Topics: direct mail, news, designers, design, embellishments, graphics, color and key data points, color match, printing and graphics, graphics designer, color choices
A growing number of print service providers have added design to their service offerings. If you haven’t ventured there yet, consider the many advantages to bringing design in house. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as placing a help wanted ad. Design is a broad area and graphic designers come in many flavors and with many specialties.
The designer you choose to hire must be the right fit for the work your company produces and match your organizational culture. An understanding of the print process and its intricacies is, of course, mandatory.
Topics: news, printing, design, graphic arts, graphics designer, design services, on-staff designer
Topics: direct mail, news, mailpiece, mailpiece design, graphic design, cta
Most of us are bombarded daily with thousands of marketing messages. Our phones, computers, televisions, social media channels, radios, and emails continuously clamor for our attention with promotional hits.
A marketer trying to cut through the noise faces almost impossible odds. The good news is that one of the most effective tools for bolstering engagement and response is individualized marketing through variable data printing. The most effective marketing is for an audience of one and leading-edge marketers increasingly use variable data printing (VDP) to ensure their client’s messages are heard.
For printers, this represents a big and profitable opportunity. Our eBook from Gimbel and Associates, A Printer’s Perspective & Guide to Digital Printing and Variable Data, is a thorough and in-depth source for helping printers transition to this business model. You can download it for free.
Topics: variable data printing, news, eBook, digital printing, VDP, printer's perspective
Anyone selling print today using the methods they learned ten years ago (or more) is going to run into difficulties. The pandemic changed the way people feel about work and time. That’s what brought on the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting phenomena. Print buyers, who may hold positions in marketing or the executive suite, place a high value on their time and they aren’t very tolerant of people who waste it.
It can take dozens of attempts to secure a meeting with a prospective customer. When you’re finally in the room with a decision-maker, don’t make mistakes that will cause them to end the meeting or deflect any attempts at following up.
Topics: consultative selling, solution selling, news, selling print, print sales, print sales people, customer acquisition
A significant percentage of designers have little to no experience in creating print projects. When they shift to printed materials, this lack of knowledge can cause them to make design decisions that add unnecessary costs and make it tough for printers to produce the product the designers envisioned. Designers accustomed to working in digital channels may not be conscious of the details that determine the success or failure of a print project.
Educating designers about print has become important as more businesses are realizing the new role print plays in overall marketing strategies. An organization cannot always achieve their marketing objectives with a digital-only approach.
Topics: digital print, news, graphic design, design, design tips, digital designers, print comeback
For two long years, nobody put on an in-person event. Organizers migrated everything to virtual affairs or cancelled their plans outright. Now people are feeling safe enough to attend live events again. Sports teams are back to playing in front of their fans and entertainers are performing for audiences.
If you once had plans to host an open house at your printing company and never got the chance, it’s time to put that event back on the calendar.
Getting Back to In-Person Events
There’s no promotional investment that can make a bigger impression on customers and prospects than the personal interaction made possible with live events. Well-executed open houses are great ways for print service providers to achieve their goals for new business development, launching new product lines, or expanding business relationships.
Topics: events, open house, news, live events, in-person events
Like the rest of us, print buyers have come through a challenging time. COVID has surely affected their jobs, and the profession itself has changed as print’s place in the marketing spectrum has evolved.
Today’s buyers include highly experienced professionals who understand the technicalities of print and are fascinated by equipment, and newly minted entrants who are likely to be digital natives or marketers without a great deal of printing experience. For them, buying print is not a primary function, but only one task in a broader portfolio. And let’s not forget that a lot of print buying has moved online.
Topics: print buyers, news, print buying, selling print, sales techniques, G7 certification, client retention, printing experience
Well, we are certainly living in interesting times. Two years of a global pandemic, followed by conflict in Ukraine, have resulted in labor disruptions, a choked global supply chain, and a shifting marketplace. What’s next is anyone’s guess at this point.
Interesting times certainly bring a host of challenges, but they also bring opportunity. That’s as true for the printing industry, which was living through its own interesting times even before the pandemic, as it is for individuals and society.
Topics: direct mail, print service providers, wide format, news, digital printing, assessment, short run books, assessing new opportunities, print industry, print industry trends, opportunities for printers
Online shopping is part of our culture. During the pandemic we learned that even the least tech savvy consumer was doing their shopping online. E-commerce is growing while retail businesses face declines in traditional in-person shopping. The trends in B2B shopping closely follow the consumer trends and the printing business is no exception. Online stores, also known as web-to-print or W2P, are an opportunity for printing companies to add value to their products, interact with clients in the ways they prefer, and grow their businesses.
A well-designed web-to-print solution can be a new sales tool for you, allowing you to make more sales to your existing client base. Online storefronts allow print service providers to reach a broader audience with their existing clients. You may have a relationship with a solitary print buyer, but his or her company employs many other individuals who also order print, such as managers, administrative assistants, salespeople, or support staff.
By analyzing the data collected from online storefront software about orders you receive, you can also gain knowledge about your clients or spot trends across market segments and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.
Topics: news, W2P, web-to-print, online storefronts, online store
Expanding into wide-format offerings is exciting on many fronts. It’s also challenging and complex as, among other things, it requires creating a smart manufacturing layout to produce the printed items profitably.
A good floor plan is like a puzzle—all the pieces must fit together to achieve the most efficiency. This includes moving materials, accessing equipment, creating networks, and other elements. Properly done, an efficient floor plan will reduce waste, increase productivity, and boost competitiveness.
Overall, the goal is to achieve an optimal flow. Create the most direct and productive means of physically moving a job from intake to production, to finishing and then shipping. The challenge is accommodating multiple printers, cutters, laminators, mounting devices, and other equipment into the flow.
Topics: news, print production, floor layout, space allocation, efficiency
The printing process is intricate and complex. Printing is a finely tuned and calibrated engineering feat with thousands of parts all moving in perfect harmony. On top of that, various technologies execute the function in different ways. While your customers needn’t be exposed to all the details, a little bit of knowledge about printing technology can’t hurt. Sharing information like this with your customers shows them you are a professional who has a thorough understanding of the industry.
Feel free to use the descriptions in this article to populate your own newsletters, blogs, emails, brochures or other communications aimed at your customers.
Topics: roi, news, inkjet, digital printing, fleoxgraph
Topics: news, assessment, in plant operations, in-house, in-house document centers, internal evaluation, analyze equipment, operations assessments, measure value
Wide-format printing, a large and resilient category, continues to show potential for growth and profitability. If you haven’t delved into wide format, it can be a significant new revenue stream for your print operations.
Definitions vary, but for our purposes, wide format means inkjet devices with printing widths of roughly five feet and greater. Encompassing many applications—posters, banners, pop-ups, labels, back-lit displays, textiles, home décor, wall art, and packaging—it also excels at very short runs with variable printing and customization.
Topics: wide format, news, signs, large format, banners, posters, textiles