HP India is betting big on the growth opportunities of digital printing in India and outdoor advertising. Puneet Chadha, Director – Graphics Imaging Solutions, Imaging & Printing Group, HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd, shares his views on the future of digital printing in the country.
Chadha said, “Digital printing in India is experiencing phenomenal growth. According to a recent study by PIRA, an international research agency, India’s digital printing industry is growing at a rate of 73 per cent. Eighty-six per cent of the pages printed today are in the graphic arts space. The key opportunity lies in this segment. Out of the total graphic arts pages, only 6 per cent are printed digitally, the rest are printed using technologies that are 100-200 years old.”
Chadha explained that the customers would find a lot of merit in creating material and content by moving to digital. “Digital printing will not only aid in selling more and communicating better, but also lead to significant cost savings. The idea is to create more impact and effective total cost of ownership. Therefore, our products in the digital printing space are designed with parameters that enhance speed, quality, equipped with new technology to enable printing on different kind of media such as vinyl, textile, wood and glass and reducing printing costs,” he added.
“From traditional channels like print, radio and electronic, consumers today have moved into the world of blogs, podcasts, and interactive TV, which have also given an immense boost to digital printing. With markets getting fragmented everyday; modern day communication has to be personalized in order to strike a balance and get noticed. And to bring in the personal touch in communications, digital printing is an easy, fast and essential tool for modern day communicators and marketers,” Chadha explained.
Meanwhile, James Lofthouse, Senior Strategist Tequila\Asia Pacific, also underlines the importance of digital printing in redefining personal printed communication. Omnicom, part of TBWA\Group, owns Tequila\Asia Pacific.
Lofthouse said, “Digital printing is referred to as the greatest innovation since Gutenberg’s movable typewriter. It has brought about a renaissance in direct mail by redefining personalised printed communications. It has improved the effectiveness of direct mailers and the efficiency of collateral management, thereby enhancing higher response rate. Research conducted at Tequila show that personalised mailers are the most effective tools of communication and over 63 per cent of the companies in the UK are adhering to it. Direct marketers use tools like personally addressing, aesthetically designing the envelope, a free gift and making the mailer look official to attract consumer’s attention. And results have shown in that over 90 per cent of the consumers can relate to direct mailers. For printing these direct mailers, digital printing is the best and most feasible solution. Firstly, it is cost convenient, can be easily personalised, fast and can print on any surface. Therefore, globally Tequila uses a lot of digital printing solutions to enhance the scope of direct marketing.”
According to Chadha, “Outdoor advertising is growing at a phenomenal rate. In India, it is pegged to be a Rs 1,000-crore market. Planners have realised the importance of outdoor as a better option to TV or print because of pricing and ROI. With modernisation of cities, there is an increased opportunity in shopping malls, retail showrooms and bus shelters. According to industry estimates, 250 shopping malls are scheduled to come up, creating opportunities for 50 million sq ft of retail space.”
Chadha further said that outdoors advertising in modern day communication was not only confined to billboards, but also covered field graphics that involved immense creative elements. “The entrance of MNCs (luxury and retail brands) has also led to the growth in the signage market. In addition, single brand outlets and organised retail (mobile shops, consumer electronics) are a graphics intensive industry. Everyone wants to make their showrooms stand out amidst competition. Graphics has to play a major role in this. Couple of examples that I would like to cite are that of Nike and Adidas. Nike started an outdoor interactive advertisement – if one runs for a certain distance, a certain amount of money is given to a charity foundation. Similarly, Adidas put up a huge structure of German goalie Oliver Kahn near the airport to attract audience prior to the World Cup soccer in Germany. Posters, field graphics, banners are all part of new age outdoors and are more effective than traditional communication forms,” he said.
“The focus of the marketer is to generate higher ROIs, but at minimal cost of printing. HP’s Scitex and Designjet range of printers are capable of printing on any surface and, therefore, offer that additional freedom to creative minds. Also, deviating from analog printing, the marketer has the freedom to print in minimal quantities required for the campaign and can personalise according to the target audience,” said Chadha.
Elaborating on the future plans, Chadha said, “On the one hand, we will constantly work on developing our technologies and further strengthen our portfolio – HP Designjet Printers, HP Scitex and HP Indigo. On the other hand, we would aggressively work towards building the right presence and service in the market; deploy right sales people to go, convince and educate our customers on the varied possibilities of digital printing. We need to create a connect between who will be printing and who will be using the print. Customised printing according to needs of customers is the key for digital printing. We need to ensure that printers connect to the workflow of our customers.”
Lofthouse remarked, “The future of digital printing in India is ‘Be Personal’. That’s the key to one’s marketing success. As companies like HP continue to evolve their printing strategies, it will throw open new opportunities in personalised communication to get closer to the customers and would help cut through the marketing clutter.”