Boosting Revenues: Value-Add Service Offerings
It isn't surprising that the addition of customers through print-related offerings was the highest, because these services support most providers' core product: print. What's interesting is that the average number of clients added as results of digital media services was a close second. This finding is an indicator that communication buyers value print providers that offer a broad array of innovative services.
The Internal Challenges of Adding New Services
Adding any type of service presents hurdles that must be overcome. The biggest challenges print providers reported in offering services across all three areas related to training sales staff and resource constraints. Firms that added marketing and digital media services reported greater challenges in having the right internal expertise and educating clients on what the new offerings were.
When asked to pinpoint challenges in pricing value-added services, respondents reported—across all three areas—that determining true costs and developing accurate pricing estimates were fundamental challenges. Print providers are accustomed to pricing work based on standardized manufacturing costs. While some elements of pricing value-added services are standard, the amount that service providers charge needs to be based on the value of the work as opposed to the time and baseline manufacturing costs that are required to complete the work. Determining the right price and communicating the associated value of services can help service providers migrate from producing print jobs to supporting more complex communication products.
Make Investments in Technology, Promotion
Across all areas, investing in technology and developing campaigns to promote services that included social media were key actions taken by respondents in expanding services. Promoting new services is essential to their success, and print providers are using many promotional tools to ensure that prospective purchasers know who they are and what they do. Trade shows, direct mail and other forms of traditional marketing are still valid, and being combined with digital marketing. Public relations, establishing an effective Web strategy, networking with prospects, educating customers and establishing a social media strategy are essential tools for generating awareness and demonstrating a company's ability to deliver new services.
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.