New buying trends in the printing industry are driving Colson Printing to launch an extension of its website to enable 24/7 click ‘n print functionality for its clients. Large customers will have a custom portal to facilitate on-demand orders, reordering and better manage their accounts. Expected to go live in the first half of 2013, the new website capabilities will enable Colson to broaden its market nationally and appeal to locals who prefer to order online.
"Colson Printing has a good name. Our customers know they can count on us. We celebrated our 50th year in business last year but we know we can’t be the same company. We have to adapt," said CEO Wendy Colson.
Colson Printing is a commercial printer with offices in Valdosta and Albany Georgia. According to Colson, Albany – where Ann Carter is the sales representative – has been a strong market for the company. The company handles a variety of printing projects from agricultural labeling, banking and the medical industry to general marketing and manufacturing. Colson also operates Colson Art Printing, which manufacturers fine art reproductions for artists and publishers on a national level.
"Quality is everything in Colson Art Printing and that mentality bleeds over into the commercial printing side of our business, whether it’s an annual report or a direct mail project, the care and quality remain the same," Colson said.
Providing an Essential Service
Despite the expanding role of the Internet and social media, print is still very much alive, according to Colson.
"Print is still the best bang for the buck in marketing. It drives traffic to websites and works well with social media. Marketing is now one big basket of email, social media, and print, " Colson said.
"In many cases we provide essential print materials that companies need to conduct business. Packaging materials are a good example," Colson said.
In addition to its new website capabilities, Colson Printing added in 2012 a new direct mail facility. In it, the company can provide mailing services for direct mail printing projects.
"Our customers can reduce their costs and turnaround times by using Colson for both the printing and mailing on direct mail projects," Colson said.
Strength in Diversity
According to Colson, diversity has been the company’s salvation in hard economic times. When one industry faltered, others picked up the slack.
Broadening their reach to a national market via an expanded website holds big potential for Colson. The company already has the people and equipment in place to serve online orders and it has a high search-engine ranking for online printing queries.
"The challenge will be in developing our online customer relationships so they are based on more than price. Colson has an excellent reputation for service, quality and customer relationships and we hope that will carry over to online sales," Colson said.