Transpromo and Ink Jet – Stop the Hype

By | July 18, 2008

Over at Noel Ward says transpromo and inkjet “have levels of hyperbole approaching that of NASCAR, the Superbowl or European soccer championships.” Of transpromo and inkjet together he says:

First up is trans-promo, which we’ve been hearing about for a few years now, usually promoted as if it will magically lift its practitioners out of the depths of whatever economic morass they may find themselves and hoist them to astonishing new levels of productivity and profits. Please.

Then there’s ink jet, already very successful for large format and although appearing promising for various types of document printing, it is still just getting underway and has a ways to go. Its leading advocates claim the ink jet train has left the station. You’ve got to be kidding me. Sure, a couple engines and a few cars are moving, but the rest of the train is still sitting at the platform with passengers milling about, getting their tickets, trying to figure out where they are sitting, and wondering where the hell their luggage is.

Look, I’m a marketing guy and I understand how building awareness and getting the attention of buyers and consumers are essential parts of growing a new market. But a little objective truth is nice every so often. Even though we’re all old enough to have fairly well developed BS detectors, I continue to be amazed at the number of people who unreservedly buy into the idea that trans-promo and ink jet printing –especially when combined– are magic carpets to a new world of printing profitability. We all know there are few free lunches in business or life and that new technologies have an extraordinarily consistent habit of not working as advertised. So it is with trans-promo and the supposed miracles of ink jet printing.

Don’t get me wrong: there is enormous potential for both trans-promo and eventually ink jet for a wide range of applications, but the reality is that the former is more difficult than it first appears and the latter is mostly not ready for prime time. Taking the plunge now with either or both can be a good thing to do, but you might not want to bet your kids’ college fund or your retirement on either one

Read the rest of A Sanity Check on Trans-promo and Ink Jet – Stop the Hype, I Need to Get Off! at

What do you think? Have we reached “levels of hyperbole approaching that of NASCAR, the Superbowl or European soccer championships” when it comes to transpromo?

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2 thoughts on “Transpromo and Ink Jet – Stop the Hype

  1. Michael Josefowicz

    In answer to the question, I have to pretty much agree with Noel.

    Transpromo is no doubt a real opportunity for those few printers that have the contacts, expertise and culture to execute. For the rest of us, not so much, not so fast.

  2. Bob Raus

    The print industry has lost its way. Print is both a subset of communication and also a peripheral of the server/software infrastructure. Determining how to market print in the right combination of these two foundational building blocks is key to future success.

    The catch-22 for vendors is that shows like DRUPA focus on (hardware and software) products plus consumables and other supporting items. The vendors must transform the industry from a device-centric focus to the larger focus of communication via software, networks and value-add workflows. Then the peripherals known as printers can be brought into the (sales) picture. Leading with a print engine – whether inkjet, toner-based, offset or solid ink – is like auto manufacturers leading with transmissions. Transmissions are great, but useless without the engine and chassis.

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