Margie Dana

Margie Dana

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit or e-mail Margie at

Print Buyers and Equipment Lists

The question about print customers and a printer’s equipment list comes up often, as it did last week on the webinar I participated in. During that event, I brought this up because it’s significant. In the recent study I did with John Zarwan, in which we collected data from 315 professional print buyers, 73 percent of those surveyed said that a printer’s equipment influences their selection of print partners—at least some of the time.

Give Workshops to Build Loyalty

After attending a workshop offered by Constant Contact, Margie Dana explains that it could be beneficial for companies to hold workshops that offer attendees something of value. Instead of showering customers with gifts to gain their loyalty, give them something that will help their business in the long run.

Keep That Blooper Reel Handy!

Here’s one way to impress seasoned print buyers: tell them how you recovered from your mistakes. That’s right, when every other printing company is tripping over itself, trying to land on the most glowing terms to showcase their fantastic quality and service, you do the opposite. Go left.

Print Reps Are Also Marketers

Since marketing is everything you do to influence and persuade prospects to choose your company, sales reps can be seen as marketers. Even though their primary role is to prospect for new business, close sales and service customers, reps are (quite literally) the beating heart of a company’s marketing efforts.

Surveys Are Marketing Gold

Forget all that talk about survey fatigue. Printers need to survey their customers every few years to learn important things, like how service has been, how satisfied (or not) customers might be with your products, and what additional services or information your customers want from you.

Don’t Overlook the Obvious on Your Website

Your customers don’t visit your site unless you have an ecommerce or file-sharing functionality they use. Your site is for prospects. Many are looking for your exact services. Your name came up in conversation, or they found you from something they read or saw online. They clicked on your site to check you out. What will they find there?

Do You Already Have Hidden Content Talent In-house?

If you take the time to "look within" and find out more about your employees, you just might find your company blogger, or video producer, or photographer, or social media maven. Your reach expands exponentially, and your employees are happier because they get to do something they really love.

How Little It Takes to Lose a Customer

Having been there, I’ll testify to the fact that print customers have left printers because they get unacceptable treatment. Too often, they’d much rather switch than fight. The reality is, customers like coddling, whether we’re guests at a hotel, diners at a restaurant, or clients of a printer.

Don't Tap Dance Around Bad News

Being upfront with your print customers usually works best. If a proof is running late, or a delivery date can't realistically be met, or that special paper hasn't yet arrived, don’t hide it. Tell your customers. They’d rather find out there’s a potential complication and hear how you’re resolving it than find out after the fact that you knew all the while there was trouble brewing.

Say Goodbye to the 'One-and-Done' News or Press Release

Say goodbye to the "one-and-done" news or press release. Say hello to the news item that gets tailored to different uses. It then gets shared across multiple channels, where it can do your company much more good.

If I Trained Sales Reps

The following list comes from over 20 years of my being a corporate print buyer or working with them, hosting events for them, and listening to them. At the end of the day, successful sales reps respect their customers and strive to deliver what each one expects.

Print: The Elephant in the (Waiting) Room

I always go to Direct Tire in Watertown, MA, to have my snow tires mounted. At some point, I realized how chock-full of printed materials their waiting room was. Let me try to recall the incredible amount of printed things I saw.

Should Printers Blog? Should They Do Videos?

What comes naturally to you or someone on your team? As you think about how to do some content marketing in 2015, start with a channel that’s easy for you and also helps showcase your company and your expertise.

Lessons from a Computer Nerd

Writing about what you know, in your own voice, is a valuable source of marketing content. Do what comes naturally and become a hero to your customers.