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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.

 

Helping the Freshman Class of Customers

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Like a dog with a bone, I’m stuck on one idea lately—how to help provide print education to new corporate customers. I’m talking about the production, creative, marketing and print buying pros who’ve entered the field within the last year or so.

Aren’t these newbies just like the members of every other “freshman class” who came before them…learning the ropes of print buying and paper by specifying one job at a time? I don’t see why this isn’t true. Do you?

Unless they’re lucky enough to be working under the tutelage of managers or senior-level colleagues, they are out there on their own. Believe me, it’s overwhelming.

I have started a project and would love your help. I want to interview these new print buying professionals to discover
how they’re learning about
  • printers and printing,
  • paper and color issues,
  • digital vs. offset,
  • ecommerce vs. brick-and-mortar printers,
  • and so on.

How much do they depend on the Web? Who influences them? How are they using social media for their jobs? The list goes on.

These pros work in departments such as marketing, communications, publications, creative/design and purchasing. They have clocked about a year or less in their current position, and they have no background in printing or the graphic arts.

I’ve started to do phone interviews this week. What I’m hearing fascinates me. What I am learning will, I believe, yield information that will enable all of us serve them better. I plan on sharing what I learn, both here and in my “Print Tips” newsletter.

BTW, I’m promising everyone I interview that I’ll keep them anonymous.

If you would like to learn more about how this freshman class of print customers operates—how they source print, how they feel about print, where they get their information from, who influences them, and so on—please help me find potential interview candidates. What I learn from them will yield insights that can spark new services or generate changes in how the graphic arts industry communicates with newcomers.

Thanks in advance.
 

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