By Terry Nagi There is a learning curve to selling, servicing, managing, and producing successful digital print "Solutions", and this learning curve is best relegated to lesser customers. July 19, 2004 -- Unless your company is starting from scratch, your foremost prospects for additional printing of digital services are your current clients! This is no brain wave, but which current client? Most likely, not the biggest and the best. There is a learning curve to selling, servicing, managing, and producing successful digital print "Solutions", and this learning curve is best relegated to lesser customers. The biggest and the best may be demanding a digital "Solution" or have a recognized need for such, but should be approached carefully. Some of the other qualifiers to be used in assessing which current clients would be best targets for digital printing and other digital services (database management and development, digital creative, digital photography, mailing and fulfillment, inventory management, etc.) could include: An expressed need for short run versioned personalized or other digital printing alternatives. An extremely aggressive company with aggressive executives. A company with high profit products, which can afford the additional cost of short run, versioned or personalized digital printing, while returning greater sales and therefore greater profits for the company. An innovative marketing company. A company already committed to digital printing (yes, the sales person has to ask). A company in an extremely competitive industry where new forms of differentiation are important to the company's success. A company where the product and information on the product changes frequently. There is one more major qualifier to consider. There are always major companies in select, targeted industries that have already successfully utilized digital print, know its advantages and have received proven benefits. These industries include: These include: Insurance & Healthcare Banks & Financial services firms Pharmaceutical firms Utilities Wholesalers & Distributors Manufacturers Publishers Government Auctions Non-profit Organizations Health and Medical (including Hospitals) Education (including Colleges and Universities) Retailers High-Tech Companies & Software Developers Advertising Agencies Creatives and Designers Extremely pertinent and useful case studies for these and other industries have been created by the Print On Demand Initiative. A listing from the "Best Practices" follows. This provides the names of specific companies that have successfully used digital printing, by vertical market, and the print product application. Segmentation of PODi Cases by Vertical Market Fourth Edition Third Edition Second Edition First Edition Business Services Capital Group Chameleon Cherrydale Forge Consulting SalesPrint Real Estate Fizzbit Reid London House Bazzirk PWRplay Brüggemann & FreundeOTS Business Cruise Invitation ANWB Route Planner Edmunds.com Workbook Education & Govt. Bob Jones University Greenville College Huntington Manchester College MCV Reunion Montreat Northern AZ U. Pinecrest Elementary St. Andrews BJU Press HP Education Services Slippery Rock Univ. Invitation NLN Testing Booklets Royal Mail Conversion Mktg. OMR forms Cty. of Ventura Jury Summons Travel & Entertain-ment Bally's Bermuda Dept Tourism Hampton Road Showtime Small Unmarked Bills Wakefield Rugby Backroads Personalized Mailer Carlson Loyalty Financial Services Bank Statement CIGNA KeyCorp Land America Large Mutual Fund Pershing Prudential Relizon Canada Securian Standard and Poors ADP Retirement Plan Stmt. Capital One HR Commun. Merrill Lynch 401(k) Royal Bank Statement Schwab Retirement Plan Stmt. Sun Life Financial T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Ukrop's & First Market Bank AIM Investment Statements AMP Australia Payment Notices BBL Financial Reports Defined Contribution Enrollment Pacific Northwest Bank Postbanken Financial Report Principal Financial Group SunAmerica Marketing Booklet Zions Bank Lead Generation Dain Rauscher Retirement Delaware Investments Dynamic Mutual Funds Newsletter Smart Statement Insurance/ Healthcare Grange Hearthstone Virginia Farm Wilde CAC Claims Documents CIGNA Post-Enrollment Kit Clarica "Good News" Mailer Cleveland Clinic Insurance Communications Trustmark Insurance BCBSFL Check Printing HealthNow Subscriber Comm. Liberty Health Fulfillment Kit Mutual of Omaha Direct Mail NBI Benefit Kit Personalized Benefit Stmt Unitrin Direct Insurance UUG Variable Rate Guide BMA Insurance Enrollment Equitable Insurance Policies Hewitt Associates Statements IBM "Scrapbook of Dreams" London Life Assumption London Life Proxy Mailing National Life of Vermont Interior Design The Cheesecake Factory Chicago Architecture Custom Ceramic Tile Manuf. DSM - Cordeo HP Print M-Real Saab Sonopress Toyota Wunderman AAS Web-Enabled Mktg. Sol. All Tile Sales Incentive Ford Lease Expiration Mailers Ford Road Show Follow-Up GM "New Owner Clinic" The Hon Company Rheem Digital Collateral System Unisource Invitations Volvo Sales Incentive York Build-A-BrochureTM Butler Roof Lead Development Consumer Product Packaging Knapp Shoes Catalog-for-One Levi Strauss Channel Building Toyota Eurotunnel Postcards Agfa Digital Roadmaps Agfa Full Court Press Buick Interchange Newsletter Frito-Lay Point-of-Purchase Kodak ProPassport Newsletter Mazda "Intersections" Mercedes Customer Survey Mikasa Bridal Registry Novartis Seeds – NK Brand Novartis Seeds – Rogers Whirlpool Brochure Not-for-profit ANWB Coalition to Protect Healthcare Get Wired PIMA Swiss Direct Marketing Assn BSO Web & Print Campaign Children's Home Society of VA Duisburg Local History Book National Arbor Day Pharma. Products Janssen Canada Forum Mission Pharmacal NiQuitin CQ Custom Diary