Q: How many Printers does it take to print a light bulb?
A: You don’t know, you don’t print light bulbs… right?
Because anyone can print a light bulb. You don’t want to be in the light bulb business. If you are, then you compete with everyone – including online discount light bulb printing factories.
You want to be in the SPOTLIGHT business.
You want to help your customers outshine their competition, and in turn out shine your own.
This isn’t a new concept, but visit after visit to agencies and brands with my #ProjectPeacock digital print show and tell have illuminated one thing above all others – there are a whole lot of light bulbs being printed, and print customers from global brands and ad agencies that aren’t aware of all of their printing options. Absorb that for a moment.
More on #ProjectPeacock after our agency/brand visits conclude in December, for now, I want to focus on the above-mentioned options. You need some, fast.
Discovery is a wonderful thing. It’s also a valuable thing. Customer loyalty is born through discovery if you are the one who introduces something relevant and new, and the discovery ROI, if nurtured properly, can last the lifetime of a customer regardless of where they work.
With Print 17 less than 2 weeks away, whether you are attending, following the news and social media from home or watching live from a device near you, get out a pen and start making a to-do list titled, “Things we need to get before our competition does.”
Here is what to look out for:
Automation. You need software/systems that improve your processes. Get over the implementation fear, and get in the game. Fewer touches and less time are making your competitors lean and mean printing machines who can do it faster, with more wiggle room in estimates. Don’t lose work and new customers because change is scary. You build a workflow process brick by brick, but end up with a house that won’t come tumbling down when the marketing winds shift direction – as they always do.
Shiny Stuff. It’s that simple. If your eye is drawn to it, you need to provide it. Start with shine, texture, specialty color and then move into the myriad of possibilities that a reasonable investment in finishing can provide. In-house is the new outsourcing. Keep control.
Think BIG. Wide format today can create some absolutely amazing and unexpected applications. By far the most amazing discovery #ProjectPeacock has provided the agencies and brands was in this area. There are BIG customers out there and they have no idea wide format isn’t just for banners anymore. Once they see what is possible, they immediately want to use it. Pay attention to all of this technology at Print 17. There is a press for everyone’s price point, and the wide format feeding frenzy is forming. Don’t get stuck with the leftovers, take your seat at the head of the table now and get the learning curve behind you.
Inkjet Innovation. I agree there is a lot of talk, and I certainly lead and/or participate in much of it. I hope you know me well enough by now to accept that if there wasn’t something there big picture with this technology, I wouldn’t waste my time or yours. Inkjet may not be the right fit for you today, however, tomorrow and next year is another story. Commercial printers can transform their business with the right inkjet tools. Lay the ground work, stay educated, and be ready to pull the trigger with the manufacturer of your choice when the moment is right. Just be perfectly clear on this… that moment is coming. Be the inkjet expert. It will have value – tons of it.
Think Personal. I don’t mean data-based, I mean the devices or tools your shop is missing that fills a gap, that brings business to you that your customers are currently sending elsewhere, opens up doors to new internal and external conversations, and provides your sales people with a discovery opportunity to share, and capitalize on.
The Printerverse programming at Print 17 centers on a 3-pronged discovery strategy: discover something new, discover a new company/person/resource, discover something about your business in the process. We have 28 exhibiting companies in the 2017 Intergalactic Alliance, and they are all eager to make your acquaintance and hear from you.
Join NJ-based printer Jamie McLennan in Printer’s Row and participate during our FREE panels. Show up, sit down, be heard… or chime in from home via social media or our Livestream page. We will be monitoring the #Print17 and #Printerverse feed, watching for your questions and comments.
I’m looking forward to exploring with all of you…
Discover Long and Prosper!
Everything about the #Printerverse at #Print17. Can’t make it to Chicago?… watch all 5 days of our Print 17 programming from home.
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of #PrintChat, a weekly industry gathering on Twitter every Wednesday at 4PM ET. She has 25+ years experience working in advertising as a Print Producer, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their social media marketing endeavors, and create meaningful relationships.
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