Noel Ward is Managing Director of Brimstone Hill Associates, which specializes in marketing communications in the printing industry, including video production. He can be reached at 603-672-3635 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is brimstonehill.com, and he has a YouTube channel.
Last month at PODi, I caught up with Joe Schember, a Canon product marketing specialist, who filled me in on RevGen—part of Canon’s Essential Business Builder Program that was rolled out last fall at GRAPH EXPO. All the major print-engine vendors offer business development programs comprised of software, print samples, assorted support materials and more, all aimed at helping customers better market digital printing.
Such offerings have become expected by print providers and there’s certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence that printers using these tools do in fact see more business. Canon’s RevGen—as in Revenue Generation—takes a hands-on mentoring approach by having qualified print industry pros work individually with customers to help refine their digital printing business strategy while providing much of the tactical support and guidance a printer needs to be successful.
This certainly seems like a good approach, and is similar to ones offered by a couple of other players. A mentor or advisor can be effective because they can provide the kind of coaching independent business owners need and that they are more likely to apply because the advisor can customize the program to individual operations.
What’s great is that RevGen is affordable, with rates starting around $10K and going up to about $25K. Not a lot, considering the investment in a new Canon digital press that has the potential to bring in tens of thousands of dollars in new revenue if the machine’s capabilities are marketed correctly.
Times are tough in printing, and the service providers who survive are the ones who take advantage of the best sales and marketing tools they can find. Some of that expertise comes from folks like my fellow bloggers here—Bill Farquarson, Tom Marin, T.J. Tedesco and Kelly Mallozzi. Other elements, like RevGen, come from the vendors, and are worth a look because they offer a different take on the market.
There’s no one with the perfect marketing prescription for your business, so check out as many as you can. And if you’re running Canon hardware, RevGen is probably worth a look.