Quad/Graphics' customer education efforts are highlighted in the current issue of Inc. Magazine (p.90) under the 30 classic examples of innovation from Inc. Inc cites Quad/Graphics' CAMP/Quad client education program which the company started in 1980. Inc states:

Meet the press Quad/Graphics is the world's largest privately held printing company, in part because of founder Harry Quadracci's decision to educate not just employees but also customers. In the 1970s, Quadracci began running printing seminars. Twice a year, 35 clients would gather at Camp/Quad to be enlightened about offset presses and color separation. The training helped Quad's customers be better at their jobs, which generated goodwill -- and more orders for Quad.

Quad/Graphics is not alone in its customer eduction programs (Let us know about your education programs in the comments).

Pictorial Offset Corporation in Carlstadt, NJ hosts marketers and print buyers twice a year for Pictorial University, an event that showcases industry trends, ideas and communication solutions.

Sandy Alexander hosted marketing executives at the company's Clifton, NJ facility last week to demonstrate its one-to-one marketing capabilities. Attendees where educated on data management, digital printing options, customized imagery, geomapping and other advanced techniques.

Sandy Alexander partnered with Sappi Fine Paper North America, Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc., HP, and SuperColor Digital to co-host the event.

Now is a perfect time to provide education and training. As company's scale back marketing department in light of the current economic downtown many employees are tasked with new responsibilities which might include buying print media. If change hasn't happened within your customer's organization it never hurts to show the latest application of print communication and remind them how print plays an important role in an integrated marketing campaign.

What types of educational program have worked for you? Do you rely strictly on sales staff to keep your customers up to date on the latest trends and applications? If customer educational programs are not part of your marketing, let us know why not.