How Printers Can Hang Out with the Corporate Cool Kids

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Do you ever feel like your clients are having parties and you’re the only one not invited? That’s exactly what happens to most printing companies when it comes to strategy sessions. Printers simply aren’t part of the marketing “in” crowd despite claims of being marketing service providers.

Too often printers are left sitting in the lobby unless there is a question about print. And those questions generally don’t come up until well after all the important campaign decisions have been made.  You end up with the scraps from the digital people who are influencing the strategy.

Getting on the “A” List

Some printers respond by defending print. That’s okay to a point. I certainly do it myself at times because many marketers miss opportunities that can only be achieved through print or an integrated print-digital solution.

The bigger reason printers become wallflowers is because they’re too shy to move beyond the comfort zone of print production. Marketing executives don’t care about how dots get on paper. They care about bigger strategic issues like how to:

  • Acquire and maintain customers
  • Increase marketing ROI
  • Get to market faster
  • Leverage customer data
  • Find new markets
  • Reduce waste and costs
  • Track results

If you’re an account rep, ask yourself how comfortable you’d be leading a discussion about any of these topics in relation to the tools your company provides. And are you connecting to the people in your customers’ marketing circles who make the decisions?

If you’re an owner, ask yourself how confident you are in the ability of your sales force to sell at the strategic level. Are you looking for the right types of account reps? Are you providing the training, encouragement and patience to develop this type of business? Trust me. It’s not the production manager.

But How Do I Communicate the Print Message?

The best way to promote the value of print is by using it in creative ways yourself. I’ve spent a career advising printers on marketing strategy, and it’s common to find companies that have limited ability to use their own print- and multichannel-based marketing tools. The challenge often begins with companies not having an actionable customer and prospect database to create a campaign.

When was the last time your company committed resources to a marketing campaign that involved personalized data, print and digital channels as well as campaign tracking?

The takeaway is that you need to build credibility by demonstrating knowledge of the marketing issues impacting your customers and the ability to strategically integrate your own products and services. Then you have a chance of making the “A” list for your customer’s next strategy meeting. Need help? Give me a call.

 

 

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Contact Info

301 N. Water Street
Batavia, IL 60510
Mobile- 708-610-9914
lbauer@bauerassociates.net

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