If you read my posts with any frequency or listen to the Print Buying UK v. USA Podcast co-hosted by me and Matthew Parker, you probably know I focus on helping printers create long-term relationships with print customers.
I benefited from long-term relationships with my print partners throughout my agency career. Some of the printers I brought with me to agencies as I moved around still have those accounts. Long-term goes both ways.
While I still believe in the power of developing and cultivating relationships for longevity, we just don’t have time for that right now. Instead, let’s focus on getting some quick wins for some quick sales and develop relationships based on the victory of delivering results.
Timing is Everything.
I speak to a lot of professional print customers and ‘speed to market’ has moved to the top of their priority list. While that used to manifest as the raison d’etre for considering digital printing, current supply chain and shipping issues have broadened the speed scope.
If you can market on speed – do it. All the ways you can win the race to the mailbox, the shelf, the event, the hands of a prospect and so on.
Popping Off the Page.
Specialty finishing is the most prominent way customers believe their print can stand out. They aren’t wrong, but they need to get more return for their money these days. One way that can manifest is by offering QR codes to help extend engagement and lead the intended audience to multiple places with a simple scan from the camera on their mobile device.
If you can develop a QR code service (and you can!) PLEASE do not leave out the data reporting. The QR code is the bridge, the data is the proof of the engagement win.
Out of Sight?
If you had furloughs, down-sizing, organizational shifts, and retirements in your company it’s time to check in and remind your active customers who is their contact, and who is their backup. If you want to reset any of this internally, now is the time.
It’s also the time to remind your active customers of all the products and services you provide, and an opportunity to assign a salesperson (or team) to your dormant customers and remind them of all you can do.
If you can, develop a weekly special. Whatever you can you gang run, do fast, and offer a fair market price. This is a quick win for customers if they can jump on an offer, and a quick win for you in the form of email opens. Focus on the sale but use the opportunity to introduce a menu of items that support it. If you have a business card special, include a ‘job seekers’ package, or a ‘new employee’ package, or a ‘start-up’ package. The upsell opportunity is built-in, just be gentle.
Taking Your Victory Lap.
ROI is a two-way street. Spending a little strategic time working out promotions and the customer communication around them can have a quick payoff for all involved. The goal is to win the moment the customer needs help – and to be present and helpful until that moment presents itself.
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 at 4 PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors including the 2016 Girls Who Print Girlie Award and sits on the board of The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi and is a Member-at-Large for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.
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 social media and content marketing endeavors.
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