Boosting Revenues: Value-Add Service Offerings
Changing customer communication needs and demands have many printing service providers pursuing a broader range of services beyond print. Expanding services offers print providers many opportunities: growing customer bases, boosting revenues, enhancing profits and differentiating from the competition. According to an InfoTrends' survey of Printing Impressions readers, print providers that are expanding services beyond ink/toner on paper are experiencing an 8 percent to 10 percent boost in annual revenues and winning new customers.
The survey is part of an ongoing partnership between NAPCO Media and InfoTrends to monitor emerging market trends among print service providers. The latest survey, conducted in September, focused on value-added services and 65 print service providers participated.
The survey asked respondents a series of questions to identify what services were being offered, as well as key strategies, tactics and business approaches that were yielding results.
Overall, respondents reported that the top benefit gained from offering value-added services was access to new revenue streams. A closer look at benefits by type of services offered revealed print-related services enabled more cross- and up-selling; digital media services expanded customer bases; and marketing services offered competitive differentiation and strengthened customer relationships.
The New Service Offerings
InfoTrends' ongoing research finds the firms with the highest growth are focused on competing across the entire communication services value chain—from strategy and creative to fulfillment and electronic distribution.
Printing Impressions' readers reported offering a wide variety of services that enhance the value of print and expanded the breadth of communication products. The survey was structured around three core areas: print-related services, marketing services and digital publishing. Here is snapshot of key services offered in each area and resulting revenue results:
- Print-Related Services. The most frequently offered services were finishing (89 percent), mailing (77 percent), personalized communications (75 percent) and fulfillment (74 percent). Offering these services resulted in year-over-year revenue increases of 10.3 percent.
- Marketing Services. Top marketing services offered today are design services (86 percent), data preparation (58 percent), content creation and management (51 percent) and cross-media marketing (45 percent). Top services that respondents plan to add included data mobile marketing (30 percent), social media marketing (25 percent), data analytics (19 percent) and marketing strategy (14 percent). Respondents offering these services reported year-over-year revenue increases of 8.3 percent.
- Digital Media Services. Leading services offered included Website development (49 percent), hosting (28 percent) and digital signage (26 percent). Key services that respondents plan to add include social media (20 percent) and mobile application development (15.4 percent). According to the respondents, digital media services resulted in year-over-year revenue increases of 10 percent.
Across all three service areas studied, print providers reported winning new customers in the past year as a result of offering these services. Firms offering print-related services (i.e., finishing, mailing, online ordering) gained, on average, 14 new customers, those providing digital media services gained 11 new customers, and companies offering marketing services gained six new customers.
Lisa Cross is the principal analyst of NAPCO Research (a unit of NAPCO Media) where she conducts market research and analysis on emerging trends and changing dynamics in the commercial, in-plant and packaging industries, and the market forces that are driving those changes. With decades of experience covering the graphic arts and marketing industries, Cross has authored thousands of articles on a variety of topics, including technology trends, business strategy, sales, marketing and legislation.