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Selling Print Isn’t Important, Helping Your Customers Certainly Is

December 13, 2012

Where is the MONEY in PRINT?

By German Sacristan, Kodak Return On Marketing Investment Developer

Regardless of the business that you are in, there are two essential ingredients for success:  VALUE and DIFFERENTIATION. It won’t be easy and the price to pay is adoption and, therefore, diversification and change.  

There is still great value in print communication, but insufficient differentiation among the companies that sell it. You must be different in a way that provides more value to your customers than your competitors do. Ask yourself a very simple question: What do your customers really need and want? The real answer is SALES! Books, magazines and newspapers are printed because they need to be sold, packages are printed to convince consumers to buy their respective products and billions of marketing pieces are printed to encourage customers to buy a product or a service.  

MARKETING SERVICES THEORY VS. REALITY

For many years, some industry pundits have urged printers to start providing marketing services. Even though the idea sounded logical, most printers have not done much with it. I dislike the term and believe I am in the majority these days. 

The best way of providing more value and differentiation to your customers is by HELPING THEM SELL MORE OF WHAT THEY SELL. This can be approached in many different ways depending on who you are and where your market is, but the focus should remain the same:  Stop thinking about how you can sell more print and start obsessing about how you can help your customers sell more.

 

Rather than asking how can you sell more print, consider how you can help a customer that sells cars sell more cars. Only then print will take care of itself. Print doesn’t have a terminal disease, it is still very strong, powerful and relevant channel that provides its greatest value not at the production level but at the strategic level. 

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU

The money is never going to flow from your products—it’s your customers’ products that hold the key. The more you sell your customers products, the more money you’ll make. Changing the focus will force you to ask different questions and therefore gather different information. Such information can be utilized to provide more relevant value to your customers by better connecting your offer to their real and specific needs and wants. You will start understanding your customers’ business better and you will learn what else you need to invest in to provide more value and differentiation to them.

Deep down printers don’t want to become marketing service providers. But they must increase their commitment to their customers’ businesses if they want to grow. The higher the commitment, the greater the value, and therefore the chances of differentiation. Solutions will vary from printer to printer, but again the focus should is the same: STOP SELLING WHAT YOU ARE SELLING AND START SELLING WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE SELLING! 

Buy the book here 

TAKE A GANDER AT THE MARKETING GOOSE

German Sacristan, Kodak Return On Marketing Investment Developer, is a digital media and marketing expert. He has proven his ability to grow market share from 26% to 80% and has successfully launched direct marketing campaigns achieving double-digit response rates.

German’s new book, “The Digital & Direct Marketing Goose,” offers 16 tips and real-world examples to help your customers prosper. “It’s a proven methodical process,” says Sacristan. “These are the ingredients that can help your customers achieve more and better sales. If you are interested in a campaign methodology to help your customers increase their sales, this is the book for you.”

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