I Know What Print Buyers Don’t Want
Last week, a printer emailed me asking if I had a handy list of what print buyers want. It got me thinking. Any list I compiled (or anyone compiled, for that matter) would have to be generalized. Print buyers don’t all think alike. They have individual styles, priorities, skills and buying practices.
While had I intended to create that list here today, I opted instead to turn it on its head and tell you what print buyers don’t want. Next time, I will tell you what they want.
22 things that print buyers don’t want...
• To be harassed by cold-calling print reps who have nothing exceptional to offer.
• To be contacted by print reps who haven’t done their homework on a particular buyer and her or his company/industry.
• To be surprised by an unexpected ANYTHING during the production process.
• To be kept in the dark when problems arise that will jeopardize the deadline, cost and/or quality of the printed piece.
• The runaround. They don’t want to have to chase down their sales or service rep when they call the plant looking for them.
• To be lied to—about capabilities, pricing, quality, delivery dates, paper spec’d, etc.
• To be the last one to hear that one of their printers has suddenly shut its doors.
• To wait for estimates.
• To get an invoice that doesn’t come close to the expected price.
• To be forced to work with a printing company chosen by someone else (i.e., their boss).
• To be spoken to condescendingly by a printer who doesn’t take the time to find out how much experience they have.
• To be intimidated by jargon-spouting print reps who don’t take the time to find out that a buyer is brand new in the field.
• To be treated like corporate stepchildren, while Creative & Editorial get all the glory.
• To be excluded from marketing strategy discussions.
• To have to pull teeth to get basic info from a printer when a job is in production; i.e., when will the proof be ready, when did the job ship, where one’s samples are.
• Printers to automatically assume that price is their #1 priority.
• To go through all sorts of hoops getting a simple job quoted and sent to a printer.
• To have to hunt all over a printer’s website looking for key information, like company contacts.
• To find out that the equipment list on a printer’s site doesn’t match what’s in the plant.
• To have a printer switch a spec’d sheet for something else—without conferring with them.
• To work with inefficient project management systems/software.
• To be undervalued as professionals.
Food for thought? These are my own reflections. Hope they inspire you—and your Comments are most welcome.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com