InfoTrends recently completed a survey of more than 280 print service providers (PSPs) to understand the current state of cross-media in the graphic communications market. The integrated use of multiple media has been proven in our earlier studies to improve customer call-to-action rates and increase the success of marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, there are many challenges to implementing a cross-media campaign that some marketing service providers (MSPs) or PSPs are unable to overcome.
Of the 280 PSP respondents in our survey, 119 respondents were not currently offering cross-media services. They were then asked to identify the critical barriers that are hampering participation. The most common obstacles included limited sales skills and limited technical skills.Service providers want to work with marketers to secure or expand shares of their customers’ cross-media business.
Rather than building upon these limitations in skills, the study saw a number of complex strategic acquisitions in the cross-media space to address the technical and marketing challenges associated with becoming a full-service provider. While there is an associated risk, the potential rewards can contribute to growth by broadening product lines, increasing market share, strengthening a financial position, stabilizing a cyclical or seasonal business, as well as providing key executive or technical talent.
Rather than building the skills internally, firms are aggressively buying expertise to strengthen their offerings and/or add services. Larger firms have begun to purchase smaller organizations that already have made the transition. These deals offer benefits to both companies. The acquiring firm buys the best practices, expertise, and a book of business, while the acquired firm has access to a larger resource pool. This trend will help accelerate the pace of participation in the cross-cross-media space.