Published December 3, 2013
Technology promises great potential to create leverage in our business. Leverage isn’t created in the purchase of technology; real leverage comes from how the use of the technology changes the behavior of the people who use it.
Published October 11, 2013
When I interview print sales representatives and ask them why their customers do business with them, they almost always say because we have a great relationship, our service is great, and our people are great. Relationship selling is a very common way to sell.
Published September 24, 2013
The default for decades has been, when you want to communicate something (a marketing message, information, education, compliance message, etc.) you contacted your printer and discussed the timeframe, manufacturing specifications, and quantities. Printers could be passive
Published August 27, 2013
Outbound marketing is promotion-based; spread the message about my company, my products, and my services to as many people as I can interrupt in the hope that some will find the message relevant. Print examples of this are blasting out huge direct mail campaigns to strangers, newspaper advertisements, and billboards.
Published August 20, 2013
A 2002 Standish Group study of software projects found that 45% of features were never used and only 20% features were used often or always. We base our software investment decisions on the number of features a product has and then we fail to utilize 80% of those features. Does that make sense to anyone?
Published July 30, 2013
We collectively make a lot of poor software decisions, according to my very bias and unscientific research we make way more mistakes in this area than we do with other business decisions. What is it about technology that causes a collective brain freeze when it comes to making good decisions?
Published July 23, 2013
For many years I cringed every time I heard someone in the print industry say, “printers need to become marketing service providers.” My initial reaction was always, are you kidding me?
Published July 2, 2013
I was involved in an RFP-like process recently, the organization made the following statement which I haven’t stopped thinking about since it dropped into my consciousness.
Published June 18, 2013
The number one best answer to any question posed by a prospect during the sales process is a clarifying question (hopefully several of them). The two best clarifying questions are, “what business challenge are you trying to solve?” and “how would you define wild success?”
Published June 4, 2013
Doing business online requires an infrastructure investment. Your business needs to be able to control content, commerce, and customer engagement online from your home base online – your domain.
Published May 21, 2013
A commitment to real change requires real risk because you have to be all-in for it to work. Too many technology projects fail because nobody was committed to bring forth the change necessary for success.
Published May 7, 2013
Technology alone does not create value, differentiation, or competitive advantage. It has to be combined with strategy and execution (by your people) – that’s where real differentiation happens.
Published April 9, 2013
Business-to-business commerce may not be getting the headlines in the print industry, yet across all industries in the US it’s nearly twice the size of the business-to-consumer market. It’s vital that printers understand the B2B opportunity and not confuse it with jumping into a price war with retailers online.
Published March 12, 2013
Web-to-print is a product that should do a “job” for you and/or your customers. When you look at technology purchases through the lens of “jobs” you focus on what’s really important.
Published March 4, 2013
The greatest investment you can make in your business is to assure you living the example of a lifelong learner for your organization and then surround yourself with other lifelong learners.
Published February 12, 2013
Too many mistakes (big ones) are being made in our industry around software purchases at a time when nobody can afford expensive mistakes. Virtually all of these mistakes are preventable.
Published January 21, 2013
There is no shortage of talk about web-to-print technologies; there is too little talk about printer’s online strategies. Printers can talk for hours about how this or that web technology has failed them or this or that technology is what made all the difference.
Published December 7, 2012
We have a choice how we react to mistakes/failures. This is an area where we can learn from the technology startup world. Mistakes are learning events; sometimes very expensive but invaluable learning opportunities which should be analyzed to get everything you can out of them. Learning from mistakes requires you to remove the moral mindset to your reaction and replace it with an economic mindset.
Published November 16, 2012
The print industry is facing a tectonic level change in the communication business. You have to chart a new course that takes these changes into consideration in order to remain competitive. There are many options; the only one that isn't viable is the status quo.
Published October 19, 2012
Being busy does not equate to delivering results. We are so caught up in the culture of busy we forget to reflect on why we're doing what we do and how it contributes to the results we seek.
Published October 5, 2012
The web-to-print market is fragmented and hard to determine clear leadership or market share. EFI's acquisition of OPS consolidates the market (slightly). EFI's market share will grow, their product offering will be more comprehensive, and OPS will benefit from EFI's well developed channel partnerships.
Published September 14, 2012
Web-to-print has to become the set of tools that enable printers to be competitive on the web. This is a whole lot more than a B2B business card site. It requires us to rethink the way we shop for solutions and partners.
Published August 17, 2012
Who do we respect most in business? The individuals or companies who talk the best game or the individuals or companies who execute?
Published July 30, 2012
Much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for humans, printers need to elevate their offerings above quality, service, and price in order to stay competitive.
Published June 19, 2012
Software is the tool to remain relevant and integrated with the new communication methods. The print industry’s future will depend on embracing software like we did manufacturing – creating new reasons to print and optimizing and integrating existing applications.