Perspectives from Print Buyers in the Digital (Printing) Age (Free Webinar Still Available On-Demand)
PHILADELPHIA—September 26, 2014—In the "Truth from the Trenches: Print Buyers in the Digital (Printing) Age" Webinar, recently presented by Printing Impressions and sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Debra Trautman, vice president of Synergent; Jeff Dickerson, procurement specialist at State Farm Insurance; and Charlie Webster, senior manager of print production, Starbucks Coffee, discussed what they seek from their printing and marketing services providers; and how printers become long-term partners, and not just commodity services providers. The lively discussion was moderated by Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions.
The print buyers shared their perspectives on what impact on-demand digital printing technology is having on their marketing communications programs and buying habits, and why variable data capabilities are becoming increasingly important. They also discussed how they like to be approached by printing salespeople from companies with which they're not doing business, and the need for printers to be thought leaders on how to reproduce jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition, they stressed the importance for printers to keep them abreast of emerging, interactive print technologies, like Augmented Reality (AR).
Trautman noted that Synergent—a technology company that provides core processing, payment systems and targeted direct marketing and statement processing to credit unions—relies on direct mail and e-mail marketing. "Today, we are using digital media along with direct marketing and regional advertising, to reach out to credit union decision-makers. For example, we might use a direct mail piece with an LCD video to show how our staff works side-by-side, and how combining print and digital can also help credit unions with their business objectives." She also described a current job incorporating AR.
Dickerson pointed out that digital printing has become more important to State Farm Insurance. "We place QR codes on our business cards, and it downloads contact information or redirects clients to an agent's Website. We also plan to introduce business cards that are NFC-enabled."
Due to the large number of Starbucks storefronts in the United States and Canada, Webster said that most of the printed material he procures is printed litho, however, a number of test promotions are done throughout the year that make digital printing more practical. Webster's unit also supports all other Starbucks brands such as Teavana, La Boulange, Evolution Fresh and Seattle's Best Coffee.
"As a team of 14, only about four or five of us actually source the projects we support," he explained. "The balance support the print production for packaging, such as coffee bags, RTD bottles/cans and other food and product packaging. We source the printing for in-store signage, related marketing materials, and training and back-of-house materials. "
The more than 800 Webinar registrants reported positive feedback. Here are just a few of the comments:
"It was really helpful to hear everything straight from the print buyers' mouths; from a first-hand perspective."
"It was good to hear specific advice from buyers on what they look for in a print provider."
"The Webinar reinforced some points I have been making with my sales staff, but gave it to them from the buyer's point of view."
"Hearing the comments about relying on printers as thought leaders and collaborators on a print job was helpful, as well as the reminder that print providers need to listen to a customer's needs first."
Click here to register and watch the Webinar on-demand now.