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Variable-Data Printing Shows Healthy Growth

Nearly 40% of graphic-arts firms now producing in-house VDP jobs.




Variable-data printing is on a solid growth track, according to a recent report from TrendWatch Graphic Arts, the New York-based consultancy.

“VDP may not be in the marketing budget of every client, but it's in the marketing budgets of a lot of them. It's an important and growing portion of printers' revenue streams, replacing lost volumes of traditional print runs and helping to increase print's relevance in today's Internet age,” the report reads.

Highlights from the report, “Variable Data Printing 2006: Growth and Changes in the Marketplace,” include:

* 37% of graphic-arts firms (printers and trade shops) produce some sort of VDP jobs in-house–up from 28% one year ago.

* 18% of digital printers say their volume of full-color VDP jobs with 13+ fields has increased “a little” — a fivefold increase from one year ago.

* Commercial printers are almost twice as likely to say they are working primarily with marketers, rather than traditional creative agencies, than trade shops–51% vs. 29%.


* 16% of creatives say their use of VDP has increased “a little” (1-25%) or “a lot” (25% or more).

* The percentage of publishers who see VDP as a top sales opportunity has risen from 2% in Q2 2002 to 8% today.

“The marketing world is moving to a relevance-based and 1:1 environment, and the print portion of that world is no exception,” says Heidi Tolliver-Nigro, TrendWatch analyst and author of the report. “If creatives, marketers, and printers think their competitors are not using VDP in their marketing, they are misjudging the market.”

Press and VDP software suppliers have done a great job of transitioning into the VDP training and educational arms of their printing customers, making the technological transition from static printer to VDP printer much easier than in years past, reads the report. “Now, the ball is in the printers' courts, and they must learn to do a transition of their own, from printers to marketing services providers and business development partners to their customers.”





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