Selling Digital Printing -- Pointing in a Digital Direction
By Marie Alonso
Business Development Consultant
Once was a time when leaders at a commercial printing operation saw a new offset press, liked the new press, bought it and then made money with it. These were the days when the sheetfed and web offset printing process didn't require the word "traditional" in front of them.
That time is no more. While traditional offset printing remains a cornerstone of today's commercial print world, its more digitally savvy sibling—variable data digital printing—is maturing fast and is already looking to step into some of its older brother's shoes.
Today's commercial printers need support for the successful transition to understanding, selling, marketing and building profit centers around variable data digital printing. Recognizing this fundamental requirement, leading digital press providers are working earnestly to help customers embrace one-to-one printing technologies.
So, is this new avenue pointing today's printers in the right digital direction? Richard Sand, director of business development at Heidelberg USA, believes so.
"The role of commercial printers is changing due to the fact that their customers' businesses are changing. This is requiring them to become problem solvers and more marketing- and service-oriented—as opposed to just producing printed material," Sand explains. "These changes provide printers with new opportunities to generate greater revenues and stronger partnerships with their clients. But they have to know how best to leverage variable data digital printing to be successful. The days of just printing a job for your client are over; today it's all about understanding, marketing, educating and delivering new opportunities in customized print."
Heidelberg's Business Development Services team is one printing industry vehicle working with printers to do all of the above. Helping printers to best leverage new digital printing solutions, including hybrid printing, variable data printing and short-run color applications, Sand and his team provide consultation, education, seminars, sales and marketing tool kits, and ongoing support. They assist in creating marketing programs, supporting customer events, and educating their personnel on the benefits and opportunities that digital and variable data printing offer.