Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Transactional Print is Trending Up," serves as a reminder that even though digital deliveries and paperless billing options are reaching maturity, transactional documents are continuing to rise thanks in part to print's digital technology. Most experts agree that digital advancements in the transactional landscape, with notable improvements across the board, including variable data, color, QR codes, streamlined workflows, and the ability to create customized, personalized campaigns, all point to solid reasons transactional print is growing in stature. Another significant reason behind the increasing value of transactional document processing is due in no small part to the excessive data breaches we experience, from Zoom's issues with security and privacy to hacking to the bevy of false and misleading content ablaze on the internet. Our Quote of the Day: "Humans have always used our intelligence and creativity to improve our existence. After all, we invented the wheel, discovered how to make fire, invented the printing press and found a vaccine for polio." --Naveen Jain
The Industry is Growing
Transactional document printing represents a rather sizable market with a plethora of collateral, ranging from forms, invoices, billing to transpromo statements, and a range of other document types, including informational documents and sensitive data. We also contend that there is a significant volume of transactional collateral being output by digital printing technology.
Kemal Carr, president, Madison Advisors, recently stated, "As reported in the industry, the current size of the transactional print market is $3 billion." Eric Hawkinson, VP of marketing, Canon Solutions America, Production Print Solutions, referenced a Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends' 2019 report that acknowledged transpromo is one of the top ten growing applications in the coming years. Transpromo impressions are slated to grow from approximately 27 billion in 2018 to about 33 billion in 2023.
Mr. Hawkinson states, "Transpromo offers a huge opportunity for digital printers due to the ability to add customized promotional content—cross selling and up-selling—to individual statements." In today's digital printing world, digital technology advancement, particularly with the production inkjet presses, affords the ability to combine transactional data with promotional messaging. That process is now much easier and faster to execute.
Further, Glenn Toole, VP, sales & marketing, MCS, Inc., divulges that the annual revenues related to transactional mail measure into the tens of billions of dollars. "The USPS alone measures revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2019 related to first class mailings—which is heavily dominated by transactional mail." Besides, a minimum of 80 percent of the transactional document market is fully digital. And with the personalization requirement, many transactional documents can now implement some form of personalization, which requires digital printing technology at the end of the day.
The Smarter Print Trend
All print collateral is now under the usage and auspices of digital print technology, and that goes for transactional document output as well. As a result, these printing trends include smarter printing, outsourcing, and color documents. Mr. Hawkinson raises an essential point in this area. As 98% of transactional statements are opened by the recipient, this further points to the historical and vital relationship the customer has developed with a provider.
Another trend that is happening now is taking place within the financial sector, where institutions are opting for transactional statements to reduce call center activities, while simultaneously being able to promote supplementary solutions, or even drive behavioral changes.
Variable digital printing, aka variable data printing, aka variable data, is the major trend accompanied by color selections in the transactional document printing world. Why? Consumers now require straightforward content that contains pertinent information that focuses on their personal history and habits with the brand. While the overall volume of transactional documents is flat, thanks to color, color pages are growing by several percentage points every year.
Carlos Martin, a Solutions Manager, digital saddle stitching, states, "Today's transactional printers must manage both physical printing and data streams to comply with market requirements for security, completion, and compliance." This adherence to data requirements is especially true for healthcare providers, which mandate complying with HIPPA. Commercial print providers understand that data compliance is the utmost for the insurance, healthcare, and financial service sectors. These sectors are highly regulated. That said, document security should be of primary concern across all industries.
Complying with market requirements will undoubtedly necessitate significant investments in both hardware and software to produce efficient and reliable solutions. Large commercial printers and direct mail companies that operate in the transactional print world have acquired an upper hand in this space due to previous existing software/compliance infrastructures. Martin states that this is a primary reason why many key players in the transactional area position themselves as data and analytics solution providers rather than printers. "Their ability to safeguard, print, and distribute highly sensitive data is an extension of their service and solution offerings."
It's vitally important to maintain the utmost level of integrated print and mail, including data security. Brands must also ensure that documented, standardized process controls are in standard operating procedures. Marks continues with, "One misplaced document can lead to major financial fines and impact reputation. Print providers can optimize the end-to-end mail piece lifecycle with compliance and ensure all print, insert, sort, and mailing equipment produces at high quality and integrity." Transactional mail operations have to deliver the right documents to the correct recipients in a timely fashion, particularly when it comes to highly regulated industry sectors. Thanks for reading, "Transactional Print is Trending Up!"
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