Dana on Marketing Messages: A-Marketing We Will Go
I know what print and media customers are looking for, and I know how printers can market themselves accordingly. It takes a commitment on your part, and someone dedicated to getting it done.
Before I kick off my PI columns during 2013 about how printers should be marketing themselves, there are four important things you must keep in mind:
1. Print customers are changing. Much like the print manufacturing side of the industry, the print buying side is shrinking. In some companies, print buyers have been laid off. Guess who's left in charge of sourcing print for their companies? It's often the designers/creatives. Sometimes the function is outsourced to print management firms or print brokers. And sometimes the work is shifted to marketers, who may or may not have any print background. Stop and think what this means for your marketing efforts.
2. New print customers and senior-level print customers are not related to one another. Even vaguely. Designers and especially marketers who pick up the print buying roles from those who have left (willingly or not) have no idea how to work with the industry. They also have no idea what you can do. They likely don't want to "get into" it up to their elbows—they just want to know the possibilities (think of these as your capabilities) and what's involved.
Contrast this new audience with the senior-level print buying pros I have come to know and admire. They typically have 15 years or more in the business. They are very sophisticated, follow the industry, know about presses and other equipment, have a decent network of peers, and are not afraid to negotiate and search to get exactly what they want.
I just described two completely different audiences. Stop and think what this means for your marketing efforts.