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Offset and Beyond Conference, Day 2

May 2009
LAS VEGAS—May 6, 2009—Following is a special report from Day 2 of the 2009 Offset and Beyond Conference. Printing Industries of America's Executive Team is reporting from Caesars Palace, where the Conference continues today.
 
What do you do? If your answer is "I am just a printer", you are not likely to be in business much longer in these turbulent times. Tuesday's general session opened with Making the Transformation from Printer to Marketing Communications Provider. Bruce Biegel, managing director of the Winterberry Group, opened the session with an overview of the advertising market, noting that advertising spending in different markets segments was down up to 8%. Chief marketing officers are now under extreme pressure in these difficult economic times and are being measured by their effectiveness. Biegel stated, "To be a marketing communications provider you need to know 'where the money' is when meeting with your potential customers."
 
Biegel then interviewed two printers -- Matthew Graham, chief strategy officer of Direct Group (DG), and Bret Olszewski, vice president of marketing for K/P Corporation -- who energized the audience with info on how they transformed their companies from being "just printers" to being able to meet the evolving needs of their customers by providing a wide range of communications methods. Biegel asked, "Why did your company change from product-centric to marketing services?" Olszewski replied, "It was grow or die ... and change was necessary to provide more value to our customers." Graham explained how his company grew via acquisition by adding fulfillment, response management, analytics, and data services. Both discussed how their clients now required them to do multichannel marketing with system integration using the clients' data. (Printing Industries of America members can read more about cross media in The Magazine, May issue.) An important element of their companies' respective changes was the transformation of the sales force from selling products and services to a consultative, solution-selling approach.
 
Next was a fast, furious, and fun point-counterpoint face-off: brand manager vs. procurement manager, between Jonathan Bailey, operations business manager, and Daniel Sanchez, senior procurement manager, at Heinz North America. Their lively banter, with occasional bickering and back-and-forth volleys, enlightened the audience on the differences between selling to the brand marketing manager and the procurement manager, and their very different approaches to dealing with potential suppliers. Bailey emphasized, "I look for a compelling idea ... and your passion for that idea." While Sanchez stated, "I look to establish strategic suppliers for a long working relationship."
 

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