This annual post has traditionally focused on what is in front of us in order to help customers generate business results with print. While there is still some uncertainty when it comes to planning meetings and events and when/if there will be a return to offices, we can control getting best prepared for whatever 2022 holds in store for us… and we already have plenty of pandemic pivoting experience.
THE MISSION FOR 2022: KNOW, SHOW, DO, SHARE
Know. It’s time to flip the script for good and focus on WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS NEED, not what you offer. Don’t pitch print, create, and offer collaborative opportunities that will help customers generate business results.
That requires you to understand their customers and their needs… today. Not yesterday, not last year, not in 2018… their needs today and for the very near future.
Don’t overwhelm and stress customers and prospects with cold calls and fact-finding missions. Approach them armed with a plethora of print possibilities that reflect your research findings. More than likely, your customers need customers so start with a few very affordable options for helping them do that and build upon positive results to do more work with them.
Show. There are tons of stats you can request from Mr. Google that support the premise that customers of all kinds do plenty of research before contacting a business or buying a product. I do. I’m willing to bet you do.
Close your eyes and think of your website as a virtual showroom for all the amazing things you can do. Can you smell the ink? See all the creative possibilities? Now open them and look at your website.
If your dream is better than reality, get on that NOW. You may not have control of the website and the content shared by your company, but you do have the ability to gather intel from Mr. Google, speak up and suggest a refresh and/or revamp to help site visitors fall in love with you on their own. A comprehensive and attractive website can assist with new business development and getting people further down the sales pipeline 24/7/365.
Do. Whether it’s called a mission statement, a value proposition, or a mantra – understanding the business and creative results your company helps generate for your customers is how this needs to be crafted and communicated across all your channels and platforms.
Explain the amazing things your presses and finishing equipment can do, don’t just list them. Share and celebrate your partners who help you offer extended services – like photography, design, and digital marketing. If you don’t want to call them out by name, make sure it’s clear that you have industry partners to tap for all aspects of project needs.
You want to do as much work with your customers as you can. Help them understand you are providing customer convenience, ensuring their brand consistency, and how one-stop shopping supports your mission statement to generate business results through print marketing and communications.
Time is money. Customers can save time by working with one vendor and not sourcing and quoting with multiple sources (when possible), they can get projects out faster and start the ROI ball rolling. That is a simple and positive business result.
Share. I have used this word several times in this post, and I still dedicated a section to share because it is critical to doing business.
As we eek towards a post-Covid world, our research and purchasing habits aren’t going to change. I ordered 2 items while I was writing this post – that I forgot to include in my order yesterday.
Educational content, product descriptions, predominant must know info like color and size, pictures and video, user reviews, and testimonials all drive many of my purchasing decisions. Unless I already know a product, I don’t buy anything anymore without reading user reviews.
Why is what you sell any different?
Tell and share the STORY of your business from its origin through today. Collect testimonials from customers, ask them for online reviews – especially when they are thrilled with work you have just completed for them.
Tell and share the story of your commitment to your community and the world. Charities and initiatives you support, what your business is doing to combat climate concerns – and ps that isn’t about sharing that you offer eco-friendly materials – it’s about putting solar panels on your roof and having a carbon-neutral program in place. Think bigger, and do more in this area than your competition to remove them as your competition.
Tell and share the story of your new and younger employees. Use them as living job descriptions. Empower them to be a part of your interview process. More from me on this in 2022 through my new workforce development initiative, #PrintLife.
Do the work, tell your story. Share your story. I’ve given you some starting points… start!
As I wrote in this post, I am bullish on 2022 and I am ready to get out of my apt and see all of you out there in the Printerverse.
Check out these upcoming US events I am attending Dscoop Edge Rockies, The National Print and Sign Owners Annual Conference, Sign Expo, NEW! Amplify, NEW! America’s Print Show, and save the date for Printing United!
Until then… KNOW, SHOW, DO and SHARE and keep me posted on your progress.
PRINT LONG AND PROSPER!
ps…While I have you… if you didn’t get here from my monthly News From The Printerverse, please subscribe for topical sales and marketing info and a healthy dose of Printspiration!
Podcasts From The Printerverse explore all facets of what is possible in today’s world of cutting-edge communications, and strategies for print business and print marketing success. Find my channel on your favorite podcast player, or click here to listen online.
Project Peacock is evolving! Stay tuned!
Speaking of partners, if you are looking to expand your horizons, please visit our growing list of Elevate Print Resources. If you are part of a Black, minority, woman-owned print or marketing-related business, please get in touch to be added to the list. Google is sending a LOT of traffic to that page from organic searches as brands and businesses are looking for diverse suppliers to support.
And last but certainly not least, after generating more than 2 BILLION impressions for print on Twitter, #PrintChat has moved to a LinkedIn Group and we are already off to an amazing start. Learn more here and listen to the podcast.
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse™ at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist™, industry speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts from The Printerverse, the cultivator of Print Production Professionals the #1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl #1 at GirlsWhoPrint, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock.
Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer. She currently provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through PMC and works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers, and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers, and achieve success with their sales, social media, and content marketing endeavors.
Have You Been PEACOCKED? Learn about this initiative providing PRINTSPIRATION to brands, agencies, students, and printers!
Please subscribe to PMC’s News from The Printerverse for topical posts and information delivered to your inbox 1x a month.