ONE-STOP VS. NICHE PRINTERS — SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
Given the way he has positioned his company, Trombino does not sense a threat from the offset community journeying into digital printing.
“From my experience, it takes a long time to turn a supertanker,” he says. “A lot of these firms are going to find that it will take some time to re-educate their sales teams to sell this kind of program. It may entail a somewhat longer sales cycle, and it’s not project-based as much as it is campaign-based.
“We’re looking for customers who have already decided to make an investment in marketing and have an annual budget to do this, so we’re not bidding on one project after the next. We’re really going in at a strategic level to become part of their marketing plan.”
In the case of DigiLink, Alexandria, VA, the company went from specializing in prepress services to becoming a one-stop shop, offering sheetfed printing, finishing and mailing services in addition to the front end. DigiLink, which bowed in 2000, has grown at a rate of 30 percent per year. Although half of the company’s revenues are still generated by prepress-only customers, DigiLink also produces short run, single- and multi-page pieces, brochures and small catalogs up to 56 pages.
All of the non-prepress services have been added in the past four years, a process that has evolved as customers have communicated their growing needs, says Michael Wight, DigiLink president and CEO. The company is about to embark on a postcard marketing campaign, with single-line tags that read, “Prep it, print it, finish it and mail it.”
“Every time we seem to figure out what a customer is looking for, we see another opportunity,” Wight says. “We’re mailing this postcard to illustrate that we are the place to go for one-stop shopping.”
It was Wight’s existing prepress customers who, based on the quality of service they’d received, were intrigued at the prospect of getting their print production from Digi-Link, once again showing that loyalty still counts in this business.