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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.
 

Make ’em Laugh!

I love to laugh. No, make that, I LOVE to laugh. I took one look at a jumbo postcard I got from a book publishing company, did a double take, and let out a HOWL of a laugh.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Helping the Freshman Class of Customers

I have started a project and would love your help. I want to interview new print buyers 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.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Are You Speaking to the Millennials?

I thought I was sooooo clever. To promote our upcoming PBI Boston Conference, I had the perfect theme...the absolute anthem...the killer headline. It read: Please come to Boston for the springtime. In came our new intern, a Boston University student.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Following Through on Customer Feedback

When you do a customer survey, one of the very first things you must decided before you even begin is: What are we going to do with the information we receive? You have to be prepared to act on it.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Dear Jacob, Pick Us!

I’ve figured out who buys the most printing in this country—colleges and universities. Every single day for the past, oh, three months, at least five pieces of mail from a college or university has slipped through our mail slot.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Remembering Steve Block, a Legend in Print Sales

Some print reps cast large shadows as they build relationships with customers over many years. Steve Block was that kind of print salesman. I was so lucky to have known him for many years, and so it was doubly sad to hear of his sudden passing right before New Year's.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Should Printers Have Gold Membership Cards?

I love Starbucks. As much as anything, I love how they treat me. You see, I’m a Gold-Card-carrying customer, and so help me, I know I sound shallow, but it makes me feel special. Could printers come up with something similar?  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Printers - Help Keep Your Customers Employed

It is in your best interest as a printer to make sure your customers are secure in their jobs. They are responsible for giving your firm business. They are your biggest advocates inside their companies—often, they’re your only advocate.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

5 Questions Printers Should Ask Customers Every Year

With these five easy questions, you’ll get at the heart of current customer satisfaction without spending a bundle. It is absolutely vital that you know what to do with the results and have a process in place to get it done.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Make Eye Contact with Print Buyers

An odd thing happened in today’s Zumba class. We had a substitute teacher; someone I’d never seen before. Her dancing was OK, but there was one thing about her style that really put me off. She never made eye contact.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

How Printers Should Make Their Websites ‘Social’

Should printers participate in the leading social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Twitter? Yes. But before worrying about integrating social media buttons and activity into their websites, printers need to make them more social by taking four simple steps:  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Self-Promotion in 15 Ways with One Piece of Content

Overwhelmed at the thought of generating content from dawn till dusk to satisfy every new marketing channel that’s screaming for your attention? Don’t be. Follow this cheat sheet I created specifically for printers on how to reuse content.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Content Calendar for Print Buyer Touches

It’s one thing to say, “Build your company’s reputation by taking advantage of the numerous media channels available.” It’s another thing to do it. As a place to start, here’s an outline of a simple “Printer’s Content Calendar.”  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Sense of Hope at the Print Buyers’ Conference

At our annual Print & Media Conference held recently in Chicago, I paid close attention to the attendee mood and the conversations. There was hope in the air. While the economy has taken big bites out of all businesses and reduced print buying staffs along with marketing budgets, there was energy and enthusiasm among the 100 attendees.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Send Relevant Samples – Please!

No matter how many years pass and how many articles or blog posts we read and digest about the right and wrong ways to approach a prospect, the point about sending appropriate samples doesn’t quite sink in. If you’re contacting a new prospect, find out as much about this person’s company as you can before sending samples of work you’ve done for other customers.
 Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Another Plug for Printing Plant Tours

Every time I visit a plant, I get a fuller, richer picture of what that place is all about. It’s impossible to get that over the phone or from e-mails. When I interview a CEO or Sales Manager, I can ask questions about an individual’s background and uncover what specific talents, skills—even hopes and dreams—he or she brings to the business.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Putting a Face on a Printing Firm

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of meeting Dave Gilson of Gilson Graphics at a Fujifilm event. This print CEO’s story made a great impression. If you’re a print CEO, especially of a family-owned business, don’t hide your face.  Read More >>

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Industry Centers:

The Best Impressions Are Still Made Face to Face

Despite all of our exquisite, second-generation communications, nothing can match the impression we make—or hope to make—face to face. Whether it’s for social relationships or business ones, I contend we have our best shot at building rapport when we meet someone in person.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Printers Are in Consumers’ Blind Spots

There’s such a widespread lack of knowledge among consumers when it comes to printing. In my mind, every businessperson and independent professional could use personal printed materials. Online printers are the natural go-to resource, but so are small commercial printers.  Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

Industry Centers:

How to Give a Virtual Site Tour

In-plant tours can be personal. You can see facial expressions of confusion or delight—or, God forbid, boredom. Virtual tours are tougher. Before you give a virtual tour of your e-commerce printing site, you need to visit that person’s website.  Read More >>

Industry Centers: