Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us

Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Premium Commentary & Analysis

Marketing Your Print Business

As we move more business online, utilize digital communication channels, and look to diversify – our print business marketing becomes more critical to our overall business success.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: March 9, 2016


This article is part of our premium member access. If this commentary & analysis is relevant to your business, please consider supporting us by becoming a member.



Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.



By John Foley on Mar 09, 2016

Hi Jennifer,

I hope you are well.

I believe it starts with having the right people. The person or persons that not only understand today's online marketing but your business as well. The people that can develop the plan and execute it. The only thing that trumps strategy is execution. Psssst - it is not your friends college student either. It takes talented individuals that can show you results in the campaigns that are done. And I'm not talking about the folks that tell you return is about getting good traffic to your web site. I love that one. Great start however, means nothing if there is no engagement with your business. If you are not generating inquiries and leads from your online effort- That includes: Content Marketing, SEO, Web, Email, Inbound, Mobile Marketing and also Social Media use. You are WASTING TIME. Today we can find the CMO's r VP's of Marketing, Directors of Marketing in the Social channels with today's tools in minutes. Oh and Social Media is not a Post-it- Note (Blog coming). Social Media is a platform that allows for engagement. Engage with your prospects and Win!

- My positive rant for the day!
John Foley, Jr.
- Content that can help here if you are interested. http://ilink.me/WhyWait


By Patrick Whelan on Mar 09, 2016

Great article and great point regarding execution by John Foley. The only thing I would add is that marketing isn't just about client acquisition. All growth begins with retention. Retention is more than just price, service, quality (all perceived as a given). I think efforts beyond online (and I'm not discounting the importance of those efforts either) become critical. I do believe that print plays a role in these efforts, as well as other customer focused initiatives (appreciation events, lunch and learns, etc). I actually wrote an article regarding this last week on my LinkedIn page. My company provides content that printers can utilize to engage, attract and retain customers as well. greatreachinc.com


By Kevin Keane on Mar 09, 2016

Just a superb article and astute comments from John and Pat as well. I saw a lovely video on Linked In yesterday - time lapse of a new big honking press being installed, and I thought - no customer, or prospect, cares about that. Printers have long been too wrapped around the craft. And also, far too into S&M - as in sales first, marketing as an after-thought. This piece, coupled with the commentary, from three of the best and smartest people in our industry should be required reading for every printco owner, Hopefully they will see it and get 'it'. Good work Jen and John and Pat.


By Mary Beth Smith on Mar 09, 2016

Excellent insight, Jennifer, and great points from my friends above.

In addition to the crucible of execution, the challenge of lead generation is still a long way from being separated from selling in the minds of most printing companies. I love the illustration you used. Most companies still expect sales reps to generate their own leads, believing that CRM software makes it possible. Using a good CRM properly can help a sales rep MANAGE business, but it should not be confused with true lead generation.

There is sooo much still to be said about how our business markets itself, but I'll stop here!!

Appreciate your voice!



By John McMillen on Mar 09, 2016

Excellent article!! I'm sharing with my entire team.


By Jennifer Matt on Mar 09, 2016

I was flying on United when all these comments came through and if you fly United you know you have about a 10% chance of reliable internet access.

Why didn't printers focus on marketing during the heyday? Because they didn't have to!

Why do printers need to focus on marketing today? Let me count the ways:
1) Excess capacity
2) Diversification of your products & services
3) The sales process is moving online - meaning your marketing can guide a customer through the initial steps of your sales cycle (know me, like me, trust me,... pay me) by consuming and engaging with your online presence.

Thanks to everyone for adding more meat to the discussion - always appreciated.



By Patrick Whelan on Mar 09, 2016

Once again, fantastic article and great additional comments. Thank you.


By Judd Plattenburg on Mar 10, 2016

Great Article Jennifer, as well as great responses from John, Pat and Kevin. Kevin is right, printers are so into talking about themselves and their equipment, when it should be all about the customer and their needs.
Great job, keep up the good work.


Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free


Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2016 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved