Ready to Showcase that Million Dollar Press? Don’t Promote It
So often when reviewing print service provider websites, collateral as well as sales proposals, I see information about their latest device, software application, or platform — as we say, the speeds and feeds of print technology. While their operations team may have been excited when evaluating the new “must have” device, their customers, not so much.
Think about it, your customers don’t care that you now have the latest (fictitious) BestPressX3CP0 IJP v3.2 technology, which is 100 times faster than last year’s BestPressX3CP0 IJP v3.1. They are not buying or partnering with you for your technology.
Your customers continue to buy from you because:
- you offer a solution to their problem.
- you have excellent service.
- you deliver on time with great quality.
- you recommend new approaches to help them sell, service or deliver to their customers.
Talk Their Talk
When communicating with your customers or prospects, speak their language. You’ll need to use appropriate industry specific descriptions such as staff (hospitals), students (schools) or guests (hotels). Customers may be an appropriate reference but make sure to understand industry specific uses. Also, realize that when you purchased a device, such as an inkjet press, the benefits to your business are very different than the benefits to your customer. The press may save you warehouse space and provide turnaround flexibility by eliminating pre-printed shells. The benefit of that same inkjet press for your customer, may be that they can now provide personalized messaging to each of their customers as well as potentially save on postage.
Another example, to drive home the differences in messaging, is software that promises to provide you new opportunities to offer your customers engaging personalized communications across multiple touchpoints. That same software when used with your services can really impact your customer’s business. What you can offer your customer is a marketing program that segments their customers, creates a messaging guide based on personas and reaches their customer base via the appropriate channel at the appropriate time. Now we’re talking messaging that demonstrates your value add!
The Shiny New Device
The BestPressX3CP0 IJP v3.2 is a critical part of completing the projects above, but there is absolutely no reason to mention that specific device in your customer marketing. What is critical is that you promote your offerings to your clients.
This change in the way you communicate to your clients should be rolled out across all your customer communications: website, collateral, email signatures, basically everywhere.
One way to start the process is to host an open house to promote your services. The invitation should include content that is compelling to your customers, that gives them a good reason to schedule time in their day to attend. Include the benefits you will demonstrate that can improve their business. The invitation should not include “see our latest technology.”
Again, your operations folks are still really excited about the technology, your customers, not so much.
For the Experts
You may already be a marketing expert and truly understand that you should not share your OEMs collateral with your customers. Even if your messaging is on target and you have a successful plan in place, here are a few questions to ask your team:
- Has the market changed?
- Have you recently reviewed your company’s core offering?
- Have you entered new markets since you last implemented your messaging strategy?
Perhaps it’s time for a marketing assessment.
Your customers are buying from you for your services. They are not buying because of a device, software application, or platform.
I’d love to hear how you’re promoting your services.
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.