Three New Year’s Considerations for Success in 2012
I do not have a top 10 list of resolutions or suggestions for 2012; the only fact that I can nearly guarantee is that the world will not end on Dec. 21, 2012. No, the world will go on and on, and not much will change unless you make it change. The stock market will continue to rise and fall, the wrong politicians (no matter what your party affiliation may be) will be elected, the economy will slowly improve, and you will be reading a list like this come the end of next year.
What I will say is to consider the following:
[I say “consider”—not a stronger term—why? You got here mostly by yourself—your thoughts, your instincts, your gut, and your desires all drove you to this point of success, and you should continue to run your business by those very same values and insights. Consider your current success as a rest stop on the road to continuing success.]
1. Integrate your marketing. You have done the same for every other part of your business—you have integrated your prepress, press and post press operations, you have integrated your accounting, sales and HR needs—so now integrate the process that first greets your customers...Integrated your marketing.
Use all of the media, new and old, that are available to you, that match your customers’ profiles, and that will measure, track and build your business while providing information, data and, yes, ROI.
2. Define your message map to what your customers’ need, not to what you offer. Simple yes, but true. If your customers are not the center of your universe, you will be a distant planet for their supplies.
In case you missed the key words there, here they are again: your customers’ needs. Many, if not most, print communication providers think price is the only thing a customer will need or consider. Wrong. Think again. It is about services—integrated, seamless, defined, needed and wanted services. Always be customer centric in all aspects of your business life.
3. “Be the ball.” If you don’t recognize the quote, watch the movie Caddy Shack, and its meaning will become clear. In short, be the futurist that got you to where you are. Look not only to those offerings within our graphic arts industry, but also to the converging industries that have surrounded print and once attempted to destroy it.
Customers still need your services—not in the same manner as before, but they do need you—your knowledge, your experience, and your services. This industry needs a futurist and so does your business. “Be the ball,” or in this case, be the future of the ball.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will have a great, happy, healthy, profitable, enjoyable, and converging New Year.
In short, Happy New Year!