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 www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.

Hidden Content Talent In-house?

Most printers I know that do have on-staff marketing have one person in that role. But no matter how talented he or she might be, there’s no way that one person can churn out enough good content to satisfy the voracious, multiple marketing channels that printers should be using to promote their businesses.

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.

How You Serve Print Buyers: Make This List and Check It Twice

The new year is nigh. If December signals a slowdown of jobs coming into your company, you have more time to plan how to make better connections with your print customers in 2015. Maybe it’s time to examine your own—and your firm’s—customer development strategy. May I suggest your list include the following 10 items?

You Love Them, You Love Them Not: Printers and Their 'People'

You may be surprised (or not) to know that a lot of times, print CEOs say, “It’s our people. We’d be nothing without them.” And things like, “We have the best minds in the business.” They really do come across as proud parents (it takes one to know one). I love that they profess such love for their employees. Then I go to their Website and guess what? Nary a mention of any employee.

What Makes You So Special – And Do Your Customers Know?

Aside from selling your company’s services, it’s smart to let your customers know the full range of what you—the person—bring to the relationship. This isn’t about your history with the company or length of time in the field, nor am I talking about your promise to take care of each customer with TLC.

Dana on Marketing Messages: What Is 'Value' To Print Buyers?

Customers who truly value a printer want to maintain a long-term relationship with that printer. They'll sing the printer's praises to their managers and refer them to others. It's the sort of WOM (Word of Mouth) marketing that all businesses want. So I wrote to a few buyers and printers to get more insight as to what value really means.

Do Your Homework Before Making That Call

When someone calls me and remarks almost immediately that he’s heard my name “for years,” I assume he’s done his homework, and that he knows what business I’m in. But time after time (sorry, Cyndi Lauper), I’m disappointed. The caller’s done no such thing.

Why Social Media Makes Printers Memorable

A huge part of what makes social media so fantastic is its shareability factor. Whether it’s a retweet on Twitter or a Share elsewhere, this one-click function could mean your stuff gets seen by tens of thousands of people who are connected to your own followers. Your audience can get ginormous if your posts are high-value enough. And some of those people will be good prospects for you.

Dana on Marketing Messages: E-newsletter Success Secrets

How am I defining e-mail marketing? For this column, I'm writing about one specific product: a regular e-mail newsletter that you send out to customers, prospects and anyone else who's interested enough in hearing what you have to say.