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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.


‘Hard-Working Printer Does Everything but Sing’

I spotted the above headline in the Wall Street Journal recently. Did I really read this right? Finally, one of the best newspapers in the world writes an article about an industrious printer.

Be still my heart! Walter Mossberg’s tuned into the plight of commercial printers! Maybe this kind of press will bring the sexy back to the print industry.

If only.

In reality, my favorite tech journalist was writing about a new HP desktop printer and describing its every bell and whistle.

And yet, this was too good a headline to ignore. It seems to me that printers are doing everything but sing these days. Some of you have decided that you’re no longer ‘just’ printers, but marketing service providers. (Let’s not go there; many of you know I don’t agree with this.) Others are adding more manufacturing capabilities to capture additional business from existing customers.

I know of very few printers who are standing still. Most companies have added new services so that they can offer more value to prospects and customers.

Whatever you offer, make sure your market knows it. Although few printers have on-staff marketers, you should still have a procedure for marketing everything you offer.

Let’s say you have a new mailing division, digital press or the capability to produce and manage a QR code campaign. Let everyone know!

You’d be surprised how many customers don’t really appreciate all that you can do for them. If they’ve been working with your company to produce a certain product—like data sell sheets, for example—then they probably think that’s pretty much what you do. You need to remind them of other strengths.

Feature your new services on the home page of your Website. Include an easy way for visitors to tell you if they’d like more information.

Send out an e-blast and/or a direct mail piece to all of your customers, former customers, suppliers and warm prospects. Offer to give them a plant tour to show off your new capabilities.

Take advantage of newer media to boast. Do a short video and post it on YouTube. Tweet about your new services. Share the news on LinkedIn and on your corporate Facebook page.

It’s a given that your capabilities should be highlighted in your customer newsletter (analog and digital).

Send out a news announcement to relevant media and journalists.

Make sure all of your sales reps know to promote your new capabilities whenever they connect with their customers. Every ‘customer-facing’ employee should be on the same page, by the way, including your CSRs.

Yes, you’re a hard working printer, not to be confused with a desktop device. You know it. I know it. Keep spreading the news so your market knows it.

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