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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

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.
 

You Love Them, You Love Them Not: Printers and Their 'People'

You may be surprised (or not) to know that a lot of times, print CEOs say, “It’s our people. We’d be nothing without them.” And things like, “We have the best minds in the business.” They really do come across as proud parents (it takes one to know one). I love that they profess such love for their employees. Then I go to their Website and guess what? Nary a mention of any employee.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Don’t Blow It by Forgetting These Eight 'Must Haves' in Your E-Newsletter

I love good e-newsletters from printers and others in this industry. They can be an effective part of your suite of customer communication tools. They can’t stand alone (no one channel can), but if done well, they can help your reputation and grow your audience.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

What Makes You So Special – And Do Your Customers Know?

Aside from selling your company’s services, it’s smart to let your customers know the full range of what you—the person—bring to the relationship. This isn’t about your history with the company or length of time in the field, nor am I talking about your promise to take care of each customer with TLC.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Do Your Homework Before Making That Call

When someone calls me and remarks almost immediately that he’s heard my name “for years,” I assume he’s done his homework, and that he knows what business I’m in. But time after time (sorry, Cyndi Lauper), I’m disappointed. The caller’s done no such thing.
 Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Why Social Media Makes Printers Memorable

A huge part of what makes social media so fantastic is its shareability factor. Whether it’s a retweet on Twitter or a Share elsewhere, this one-click function could mean your stuff gets seen by tens of thousands of people who are connected to your own followers. Your audience can get ginormous if your posts are high-value enough. And some of those people will be good prospects for you.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Are Your Website and Your Social Media Efforts in Sync?

When I follow a printer on Twitter or Facebook, and then click through to his or her company URL, I fully expect to see a site that resembles the Twitter and Facebook page in the look and feel. I also expect to find the SM sharing buttons in an easy-to-spot location on the home page (and every page).  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted Customer?

What do you do, as a print company CEO or sales manager, when a beloved rep leaves the company? The best advice I can give is this: call customers (particularly if you know there are long-time relationships) and talk about it. Share with them whatever information you can.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

4 Ways to Mine a Printer’s Website for Hidden Gems

Building a social media presence is easy for printers if you mine your Website for great content. Think “value” and “informational,” not “sales” and “promotional.”  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

I Dare You to Take This Website Challenge

Is your Website good enough to engage first-time visitors who’d make ideal customers? There’s one way to find out. I dare you to take this challenge. If you do, you’ll get a huge amount of value in it, and it won’t cost you a dime.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

How to Wow Consumers About Print

What’s making the news are things like 3-D printing, and yes, even 4-D printing, which was recently demonstrated by those smart people just down the road a bit, at MIT. They spoke about 4-D printing at a TED conference in California. (Don’t ask me to explain it; I’m still stuck at 3D.)  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Dear Santa, Please Bring Me Print

We’re a pretty “with-it” household, don’t get me wrong. We have Macs galore, including two iPads. Yet nothing takes the place of print completely. I dare you to find one person who wouldn’t love getting a book as a gift.  Read More >>

Follow the Marketers, not Your Peers

If you ask me, printers spend too much time with other printers. They need to go where the marketers are. Successful printing companies are expanding their services into additional marketing areas, such as on-demand messaging, integrated marketing efforts, real-time marketing, email marketing, and so on.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Icy Cold Calls - the Print Sales Faux Pas

If I were a sales manager for a printing company, I’d focus on effective prospecting techniques before I moved on to treating customers well. There’s absolutely no excuse for making a cold call without having done your homework.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

My Book Doesn’t Break When I Drop It

While charging up my MacBook Pro and iPad last week in Chicago, the latter slid off the bed and dropped to the floor. The power adaptor split into several pieces. Having this happen right before a 2.5-hour flight to Boston couldn’t have been more inconvenient.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Put Your People Out in Front Online

A printer’s online presence is more critical now than ever, and it’s going to stay that way. It’s my experience that professional print customers check out a printer’s website very carefully as part of their due diligence process.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Three Shades of Selling, from Horrible to Great

Long gone are the days when a sales rep can act like an order taker and expect to get new business by just being there. Get inside the customer's situation. With a few key questions, a genuine interest, and creative ideas about what your company can produce, you can impress a brand-new prospect to trust your judgment.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Are You on the Same Page as Your Customers?

When a print customer says she needs something printed ASAP or even “right away,” you need clarification. For all you know, she’s thinking same day or next day—or maybe to her, next week is fine. If you don’t ask, you’ll assume it means what you think it means.
 Read More >>

Industry Centers:

THIS Is How You Take Care of Customers

There I was, badgering Kerri every few minutes—over several days—with emails to fix this and double-check that, all the while letting her know my “open for registration” date was sacrosanct. How did she react? Let me tell you.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Things that Print Buyers Won’t Tolerate

Remember that old “$100,000 Pyramid”* game show? Each contestant’s partner tried to get him/her to guess the names of categories. If I hosted such a show, there’d be a category called: “Things that Print Buyers Won’t Tolerate – for Long.”  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

How a Printer Broke My Heart

We sat next to each other at an industry event, enjoying a nice dinner and learning about cross-media marketing. Then I got around to the one question I was dying to ask: How do you promote your services?
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Industry Centers: