Printers have always been multi-media providers, no matter how you define media. For years, printers have been using a range of media—supplies, paper, consumables, etc.—and linking the processes of prepress (now pre-media), print, postpress, bindery, folding, and distribution into a mix based on a predefined success formula.
A key to the success some printers have had—the printer’s witches’ brew—has been the mixer’s ability to control the ingredients and provide a dimensional differentiation of your enterprise to the many different verticals you have planned to target.
A component of print’s past success and the key to its future success is it serving as part of the IMC mix, a mix over which printers often have little control. IMC—which can mean either integrated marketing communications or ingredient-based marketing communications—is the perfect byproduct of emerging technologies and media convergence, and the near perfect cauldron or mixing bowl.
Many printers, large and small and the balance in-between, have been successful because they have selected the ingredients that best supported their skill set and their clients’ requirements. This mixing of media and marketing colors into a new rainbow of services and is now more important than ever before. You need to determine what your end color (colors is more like it) is and what ingredients you have on hand or need to acquire to achieve this “colorful” goal. Your desired color or colors is your plan for profit advocacy, including your services, skills, reputation, longevity, user experience, and a few others that YOU must define.
Look at it this way—in a complex and ever-changing marketplace, clients/customers are looking to decouple and at the same time bundle services. The correct mixing of your list of services and how you can offer those services can gain you deep access to new work and help you enter the winner’s circle.Your Witches’ Brew!
As the three Witches chant in Macbeth
:Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
You need to link your services into a service supportive chant:
Services, skills, performance and support;
Profit thee, profit they, integrate and mix,
The correct combinations know you will!
A poet I am not, but you get the drift!
To brew up your cauldron of success, start with a very deep examination of your skill set, your marketing program, your communications effort (yes, marketing and communications are different), and your ability to collaborate, inform, and educate your prospect or current customer. Sadly, most print providers do not have the internal skill set to perform this self-examination adequately, but fortunately sources (such as I) are out there to help.
The mix is the solution; the solution is in the mix.
If you need a recipe book or an award-winning master marketing and communications chef to help (a witch I am not), chant to me at firstname.lastname@example.org