Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     Production Inkjet Tools & Resources     Industrial Print Analysis     European Coverage     Conversations on Print Podcast

How Printers Should Think About Marketing

Published on October 8, 2014

Jennifer Matt talks about how to think about marketing for printers. Start with the very simple premise - who are you going to market to? Don't skip over this critical step because its required for everything else you do in marketing.

Email Icon Email         

 

Discussion

By Gordon Pritchard on Oct 08, 2014

I don't think "marketing" for the printshop begins with a list. Nor with message delivery methods (direct mail VR or QR codes). I think it begins with some deep internal reflection. For example, examining the shop's position relative to its competition, what its compelling value solutions are, determining actual industry credibility (their reputation & credibility in the marketplace). understanding the market potential, alignment of products/services/facilities, equipment, systems etc that speak to their prospective customer needs. etc., etc.

 

By Jennifer Matt on Oct 08, 2014

Gordon,

All very valid points, I agree that a company needs a "story" that they take to the market. The value of this story is only as good as where it gets delivered. My point in this video is that marketing is ALL ABOUT lead generation so who is receiving the message is AS IMPORTANT as the message itself. Too many businesses spend a lot of time on their message and very little time directing where it goes.

Many printers will say they don't know how to create the things you mention; competitive positioning, industry credibility, etc.). The best place to "discover" what you do best and how to construct your story is to look at your existing customer base. What problems are you solving for them? How are you delivering those solutions?

Then you have a story that you believe because its based on the truth of what you're doing today. Next step is to "profile" those customers and then target your marketing to find more like them. Who wouldn't want to clone their 3 best customer accounts?

You're right Gordon, the story is important AND where that story is directed is just as important. Predictive revenue comes from a sustainable lead generation program, in the online world - this is becoming more of a marketing function than a direct sales function.

Jen

 

By Charles Gehman on Oct 08, 2014

I think how printers "should" think about marketing is secondary to thinking about it. At all. Gotta start somewhere.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Oct 08, 2014

You conclude with "This is the best way for a printer to become a marketing services provider" - I don't think so.

It also appears that we do not share a common understanding of what marketing entails.

Printers market themselves whether they are aware of it or not and whether they are in charge of it or not. Marketing is not promotion and it is not advertising although it informs both.

For printers who want to "market" themselves I strongly suggest they get a copy of: "Do it! Marketing" by David Newman (ISBN-13:978-0-8144-3266-0) - it may be available at your library. It's succinct, practical, and applicable marketing knowledge for the printer who wants to take charge of marketing their business or gain some knowledge that they can use if they wish to offer marketing services to their prospective and existing customers.

 

By Jacob Aizikowitz on Oct 09, 2014

I see that its already a lively discussion, so let me add to it.

For printers the challenge of marketing their business in order to get more leads and do overall more business is a challenge. But its a challenge very similar to the challenge every business is facing.

For printers to be relevant as service providers to their current or future customers they must become Digital Savvy. In other words, whereas today Printers are their customers trusted provider for Print Services, tomorrow they must expand beyond Print and become their customers' trusted provider for Multi-channel Services. And this means becoming Digital Savvy.

The reason this is a must has to do with the printers' customers. They are all (regardless of any specific list) digitally savvy -- either on their own with all the various mobile and tablet devices they have and the on-line nature of their life, or in Enterprises they are already practicing Digital Technologies, such as Marketing Automation, which shift quite dramatically the way they think about marketing and communication with customers or prospects.

And digitally savvy customers will rarely engage as a service provider a business that can only offer Print media.

Technology and mastering technology is necessary for becoming Digitial Savvy. I agree that its not sufficient but the unique challenge is "how to be relevant to your customers as they are fast shifting to a digital world". Whereas "how to market your business" is much less unique and much less technology-dependent.

 

By Robert Godwin on Oct 09, 2014

Jennifer,

Simple steps that work:
-identify the prospects who could use your services.
-Engage the prospect with relevant messaging that is to the point.
-Use appropriate media channels like the Internet and search engine optimization, direct mail and community involvement through chamber of commerce or similar local organizations.
-When you meet face to face, ask two questions that will help you immediately qualify the prospect:
1. What kind of business are you in?
2. How do you market it?

If you can't take it from there, hire a professional salesperson.

Above all remember that both 'market' and 'sell' are action verbs.

 

By chris ross on Oct 10, 2014

Great conversation, I think we may all be missing a key, and very simple point. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER! Jennifer starts out with this but doesn't build on it. There are a myriad of tactics and technologies to deliver all of it. The foundation of it all is knowing your customer, what's important to them and creating a messaging structure that aligns with those needs. Start with that, build from there.

Disclaimer - my company does this kind of work, Systym.co, not intended to be a promotion, but a core idea we have built our entire business around.

 

By Jennifer Matt on Oct 17, 2014

Jacob,

Good points on Digitally savvy and expanding beyond print manufacturing to help customers deliver digital messages as well as printed messages.

When printers invest in the digital technologies (like your product XMPie) they should "eat their own dog food" and produce the best possible multi channel marketing campaigns for their OWN business first. Nothing attracts new customers then showing them how you market yourself.

Printers have been doing this for years with print - they take special care in creating the best quality and unique print samples for their sales teams. Marketing yourself using multi-channel marketing tools proves to a customer that you can do it for them too.

Jen

 

Post a Comment

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

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: Frank Talks about a Slowdown In Ebooks And An Upsurge In Printed Books

Frank Talks about a Slowdown In Ebooks And An Upsurge In Printed Books

Published: November 17, 2017

Frank found an article in the Wall Street Journal about print books and ebooks. One graph showed a slowdown in ebooks and an upsurge in printed books. This warranted commentary, of course.

 

Video preview: PrintIQ's Approach to MIS and Workflow

PrintIQ's Approach to MIS and Workflow

Published: November 16, 2017

Mick Rowan (Director) and Adrian Fleming (Sales Director) at PrintIQ share their vision and approach to a cloud based management workflow system that goes beyond traditional MIS.

 

Video preview: Benefits of Belonging to a Purchasing Cooperative

Benefits of Belonging to a Purchasing Cooperative

Published: November 15, 2017

John Braceland of Graphic Arts Alliance talks about the member-run purchasing cooperative and how it helps printing companies increase buying power and save money on equipment and supplies.

 

Video preview: GMG Shows off Color Server 5 and PrintFactory by GMG at SGIA 2017

GMG Shows off Color Server 5 and PrintFactory by GMG at SGIA 2017

Published: November 13, 2017

Bart Fret, Director of Sales at GMG, talks Color Server 5 and PrintFactory at SGIA 17. These two products were the main focus of the show for them and Bart differentiates them both from other software offerings in the wide format segment.

 

Video preview: Ricoh Introduces Ricoh Pro T7210 at SGIA

Ricoh Introduces Ricoh Pro T7210 at SGIA

Published: November 13, 2017

Dan Johansen, Marketing Manager at Ricoh, talks about their new Ricoh Pro T7210 flatbed device shown at SGIA. With new ink development, this device is able to produce custom graphics with a large diversity of substrates.

 

Video preview: Frank Visits Gamse Lithographing Co

Frank Visits Gamse Lithographing Co

Published: November 10, 2017

Gamse Lithographing has been around since 1894. Production Manager Mark LeDonne took me on a whirlwind tour of a super label plant that uses almost every printing process. But Frank found Mark’s personal history more interesting.

 

View More Videos

 

Become a Member

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

Copyright © 2017 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved