Margie's Buyer Insights

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.

Having been there, I’ll testify to the fact that print customers have left printers because they get unacceptable treatment. Too often, they’d much rather switch than fight. The reality is, customers like coddling, whether we’re guests at a hotel, diners at a restaurant, or clients of a printer.

Being upfront with your print customers usually works best. If a proof is running late, or a delivery date can't realistically be met, or that special paper hasn't yet arrived, don’t hide it. Tell your customers. They’d rather find out there’s a potential complication and hear how you’re resolving it than find out after the fact that you knew all the while there was trouble brewing.

The following list comes from over 20 years of my being a corporate print buyer or working with them, hosting events for them, and listening to them. At the end of the day, successful sales reps respect their customers and strive to deliver what each one expects.

I always go to Direct Tire in Watertown, MA, to have my snow tires mounted. At some point, I realized how chock-full of printed materials their waiting room was. Let me try to recall the incredible amount of printed things I saw.

What comes naturally to you or someone on your team? As you think about how to do some content marketing in 2015, start with a channel that’s easy for you and also helps showcase your company and your expertise.

The new year is nigh. If December signals a slowdown of jobs coming into your company, you have more time to plan how to make better connections with your print customers in 2015. Maybe it’s time to examine your own—and your firm’s—customer development strategy. May I suggest your list include the following 10 items?

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