In today’s economy, printers are continually expected to do more with less; resources are shrinking and customer expectations are growing. Smaller teams with tighter budgets are being asked to deliver better, targeted results with quantifiable ROI, creating more revenue generation and providing a powerful rationale for funding future print campaigns.
Most customers do not want to pay for greener print products yet they want to be seen to be doing their bit for the environment and expect the printer to absorb any additional cost. The result is that printers need to display their environmental credentials through their printed products.
Printers have always been focused on order taking and production. They concentrate on the quality of their print and providing good customer service and competitive pricing. But the world has changed and print has become driven by marketing and IT led services. To provide the right applications to meet changing customer demands printers need to be much more clued up on the world of digital communications and be very customer centric.
There are a lot of ways to add value in our industry and they all require careful planning, whether it’s becoming the most efficient, lowest cost provider in a commodity market to creating marketing programmes that integrate print and variable-digital content. Without a clear well implemented plan companies continually react to circumstances and trends beyond their control. We must all change the culture in our business so we proactively make things happen, creating positive change, because in the future good planning will be the defining factor between success and failure.
In a world where most printers offer reasonable quality print at a competitive price and with good customer service, the competitive edge can be small and it is often the little things that make the difference and offer sustainable competitive advantage. This subject embraces a range of management practices that successful printers have used to make the difference.
It is very difficult to sell a product or service to somebody when you have no deep understanding of the world in which they operate. That’s why you need to talk to your customers regularly and keep your finger on the pulse, it’s incredibly important. You must know their business challenges and what is going on in their minds to best serve them. You need to talk to them about their business, their issues and challenge, what they aspire to and what their goals are. Most importantly you need to understand what’s stopping them achieving their goals.
The transition from traditional print to value added digital print requires a focus on managing digital content and becoming a communication specialist. This provides new opportunities for growth and success, however there is one major problem. In all of this disruptive change and repositioning of the industry the sales process has remained virtually unchanged and the vast majority of printers are still marketing their products and services in exactly the same way.
In a world where most printers offer reasonable quality print at a competitive price and with good customer service, the competitive edge can be small and it is often the little things that make the difference and offer sustainable competitive advantage.
Most customers do not want to pay for greener print products yet they want to be seen to be doing the right thing, so they expect the printer to absorb any additional cost. The result is that printers need to display their environmental credentials through their products. There is a massive opportunity for companies to stay ahead of the curve by using environmental best practice to increase the customer base and deliver improved profitability.