Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Millennials. Call them what you will, but these tech-savvy individuals, born in the mid-1980’s and later, are just entering the workforce. With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Next is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. These 20 something’s grew up with technology and rely on it to enhance their lives and to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets, Generation Next is plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology such as Facebook and Twitter to traditional communications avenues.
This new generation is also starting to transform the printing industry. Utilizing their tech-savvy upbringing, these Generation Next individuals are leveraging all the advances made in technology including workflow, web-to-print, mobile media print, QR Codes, and more importantly social media. According to Dr. Joe Webb, Director of WhatTheyThink’s Economics and one of the graphic arts industry’s best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators, “Our industry forecast for 2017 makes it clear that strategies for printing businesses going forward must be very different than those that were in place for 2007”.
So how will it be different? The answer lies with Generation Next! This new breed of print service provider will use all available resources to re-invent printing using technology as their competitive advantage. This new breed of younger printers bursting on to the scene, are not necessarily new to the world of print. Many grew up as the son’s and daughters of successful printers. Many are just carrying on in the family business. However, they are transforming the business in their own vision of what the modern printing environment will look like in the coming years.
The X factor is that they are ahead of the game. They are moving away from the staid approach to traditional printing. The keys to their success can be found by observing the new cognitive and collaborative platform that has been created by the Internet. They are more engaging with the clients and are matching their sales process to their customer’s buying process. They have moved away from the tried-and-true strategies for creating value for their customers to a collaboration and cocreation model. These forward thinking individuals know that technology and the new world order of communication is the key to success.
Generation Next IS the new X factor in print. Stay tuned!