Printers have new stories to tell about businesses

Before you tell yours, make sure you consider these four things.

A new generation of print buyers, with expectations for a true omni-channel experience, is providing new opportunities for printers. According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, by 2020, the demand for an omnichannel customer experience will be amplified by the need for nearly perfect execution. One where each touchpoint is seamlessly connected to a cohesive and fluid purchasing experience – no matter where they’re buying. 

No longer confined to selling ink on paper, printers are re-thinking the way they do business. They’re paying attention to market trends and customer demands for a true omni-channel experience, taking stock of their resources and capabilities, and either training or hiring staff to bring their new vision to life.

Smart print and service providers are investing in new equipment, streamlining and automating operations, and tackling human error. Their sales team have become trusted print solutions providers and the customer experience is consistent and flawless before, during, and after the sale. 

Changes that impact your business, from what you sell to how you sell it, are opportunities to engage with your community of customers, prospects, influencers and media. It’s a chance to share your news with the people who matter. With the right amount of buzz, the experience you create can attract buyers keenly interested in what you have to offer. For that to happen, make sure you know these four things.

Make the story relevant to your customers

What you’re launching is not nearly as important as why it matters. Not to you, but to the people who buy from you. How will your digital enhancement press impact the life of your customer? Are you filling an existing demand or expanding into new markets? Your customers don’t want to know the speeds and feeds of your new press. They want to know how you’ll not only bring their ideas to life, but how this new print solution will make them even better.

Use the channels your customers use  

With an ever-growing, ever-changing landscape of traditional and modern media platforms, applications and tools at your disposal, it’s important to share your story across the channels and use the mediums that will get you noticed. 

Focus your strategy around your customers and identify where they do their research, get referrals, reviews and ratings. Take advantage of trade shows, industry and association events, online and offline meetups, open houses and user groups. Share your story where your customers share theirs, whether it’s online, offline, live and in-person or virtual.

Use print in an integrated way

Once you know your story, who you’re telling it to, and where it will be noticed, you need to get it out there. For printers, this is a time to shine. Because we know the value of integrating print and digital strategies to maximize the power of a message. A recent Canada Post neuroscience study found that integrating direct mail and digital campaigns created a 10% higher brand recall and 5% more content interest than if only one channel was used.

Create experiences that showcase the powerful role that print plays in the customer journey when combined with digital options like video, email, PURLs and landing pages, SMS, social and mobile media and so much more. A study from Vision Critical, a company that gathers and aggregates intelligence about customers, showed that by 2020, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator. 

Create an effective call to action 

When I got my start in this industry, there were no websites to send people to, no buttons to click and no QR codes to scan. Email was in its infancy. From magazine ads to printed brochures, the call to action was consistent: Contact us. By phone. 

Fast-forward 20+ years; to an endless array of choices and channels that engage your target and create an immediate reaction. As a result, not only is creating an effective call to action critical to your bottom line, but so is knowing when, where and how to best showcase it for maximum exposure and results.

For example, a customer thinking about doing a direct mail campaign likely won’t respond to “buy now” during the early stages of research. In fact, making that ask too soon could lead to them walking away completely. They will, however, respond to customer success stories, how-to guides and industry research. Use a call to action everywhere, from business cards to voice mail, as a prompt to do something right now.

Do you need help telling your new print story? Contact me today 

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Joanne Gore

Joanne Gore is a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print and has spent the last three decades helping companies maximize their marketing and communications efforts. Founder of Joanne Gore Communications, she helps companies tell their story to a new generation of print and business buyers. Email: joanne@joannegorecommunications.com Follow her on Twitter: @joannegore121