30 October 2012
The Data Group transforms its business from forms to digital marketing
BRAMPTON—Michael Suksi, Data Group presidentOnce known for forms printing and document management, the Data Group is an example of a printer that has undertaken a strategic transformation to keep pace with a changing media landscape. 
In 2011, the company branched out into web-based direct marketing services. Later the same year, it acquired the FSA Group, a digitally focused direct marketing and communications firm with clients including Mercedes-Benz and ING Direct.
"We saw some challenges ahead and said we better do something different," says Data Group president and CEO Michael Suksi. "Even though we were managing the business well, winning new business and reducing costs, the impact of technology was causing us to see some declines," he adds, also noting the impact of the 2008 recession.
Data launched new products like Limelight Photobooks and a cross-channel marketing solution, followed by the FSA acquisition.

"FSA itself was a really interesting business," Suksi says. "Indirect mail, focused on digital print—they don't have any traditional print, lithographic print presses. But another one of the things I really liked too was the Datalytics division that does data analytics. There's an example of bringing technology into our business that is in growth mode, and it complements what we were already doing," he says.
Data also added digital colour printing capabilities to complement its marketing solutions and, on the lower-tech end of things, short-run commercial printing and gift card capabilities. 
"As a result of all of that, our marketing solutions now represent about a quarter of our total business," Suksi says. "Which is dramatically higher than it was two or three years ago."
The plan is to keep progressing. "The fundamental strategy of winning market share, reducing costs, and developing and launching new products and services, either through acquisition or startup—that strategy is ongoing," Suksi says.
— Jef Catapang
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Too bad he stiffed lots of suppliers when he bankrupted Harmony. Ruined his reputation......
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