Novartis Consultant Meetings Pharmaceutical Newsletter Printing Services EPI Wine Event Holiday Calendar Rotaset Stockport Evening News Custom Membership Cards HP Poster Prints Greeting Cards Print on Demand Books KoolCalendars.com MVPcards.com PointeOne Storyteller Wedding Albums Retail Elegante Wedding Story Jay Pontiac Pizza Hut Sun Visor Rolf Nagel Meats Smokin Joes Acorn Awards Ukrop's & First Market Bank Ukrop's Top 400 Survey Burger King Kid's Club Conduit Promotional Flyer Ford Dealer Service Promotion Independent Pharmacy Planet U Coupons Carolina Ford Dealer Demo Lincoln Mercury Brochure Moovies Video Rental Quality Stores ThankQ Shaklee Product Catalog Valassis Shopping List Software Aladdin Knowledge Systems Baan Marketing Collateral Blue Martini Webinar HearMe Web and Print Telecom. Hanaro Telecom Statements ICG Communications Billing Nortel Reseller Collateral Road Runner Marketing Forum Other United Stationers Leopardo Versioned Brochures National Auto Care Peoples Natural Gas Euro 2000 Tickets Quadrant Publishing Real Estate Postcards For more information on the Enhancements & Digital Sales and Marketing Success Series, the Annual PODi "Best Practice" series or the monthly PODi newsletter containing a featured case study of a successful digital sales/marketing campaign, contact [email protected], or http://www.podi.org/. For What? A majority of the print applications that are logically converted from traditional to short run, versioned, personalized one-to-one digital printing are mainly sales and marketing oriented, but not exclusively. The following a chart from PODi (www.podi.org) illustrates the distribution of digital applications by dollars of sales. Main Digital Print Product Produced It is important to note that most often, customers are not aware of how a short run, versioned, or individualized digitally printed product can prove the effectiveness of their printing, and the results they will achieve in dollars of printing expenditures versus the increased results achieved. This all directs to the sales representatives attention to the analysis and discovery of a "Solution" which increase the ROPE (Return on Printing Expenditures) by the digital print sales representative. The following is a list of potential questions sales reps can use to help discover new opportunities. What major changes do you see occurring in your company in new directions, new products, new services, new organizations, new acquisitions, etc.? Any major changes coming to your responsibilities? Major changes expected, if any, in the print products you produce? Change in quantity? Change in colors? Change in page count? Change in binding? New print products needed? How is desktop technology impacting the preparation of graphics and type for your printing? Done internally? Outside creative provider? Involve your printers in desktop? New directions for the future? Importance of fulfillment including just in time, warehousing, mailing, and fulfillment? Other services you wish your printer could perform? What are they? Where have your printers let you down in the past? Other disappointments? Any changes in what you print internally including reprographics? Single color printing? Multi-color printing? Short run printing? Variable, personalized printing? Digital printing? Is there anyone else in your organization we should introduce to our company and our capabilities? Are there any other individuals, like yourself, outside your company we should meet to describe our production and services? What is the most important aspect of a printer you seek for a long-term relationship? Are you the individual who makes the final decision on which printer or multimedia company you will use? Are there specific procedures and methods (and what are they) you use in reviewing and selecting your providers of print and multimedia outputs? Who else is involved in the purchase decision? What are the main print products you buy? What do you normally provide in electronic format? PC or Mac platform? What other services do you expect from your printer? (Scanning, archiving, re-purposing and re-formatting, digital proofs, digital transmission, contract proof type, etc.) What unfulfilled needs do you have in this entire process? What assistance do you like from your printer in the creative process? Is there any dissatisfaction you have with your current suppliers in this process? How many print suppliers do you normally use? How fast do you like to have your estimates turned? What do you consider a normal turnaround time from provision of electronic origination to shipping by the printer? Are your run lengths getting shorter? Are your promotional materials becoming obsolete quicker? How important is consistency in color between all your printed promotions? Are you familiar with any of the digital press (HP Indigo, Xeikon, Heidelberg Nexpress 2100, Xerox iGen3, DocuTech, etc.)? Have you used them? What is your opinion of these? Are you using any type of variable, personalized printing for target marketing purpose? Do you have or are you building a website? Would your company like assistance in this? Are you distributing any of your print products through non-print media such as CD-ROM, electronic kiosks, video, audio, etc.? If so, do you seek assistance in this? Are you seeking partnerships with a very small select group of printers? What more would you like to know about our company? Would you like some case histories and testimonials of unique multimedia imaging we have produced for others? We would very much like to have you come for a plant tour and meet our people. When can we arrange a date? Add at least 10 additional questions of your own to this list. So that's To Whom? With What! In next month's column we will discuss the How via ROPE and ROI.