Printing Impressions

You will be automatically redirected to piworld in 20 seconds.
Skip this advertisement.

Advertisement
Advertisement
 

Allegra Network : Printer to Marketer Mantra

February 2012 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
1
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 

There is a strong case to be made for the idea that Mike Marcantonio was the perfect candidate to assume the reins of Allegra Network, the Plymouth, MI-based franchisor whose members provide printing and now marketing services to the small- and medium-size business (SMB) community.

After all, Marcantonio—the recently minted president and CEO—is also an investor in three other companies. Not only does Marcantonio understand the needs of the clientele who patronize Allegra Network’s 310 printing and 185 Signs Now franchisees, he is also aware of their frustrations and limitations.

“All of the changes occurring in technology today are also changing the marketing tactics needed by small- and medium-sized businesses,” Marcantonio observes. “But, as a small business owner, you can’t afford an ad agency, and they wouldn’t want to work with you anyway because your spending isn’t worth their while. So, you’re left to deal with a very fragmented industry of freelance marketing consultants.

“When you own a small business and you don’t know anybody or have a good referral, where do you turn for (marketing) help? For us, the answer became that ‘a-hah’ moment.”

The epiphany that Allegra Network’s membership is ultimately well-positioned to provide marketing tools and acumen on an appropriate scale to address their clients' needs served as the launching point for a five-year journey toward transitioning the franchisor into a marketing services provider. It was a natural progression undertaken at the height of an unnatural time—amid the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.

It was a move both bold and necessary but, then again, the company has a history of keeping its feet moving (and its address, as evidenced by a new 67,000-square-foot headquarters). In the last 10-plus years, Allegra changed hands—purchased by an investment group led by Marcantonio, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan and its management team (including Chairman Carl Gerhardt and the Chairman Emeritus Bill McIntyre)—and also acquired Insty-Prints (2002) and Signs Now (2005).

The quintessential small printer franchisor, the Allegra Network (2011 sales of $291 million) has been undergoing fundamental changes. It launched the Matchmaker program in 2004, which paired unaffiliated printers looking for an exit strategy with buyers who would bring the business into the franchise. The program was a success, as upwards of 50 businesses came under the firm's umbrella.

 
1

SPONSORED CONTENT

MORE ON BUSINESS MANAGEMENT >>

FROM THE BOOKSTORE

The graphic communications industry is facing some very serious challenges, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a lot of life and opportunity in our future. 

Competing for Print's Thriving Future focuses on how printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the emerging changes — the changes that are shaping the printing industry of today and tomorrow. 

Use the research, analysis, and forecasts in this book to: 
• Assess the changes taking place
• Understand the changes
• Design a plan to deal with the changes

Topics include: 
• Economic forces, life cycle, and competitive position
• Place in the national and global economies
• Industry structure, cost structure, and profitability trends
• Emerging market spaces--ancillary and print management services
• Competitive strategies, tactics, and business models
• Key practices of SuperPrinters
• Combating foreign competition
• Social network usage
• A ten-step process to survive and thrive Competing for Print’s Thriving Future

The graphic communications industry is facing some very serious challenges, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a lot of life and opportunity in our future. “Competing for Print's Thriving Future” focuses on how printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the  changes that...

ORDER NOW

 

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: