is the flexibility it provides. Businesses want the ability to produce both short and long runs affordably, combining monochrome and colour content, in extremely high quality and at great speed. By meeting these needs, inkjet is carving out a large share of the market and edging out its competitors at both ends of the scale, in high-volume work where traditional offset presses still dominate, and in low-volume work where digital toners used to dominate.
There are many reasons behind the success of inkjet’s impressive market conquering. First, this technology is ideal for affordable printing at a range of volumes, allowing consumers to adapt to meet changes in demand, which provides a serious competitive advantage in today’s volatile markets. On top of this, the ability to print both static and variable data in a single run means that users are no longer forced to make do with expensive, complicated solutions such as pre-printed offset templates.
Companies can therefore save money on outsourcing print runs, as well as transporting and storing templates. But more importantly, it prevents overproduction, reducing waste in terms of time, money, and materials. By making efforts to limit waste and respect the environment, companies can portray themselves as eco-friendly and differentiate themselves in increasingly narrow and competitive markets.
However, the number one reason for inkjet’s dramatic rise to glory is that it drives business growth. Inkjet devices provide the perfect combination of technological features that are required to take advantage of the continued importance of printing in our digital world. High-quality, on-demand printing empowers marketing teams in several key ways. It enables them to harness the power of whatever data they have collected and use it to personalise printed materials in order to target potential or existing customers more effectively.
Since the human brain responds better to print than digital media, and also trusts it more, sending vibrant promotional and communication materials in paper format is highly likely to capture readers’ attention and encourage a response, which can be converted into a lead and possibly a future customer.
Inkjet and the personalisation that it offers is a secret weapon for marketing departments, as it enables them to coordinate campaigns that make the most of both print and digital media to deliver messages and information efficiently and effectively. Acquiring an inkjet printer will help companies maximise their relationships with customers and quickly achieve a positive return on their investment.
It is an opportunity to take the next step and add value to what large scale print can offer. By incorporating the wealth of data intelligence at our fingertips, businesses can truly take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital age.