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Published on February 2nd, 2018 | by Kerry Yoakum

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Supplier Spotlight: 4 Questions for OOH Printers

Kerry Yoakum

Kerry Yoakum Vice President of Government Affairs, OAAA


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OAAA regularly features Thought Leadership Q&A from its committee members. This month, OAAA presents the Supplier Spotlight, asking OOH printers four insightful questions:

What are the major opportunities and challenges facing printers today?

What are the largest customer categories for your business: OOH media companies, ad agencies, advertisers, direct retail, other?

What can the industry do to help promote the printing business?

Do you expect your printing business in 2018 to be up, down, or flat?

Robert Arnold, President, Associated Posters
Opportunities are constantly evolving for printers today. We have found that in today’s market the ability to say “yes” goes a long way. It is our job as printers to offer many custom solutions for the ever-changing print buyer. Simple things like order placement can have many different solutions. Email, Phone, Fax, Online…the out-of-the-box, same-for-everyone option is not our solution to growth and new business. At the end of the day, no matter how much we automate, people still by from people. People want to deal with people especially when issues arise. We pride ourselves on a good balance of old and new school.

Largest customer categories: OOH media companies, print broker, and ad agencies. We do very little direct retail in the OOH field.

Eliminate RFP. It is impossible to value a company strictly on a 30-page numbers book. Too often, printers are looked at based on numbers crunched to satisfy an RFP. Quality, service, history, and what a printer has contributed to the industry is negated. The industry can help printers by putting value on the relationships we foster within the industry, our participation in Industry matters/initiatives, and the quality of the work we provide. The integrity and credibility of each printer should be considered more. It’s the people to people interactions that sets us apart. And in my opinion, the industry needs to value that and give it top consideration.

We expect 2018 to be up from 2017.

Allan Atkins, Vice President of Sales, Independent’s Service Company
Challenges include the possibility of connecting our systems to our customers’ software allowing them to order production directly through their charting or media buying software. This could increase efficiencies and speed up the production buying process.

OOH media companies are our largest customers, followed by ad agencies, and direct advertisers.

We expect our business in 2018 to be flat.

Andrew Cousin, Chief Executive Officer, Circle Graphics
Opportunities: Speed is critical and one of the most important differentiators. Faster delivery is key to winning new business and retaining existing customers.

Challenges: Overall, OOH print production demand will continue to decline due to digital conversion. This creates a tough competitive dynamic due to a “shrinking pie.” It is important to find ways to print: better, cheaper, faster to maintain/grow market share.

Largest customer categories: OOH media companies, ad agencies, advertisers, direct retail.

Support green initiatives to convert vinyl substrates (landfill) to PE – Polyethylene (recyclable)

Market down 2-3 percent due to digital conversion. Business up 0-2 percent due to market share gains.

Nathan MerrittOOH Sales Director, OAI Inc.
With the larger outdoor advertising companies, independent outdoor advertising operators, and agencies, the growth opportunities to service printing needs have certainly increased. But, the challenges have also increased with larger outdoor advertising companies acquiring smaller independent operators, which historically drive down rates and profit margins for the printers.

Largest customer categories include: OOH, sports and events, decorators, agencies, and conventions

I don’t believe anyone in the printing industry would ask OAAA to do their jobs for them. However, I do believe the large format print industry would benefit from data showing break downs on where OOH is spending its printing dollars (i.e. posters, bulletins, transit, or print ads). Also, data on what influences and drives the OOH companies and agencies buying decisions (i.e., price points, customer service, turn times or quality of product provided).

We are expecting double-digit growth in 2018.

Beau Wells, Director of National Sales and Business Development, Vincent Printing
Printers today face a dynamic OOH landscape with marketers investing more in digital, mobile, and social advertising. The opportunities are in understanding the advantages of this type of media and how it can be amplified with static OOH print. Printers need to educate themselves on the ways in which digital and static can co-exist. Well executed digital campaigns, driving some promotional offer or leveraging creative change-outs, can be supported by print campaigns to strengthen and support the overall brand message.

OOH media companies are our largest customer category, followed by ad agencies.

I personally believe the OOH industry is experiencing a creative renaissance of sorts, with more and more emphasis being placed on excellent creative. This could be attributed to the emergence and dominance of social and content marketing campaigns that create a constant stream of communication. OOH print creative must do more to capture the audience’s attention. The return on this creative execution is market awareness and effectiveness, ultimately driving growth in our industry. Highlighting these effective campaigns on social media outlets or within trade publications is an excellent way to promote the printing industry.

We expect growth in the industry as whole, which all printers should benefit from in 2018. As it relates to traditional media, OOH advertising remains the most constant with OOH media companies leading the way thru technological innovation and environmental sustainability initiatives. We are dedicated to supporting these ingenuities through product development and a dedication to creating efficiencies wherever they may be.

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