It used to be that highly creative Variable Data Print jobs were unachievable for inkjet printers. Although inkjet machines have always been very fast, the color quality wasn’t quite there yet.
But inkjet technology is advancing, bringing with it high-quality color options, rich substrates and high speed. This means that inkjet is fast becoming a platform for much more than just the legacy transactional applications world. New applications include direct mail, creative marketing and catalogs that require higher quality images and personalization. According to InfoTrends, by 2018, inkjet will account for 59.1 percent of the total production digital color volume.
Variable Data Printing is perfect for the modern production inkjet presses which can push these personalized jobs out fast and efficiently and inkjet owners can take advantage of this new and lucrative market segment.
The challenge is what software technology to choose in VDP applications where color, quality, substrate and speed matters. Here are the top things to consider when choosing new software for your modern inkjet printer:
- Make sure that the output will match the original design intent in every aspect including color, imagery, text, layout and style. This is exactly how XMPie works. Because it uses an end-to-end Adobe workflow, there is no compromise on creative design or workflow-flexibility. For instance, if you receive designs in Adobe InDesign and are instructed to do the VDP job based on the original design with no changes, it’s easy because XMPie software is native to Adobe InDesign CC and, unlike proprietary platforms that require a document conversion process prior to tagging, XMPie personalized output remains pixel-perfect and true to what the designer intended.
- The VDP design-to-production workflow should be flexible, efficient and able to handle last minute changes to either the design, logic or data. This flexibility is extremely important because once you start doing applications in the field of creative marketing, messaging is constantly changing. You want to make sure that designers and marketers can change, modify, and adapt their messaging or design at any stage in the process.
- Print providers should look for software that offers high-speed composition and a highly optimized output stream, leading to high-speed processing of the file before printing. XMPie offers both high-speed composition and a very efficient PDF/VT. This means very fast composition and processing by the RIP.
- Multichannel technology is transforming the production inkjet market and providing higher-value jobs for those print service providers who have jumped on the bandwagon. These jobs integrate print and digital touch points and can deliver even better ROI due to the ability to reach wider audiences with different media preferences. High-quality inkjet print pieces can grab a customer’s attention. If it includes a call to action, like a friendly URL or QR code, this can lead to an online dialog or follow-up (e.g. downloading a coupon to a mobile device or linking to a site to make a purchase with discount). Businesses that offer more than just print have better, tighter, longer-term, and higher-value relationships with their customers. After all it’s easier to replace a provider of just print than to replace one that provides complete integrated communications solutions!
Personalization and high-impact targeting can be done very affordably with inkjet but also consider other factors to ensure your investment is a success. Get everyone on board with the transition and hire any new staff or specialists as needed, for example, to handle the new data requirements and digital content. Look past the printed page and focus on new revenue opportunities such as multichannel marketing. And get started with demonstrating to your clients that you can efficiently produce high-volume, variable data jobs on your inkjet press that deliver high response rates while improving ROI.