Mailing & Fulfillment — Five Steps to Become an MSP
Now that we’ve engaged in background discussion, let’s get on with answering the questions at hand.
What is a Marketing Services Provider? A printer is considered to be an MSP when it provides additional services to a marketing department and procures that business from someone in the marketing organization other than the print buyer.
So, by this definition, many printers are already considered MSPs, but don’t know it. However, the long-term goal of penetrating and controlling a marketing organization will be driven by the sophistication of the service offering and whether the printer has mastered the art of establishment selling.
How do you know when you have achieved the MSP status? This was alluded to in the previous answer, but several other factors have to be considered for your company to be awarded this designation.
The first factor is with whom you are dealing. If you’re talking to senior marketing executives, you are at the right level in the organization. The second factor is what is discussed during the conversations with these executives. If you are discussing marketing strategy—and not printing—then you are firmly in the MSP world. Focus should be on how to improve the marketing operation and performance, and not how to get more print jobs.
The third factor is your understanding of what goes on in a marketing department for mid- and large-size corporations. To gain such an understanding, study the diagram shown on page 70, which was configured by Peter Winters of the Winters Group & Associates. Consultative selling, which is required for most services after print and mail, has a large element of empathy selling. Therefore, it is essential to understand what goes on in the marketing department and to empathize with the problems of marketing executives.
If you are successfully providing printing, variable printing, Web-to-print, e-mail blasts, mailing, fulfillment and personalized URLs in a system for the client, you have become an MSP.