We spoke with Anthony Maxwell, co-owner of Digi Print Pro, about the vast changes seen in the printing and design industry as a result of digital technologies, and the need to evolve business offerings to stay competitive in the digital age.
Digi Print Pro owners Anthony Maxwell and Mellissa Madden have been operating at Bangalow in Northern Rivers for over 13 years. Originally established as Pre Press Pro, a Graphic Design and print broking company, they have rode the wave of remarkable technological advances that have reshaped the industry. They are a “one stop” approach to client service, offering a high quality Digital Print service as well as design, finishing and possess the only mail insertion machine and offer the only Direct Mail Service in the Northern Rivers.
The Digi Print philosophy is that technology is the bones of their business, all of the services they offer would not be possible without information technology, design suites, a fast and reliable broadband network, and capabilities of computing equipment available today.
It’s vital that we compete on a level playing field, and in order to do so we need to be on the forefront of digital technology.
What changes have you noticed in the industry with the prominence of digital technologies?
The print industry has changed enormously throughout Australia and worldwide as a result of digital technologies. Many of those in the offset print industry have lost their trade as a direct result of graphic reproduction and composition. The effect of digital technology has evolved almost all facets of both the printing and delivery of popular media
We now have the ability to produce and deliver press ads, print material, design and upload websites and produce digital marketing all from the screen that sits in front of us. We can instantly deliver a full page ad for the New Zealand Herald or The Sunday Telegraph the moment the artwork is ready to send. Proofing, copy changes, purchase orders, art delivery and image libraries are all sent and accessed via digital means.
How have your customer needs been changing in light of the technological advancements?
Given the speed in which we can now transfer information, customers expect our product to be delivered quickly and reliably. Our customers are both in Australia and abroad, which means we rely heavily on a fast, accessible and reliable broadband network for the piece of mind that our data is being received in a timely fashion.
The risk to our business is that given the world is now a smaller place through the internet, there is no need for our customers to get our work carried out in Australia. With a reliable online delivery method, they can use an alternative supplier anywhere in the world. This means that in order to meet customer needs we need to ensure we’re of a superior quality, faster and more reliable than our competitors. If we don’t keep up, we lose.
Therefore it’s vital that we compete on a level playing field, and in order to do so we need to be on the forefront of digital technology.
How is Digi Print Pro adapting to the changing environment?
We’ve progressed with the digital age by expanding our offering to direct digital customer communication. This is delivered mainly through three mediums: direct mail, publication advertisement and digital marketing.
Direct marketing now includes things like eNewsletters and catalogues sent directly to customer email, and the ability to target specific groups or individuals in a highly individual way means greater control and understanding of markets and their needs. with the ability to collect, store and understand market data, it is becoming increasingly the case that the customers expect their ‘mail’ to be personalised.
It was once the case that to be competitive in direct marketing field you had to be based in metropolitan areas. With the development of the NBN we are now able to compete on a level playing field without having to leave our regional base.
What changes do you expect in the future in light of projects like the NBN?
We feel there is a lot of room for us to get more involved in social media as a communication means. Facebook and Twitter are becoming effective tools to engage with our customers and clients, and a means of promoting our business.
With the NBN project, we hope it helps us keep up with the metropolitan and overseas competition to continue running a successful business model from a regional centre. Failure to do so would see a gradual decline in opportunities to grow in an industry like ours.