Dana on Marketing Messages: What Is 'Value' To Print Buyers?
Some business terms are so overused that we become immune to their meaning. Near the top of this list is the phrase "value-added services." I struggle to come up with a replacement, yet I'm so-o-o tired of it.
Part of the issue lies in the fact that the little word "value" is so nebulous. What it means to you may be totally different from what it signifies to me. It's a lot like "service" in the context of a printing company, but that's a term to tackle another day.
Do printers know what makes them more—or less—valuable to customers? Following a blog post I wrote recently, I heard from Dean Petrulakis of Rider Dickerson. He wanted to chat about the concept of value. We had a great phone conversation, which gave me the idea for this column.
I decided to ask a few industry professionals to weigh in on the subject. How would print customers define "value"? And how closely would those definitions jibe with a printer's definition?
Customers who truly value a printer want to maintain a long-term relationship with that printer. They'll sing the printer's praises to their managers and refer them to others. It's the sort of WOM (Word of Mouth) marketing that all businesses want.
So I wrote to a few buyers and printers to get more insight as to what value really means.
First, here's my take. "Value" means getting more than what I'm paying for. In the world of printing, I would value a print rep who's a creative genius and who makes suggestions that enhance my jobs. I'd value someone who lets me know my best interest came first. I'd worry less knowing this printer would do the worrying for me. A valued printer would always do what I expected—and then some. I attach a lot of comfort and confidence to the term "value" in printing. Maybe that's just me.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com