Printers Make the Worst Marketers
Have you ever noticed how key words are added to the headlines when someone is selling a house or a car? Using lines such as “Builders Home” or “Mechanic Owned and Driven” seems to peak the interest of customers.
Well through the years, I have had some very close friends that were mechanics, builders or general contractors. They spent their day building, remodeling or repairing various projects for their customers. When they finally pulled into their driveway late each evening, it would be highly unlikely to then find them doing maintenance or repairs on their own vehicles or pulling the tools from the truck to knock off a few items on the wife’s “Honey Do List” around the house.
Instead, they were usually trying to unwind from their long and busy day sitting on the back deck with a beer in their hand or in front of the television with a plate full of dinner since they missed eating with the family earlier in the evening.
With that in mind...Would you want to buy a car from a mechanic or a home from a builder? Or better yet, printing from a printer that didn’t spend the time and effort to print its own promo piece?
Printers are, “The Worst Marketers!”
Your sales people spend their day knocking on doors, shaking hands and kissing babies, trying to bring in that order to keep the cylinders turning and contribute some income to help pay the light bills. But how many of them are trying to sell from an “Empty Wagon?" Yet you’re trying to convince those customers to print with you.
You have large amounts of capital allocated into a UV equipped monster with all of the bells and whistles, but the only R&D that you have done is on a customer’s job that you figured out—after the fact—you didn’t make any money because it was on press for three days.
Why not set aside some money and time in the pressroom to get some products and people together and come up with a marketing piece. You can not only display this piece to your current customers but also your future ones. If you have some creative people on staff or maybe a close relationship with a design group, you can pull this off with a relatively inexpensive budget.
Don’t try to run some 16 color job with eight different coatings that has to go through the press seven different times, although those jobs do look fantastic. Keep it repeatable with a big bang look. Know that you can reproduce it effectively and efficiently when a customer asks to use those special techniques in its next marketing campaign.
Try something new. If it works out, there’s your new brochure. If it doesn’t, then go with what you know.
Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.
In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.