For the past several years, many graphic arts industry analysts and market research firms have predicted that the growth of digital color and variable data is about to explode. So far, however, growth has failed to meet market expectations. Several hypotheses are associated with the subdued market growth. The following factors are most frequently cited: • Lack of a strong value proposition for digital color and personalization. Contributing to this is the relatively low incidence of documented ROI metrics for digital color or personalization for marketing materials. • Limited availability of accurate data for targeted or versioned marketing campaigns. If the data do exist, the cost associated with transforming data into a usable form is high. • The migration to electronic media options for direct communication with customers. As part of the investigation into adoption of digital color printing technologies, the Printing Industry Center at RIT embarked on a research initiative to gain an understanding of the relationship between the agency, corporate marketing executive, and print services provider. This report focuses specifically on how instrumental the corporate marketing executive is in initiating the demand for marketing materials that require digital printing. Specific research objectives for this study include: 1. Defining the dynamics between the corporate marketing executive, the printer, and the creative agency relative to media decisions and campaign direction. 2. Understanding how media are selected and how print media are perceived and used within corporations. 3. Evaluating the corporate marketing executive’s level of digital printing technology and that individual’s current use of 1:1 communications solutions. 4. Understanding how database technologies are currently used within corporations and to what extent these technologies are integrated into corporate printing capabilities. 5. Defining the measures for campaign effectiveness utilized by marketing executives today. A sample of 1,999 unique records was randomly selected from the Dun and Bradstreet list. They were contacted by phone and asked to participate in a 20-minute interview. Of the 205 completed interviews, there were 55 financial services firms, 100 manufacturing firms, 21 retail firms and 29 firms classified as “other.”

Publication Date


Document Type

Full-Length Book


A Research Monograph of the Printing Industry Center (CIAS) at RIT

Department, Program, or Center

Printing Industry Center (CIAS)


RIT – Main Campus