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Commentary & Analysis

The Right Target, The Right Product, The Right Promotion Part 1

By Barbara Pellow January 25,

By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: January 25, 2006

By Barbara Pellow January 25, 2006 -- When I talk with print service providers, they typically think that marketing is only about the advertising and/or personal selling of goods and services. Advertising and selling, however, are just two of many marketing activities. In general, marketing activities are all those associated with identifying the particular wants and needs of a target market, and then going about satisfying those customers better than the competition. This involves doing market research on customers, analyzing their needs, and then making strategic decisions about product design, pricing, promotion and distribution. The business impact of effective marketing is clear. SCI has grown 50 % a year for the past three years A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Steven Amiel, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, SCI (Strategic Content Imaging). He shared his perspective on the four components to successful marketing and the development of sales opportunities. In the work SCI has done over the past three and a half years, they have given careful consideration to: 1. Identification of the right target market 2. Development and delivery of product and service offerings that meet customer needs 3. The message…a clear articulation of the value proposition 4. Effective selection of media and promotional activities to reach the target audience The business impact of effective marketing is clear. SCI has grown 50 % a year for the past three years and is in the midst of planning a move to a 90,000 square foot facility in Carlstadt, New Jersey. SCI: The Background UNIMAC Graphics, a full service commercial printer located seven miles from Manhattan, saw a need to provide a "one stop shop" for its customer base. The company was created by the combination of Union Graphics and MacNaughton Einson Graphics and has over 100 years of experience servicing major agencies, financial service institutions, publishers, pharmaceuticals and health care companies. A number of clients were looking for complementary services, including digital printing, prepress and large format. UNIMAC's desire to be a full service provider and support its customers in enhancing the efficiency of their communications resulted in the formation of a new division, Strategic Content Imaging (SCI), headed by Burt Scherman, Picking the Right Target When asked how he defined marketing, Amiel said, "Marketing happens when you bring awareness of products and services and their respective attributes to the attention of the right potential buyers." Amiel realized that the most successful businesses understand that only a limited number of people will buy their product or service. The task then becomes determining, as closely as possible, exactly who those people are, and 'targeting' the business's marketing efforts and dollars toward them. He acknowledged that SCI's sister company, UNIMAC, had a strong customer base, and its vertical market focus was significant benefit. According to Amiel, "Sometimes the best way to grow your business is with customers you already have." "Marketing happens when you bring awareness of products and services and their respective attributes to the attention of the right potential buyers." --Steven Amiel While he looked at vertical industries, Amiel also looked at the market from a horizontal perspective. He identified a market opportunity in which a product/service offering could be used by a wide variety of businesses and where price, quality, and reliability are very important. Amiel said, "Our horizontal market analysis identified industries that sold through distribution channels, including agents, franchise locations and distributors, as a major business opportunity. Based on SCI's technology infrastructure and our ability to offer campaign management and web-based solutions, we felt we could serve diversified markets with this common characteristic." The horizontal market approach still requires focus. According to Amiel, "Our success is attributed to identifying customers and markets that place a high value on our work. We had a specific bull's eye. Our target customer is the $50 million to $2 billion company or division with multiple products sold through multiple distribution channels." SCI's view was that this customer base had a need and appreciation for integrated cross media technologies and campaign management. "Our success is attributed to identifying customers and markets that place a high value on our work. Given the selected target market, SCI realized the need to refine product and service offerings. The firm did not want to be all things to all people. It was time to specialize and become a leader in a specific niche. SCI saw that the lines separating data, print and fulfillment services had begun to blur and identified the need to support pre-press, print and fulfillment models, as well as the dynamic communications needs across multiple channels. SCI's flagship offering is called STEPS (Strategic Targeted Electronic Print Solutions). STEPS is an ASP (Application Service Provider) web-based cross media marketing suite. The software was actually developed by Cierant in New Milford, Connecticut, an ideal partner for SCI, and on August 3, 2005, Cierant announced the intent to merge operations with SCI. The solution enables a sales channel to both execute and measure customized local campaigns quickly, simply and economically. It features an integrated suite of user-friendly applications that allow the local sales rep or distributor to execute a multi-channel marketing campaign and is designed to move the power of custom communications as close as possible to the end customer. According to Amiel, "The Internet and web-based cross media application support was an essential component to the product mix if we were going to be successful in this horizontal market play." So how does SCI apply their strategy to customer needs? Find out tomorrow in Part 2: Identifying the Right Product and Promotion

 

 

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