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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Margie Dana, a former print buyer, is the founder of Print Buyers International (PBI) and its member-based organization, Boston Print Buyers. These professional organizations cater to print customers worldwide through education, an annual buyers conference, Print Buyer Boot Camps, and networking opportunities.

Margie's perhaps best known for her weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, which she's published weekly since 1999 in an effort to build bridges in the industry. For years, Margie has been a popular speaker at industry events here and abroad. Her clients include print company executives who rely on her to help steer their marketing campaigns and make their online efforts more customer friendly.

 

Born to Blog about Print Buyers

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If ever there was a perfect writing gig for me, this buyers’ blog is it. Many of you may know me for my weekly enewsletter, "Margie’s Print Tips" (10 years running this month. Woo-hoo!) Maybe you’ve heard me speak at an industry event. In any case, I am rarely at a loss for words to speak or write.

I admit it. I am hooked on print and the buying thereof. This new opportunity at PI will give me an opportunity to air what’s on print buyers’ minds — and what their mightiest challenges are at any given time. Hopefully, the printers will gain insights from this blog that will make them understand their customers better. More sensitivity to one’s market is always a good thing.

For 15 years I was a corporate buyer at Boston University and then for 11 years at MFS Investment Services. Back then, there were no resources for print customers. No associations, no Websites, no champions, no trade publications, no conferences. Nada. Zip. Everything we learned, we learned from our print sales reps.

So I decided to change that. I started my own professional association to help print buyers and print providers make headway with one another. There are bridges to be built and information to be shared. . . on both ‘sides.’ That, in a nutshell, is what I am all about.

I like to think of myself as a lifeline for buyers to the print industry — and vice versa. My career led me to this point, and today I immerse myself in what buyers are up to, through events, email, social networking, phone calls, research, interviews, and good old fashioned face-to-face meetings. Similarly, I follow the print industry, meeting as many print professionals as I have time for, and reading whatever I can get my hands on that deals with this fine industry.

(By the way, there is no history of printing in my family. I have no explanation for my fascination with print except that perhaps, as an infant, I was dropped on my head onto an open book or full-color magazine.)

OK, time for some hard truths: I am not totally print-centric. Hate me if you want, but I am a serious fan of some social networking media. I have been learning all about sites like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, especially how they can be used to develop community, brand and, yes, business. You’ll find me on twitter at @margiedana, so please follow me if you dare.

I’ve used the Twitter/LinkedIn combo to find print providers for buyers in need. When a buyer gets in touch via email or LinkedIn in search of a provider, I post the request on his/her behalf on Twitter, and voila! Answers appear within hours, allowing me to share the suggestions with the buyer. How cool is that?

It’s silly to pretend the new electronic media don’t exist, that they won’t affect your businesses, or that they’ll go away anytime soon. They won’t. I am fascinated by how they can be integrated with a marketing strategy. I keep learning as I go along.

Here’s to a fascinating blogging adventure with PI. I’ll be sharing trending behaviors and buying strategies that I see among corporate and agency buyers across the land. If you have a particular suggestion, I am all ears (and hair).

Please get in touch.

Industry Centers:

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Margie Dana - Posted on October 10, 2009
Todd,
You're very welcome - I am psyched to have this "space" to say what I want about print customers and what they're experiencing. It's something so close to my heart. This blog is truly an honor for me.
Todd - Posted on October 07, 2009
As a printer, Thank you. I have always said or thought that there has to be something out there that could bring printers and buyers together besides the phone's or mailers. But please don't get me wrong as a printer I like mailers. Thanks again.
Margie Dana - Posted on September 26, 2009
Heather, thank you! Seems like your career has advanced in the best of ways, and no doubt you bring your agency employer loads of print production insights as well as design acumen. Bravo- great 'pedigree'! Hope they realize the rare amount of talent/skills you have.
Heather Jennings - Posted on September 25, 2009
I started as a graphic designer and print buyer and now I am a production manager at an Advertising Agency. I would love to hear more about what you know and have learned over your career span. It is truly hard to find someone my age with my knowledge these days. I will look forward to looking into your facebook page.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Margie Dana - Posted on October 10, 2009
Todd,
You're very welcome - I am psyched to have this "space" to say what I want about print customers and what they're experiencing. It's something so close to my heart. This blog is truly an honor for me.
Todd - Posted on October 07, 2009
As a printer, Thank you. I have always said or thought that there has to be something out there that could bring printers and buyers together besides the phone's or mailers. But please don't get me wrong as a printer I like mailers. Thanks again.
Margie Dana - Posted on September 26, 2009
Heather, thank you! Seems like your career has advanced in the best of ways, and no doubt you bring your agency employer loads of print production insights as well as design acumen. Bravo- great 'pedigree'! Hope they realize the rare amount of talent/skills you have.
Heather Jennings - Posted on September 25, 2009
I started as a graphic designer and print buyer and now I am a production manager at an Advertising Agency. I would love to hear more about what you know and have learned over your career span. It is truly hard to find someone my age with my knowledge these days. I will look forward to looking into your facebook page.