Printfuture is currently helping several leading print companies with projects that are focused on cross media and marketing services. They are helping bridge the gap between traditional print and the focus on products and unit price to a conversation around customer’s business issues and how print can solve them. Printfuture is advising on how cross media technology can be leveraged and is coaching a different sales approach which is centred around better information and business intelligence.
If you’re thinking about making the much talked about transition from printer to marketing services provider here’s some key things to think about.
Do you know what you’re getting yourself into? Being a marketing solutions provider is not merely an add on to a printing business. It requires a new business model and approach, new capabilities and skills as well as a fundamental change in culture.
Don’t listen to the hype, there’s plenty of opportunity but no guarantees. Success is based on an individual company’s prospects and their ability to change and create new value propositions. No amount of market growth predictions or successful case studies, are going to change the outcome.
There are significant costs involved. It takes time to change perceptions and convert customers, which has a cost implication. There is also a cost in diverting existing sales people from their normal tasks, not to mention the cost of investment in new technology to support the process.
You will need new skills in sales, marketing, data and strategic planning, How, are you going to acquire those skills or develop internal resources? Are partnerships an option? How do we make ourselves look like an attractive proposition to potential marketing prospects.
Adding Value. Success as a marketing solutions provider requires integrating services into a compelling value proposition that makes the client’s business more successful as a result of doing business with us. Simply adding random services will not create the necessary value or loyalty that is required.
Re-defining and refining. Making the transition from printer to marketing solutions provider is about redefining the sales proposition and then continually refining it. Its about being excellent at things we’ve never done before, not simply getting better at what we’ve always done.
Making a successful transition from printer to marketing services provider is not for the faint hearted; it requires commitment, planning and investment to minimize the risk and maximize the return.