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Imaging Network Group’s (ING’s) fall meeting was held in Las Vegas from October 17-19, overlapping with the first day of Printing United—which was across town at the Vegas Convention Center. While print and printing took center stage the latter half the week, the three-day meeting of ING members included continuing conversations about the many challenges facing the industry: staffing, the supply chain, increasing regulations, data security, and rising costs. In addition, there was significant conversations about digital transformation and role of customer experience in communication delivery.
Printed Communications First
A majority of ING members are transactional service providers serving customers primarily in the healthcare and financial services industries. Direct marketing service providers are also among the members, with a small number providing transactional and direct marketing output. While nearly all the members provide print-related services, digital delivery capabilities are less pervasive—even with market data suggesting that businesses are increasingly looking for digital options for their transactional and direct marketing programs. Digital delivery is increasingly where we are seeing the growth in volumes of communications, and where investment and innovation are occurring.
It's All Customer Experience
Our 2022 Transactional Communications Business Survey showed that 56% of businesses said “improving customer experience” was their top priority, compared to 28% that listed “cost savings” as their top concern. When these same survey respondents were asked which communication type provided the “best customer experience,” digital channels came out on top—far surpassing printed communications as the preferred channel. This represents a significant challenge for PSPs that are print-first in their operational and sales approach.
|Results of Keypoint Intelligence’s 2022 Transactional Communications Business Survey |
showing that digital communications provide the best customer experience.
Embracing Digital Communication Services, But Where to Start?
As a service provider, transitioning from a print-first to a digital-first operation requires careful planning, sales resources, and technology investment. In a session titled “Best Practices for Adopting Digital Delivery in Print Centric Workflows,” six ING vendors sponsors shared their knowledge across a variety of topics related to digital delivery including integration with existing systems, dealing with pre-composed documents, on-boarding, ensuring process integrity, compliance reporting, and the outlook for related digital services such as electronic bill presentment and payment.
|Panelists react to comment from the audience during ING Vendor Roudtable |
“Best Practice for Adopting Digital Delivery in Print Centric Workflows”
L-R: Ryan Semanchik (Uluru), Matt Mahoney (Racami), Mary Ann Rowan (Solimar),
Erie Crawford (Crawford), Chris Petro (Canon), and Kevin Wake (Ricoh).
Delivering on Digital Does Not Mean Giving up on Print
A common misconception among services providers is that providing digital delivery capabilities means leaving print behead. The opposite is true. To keep print volumes (even grow them), there needs to be at least a balance of digital and print capabilities. Remember, it is all about providing the best customer experience. Businesses are increasingly less likely to be fully invested in one channel or the other. To them, it’s about engaging the customer at every touchpoint along their journey via their preference communication method, print or digital.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
It’s clear that businesses are prioritizing digital communications over print for transactional and direct marketing communications and that businesses are looking for print service providers to help with digital delivery, as well. In fact, 89% of respondents in our 2022 Transactional Communications Business Survey said they expect their print provider to also provide their digital delivery services.
As a peer-to-peer group, ING member companies with the support of their vendors sponsors are in a unique position to share best practices, make informed choices when investing new technologies and provide their business customers with the best of both print and digital delivery options.
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