Dana on Marketing Messages: A-Marketing We Will GoMarch 2013 By Margie Dana
Hats off to the folks at Printing Impressions, especially to Editor-in-Chief Mark Michelson. He listened when I said I was expanding my interests beyond print buying. Truth is, I've been increasingly fascinated by the importance of strategic marketing, especially as it relates to printers and equipment manufacturers who want to reach the end user—that is, the print and media buyer.
So, beginning with this column, I'll be writing about specific ways that companies in our industry can market their services to people who need them. Mostly, I'll focus on corporate end users: the buyers, designers and marketers who have a hand in choosing print along with other media to promote their businesses. Marketing to consumers is, as they say, a whole different kettle of fish.
I've dealt with hundreds of corporate and agency print customers for many years through my PBI events and weekly Print Tips e-newsletter. It's clear that they're looking for certain kinds of information from the printing community to help them make sourcing decisions (including what kinds of print campaigns to recommend to their colleagues).
It's also absolutely clear to me that much of the time, they're not getting what they need, at least not quickly enough or in the manner in which they need it.
What does this have to do with printers and marketing? Simply this: If you can publish the sorts of things you do that print customers are looking for, you'll be marketing your company strategically and effectively. Getting the word out in the right channels at the right time for the right audience is good marketing. It's easy to do once you break it down into segments and get in the groove. (Think of it as eating a pie one slice at a time over a week, rather than cramming the whole thing into your mouth at once.) It can be done easily, and you'll be comfortable doing it at this pace.
I know what print and media customers are looking for, and I know how printers can market themselves accordingly. It takes a commitment on your part, and someone dedicated to getting it done.
Before I kick off my PI columns during 2013 about how printers should be marketing themselves, there are four important things you must keep in mind: