These are the hurdles I find many printers experience when creating and or maintaining a marketing Web presence:
- One over-worked steward holds the key to managing the website, preventing updates from happening as often as desired.
- No one is completely trained on how to use the website, let alone understand its capabilities.
- The staff does not engage with the website on a regular basis and, if asked, may not know the content on the homepage.
- There is a lack of understanding of how SEO works to drive traffic to the website.
- Analytics are rarely looked at, if ever, to know how people are finding and engaging with the website. Analytics are that which can be managed can be measured.
W2P is what many view as the more technical side of the world. Some experience paralysis by analysis and avoid this topic altogether. There are many excuses as to why more printers aren’t embracing W2P. Common reasons can range from “customers aren’t asking for it” to “I don’t have the human or financial resources to implement this technology”. Or even worse, an investment has been made in the technology and the customer didn’t embrace it, leaving the technology to sit idle with no return on the investment.
The truth is there is a technology that fits just about every printing company’s size and budget. As for your customers not asking for it, I’ll defer to Steve Jobs: “A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.”
Using your website as a W2P tool allows you to reduce a drain on your resources and incorporate your website into your business management strategy. This technology will set you apart from your competitors.
Integrating W2P into your marketing website allows you to offer something personalized and unique to each and every one of your customers. One misconception is that W2P means you sell printing online. That’s not exactly true. W2P is technology that allows you to more easily facilitate orders (in many instances for items that you’ve already created for a client) directly into your workflow without requiring as much time from design and production. Reduced resources can often mean an increased profit.
Integrating your website into your business strategy and combining a marketing site with a W2P tool can help you build customer relationships that last. Every step that you can save in a low-margin process, or every customer you please by having a technological capability they want, leads to increased revenue and long term success.
At the end of the day your website is the core to all of the marketing that you do. It should be integrated into every aspect of your business to maximize the ROI, which drives profit to your bottom line. It’s time to get your engine revved up.
Tawnya Starr is a former successful print shop owner who is now president of FireSpring’s PrinterPresence. She has dedicated her career to educating the printing industry on proven website and marketing strategies. In 2005, she received the Industry Award of Distinction from NAQP for her service as a consultant and educator to the industry. Contact her at Tawnya.Starr@Firespring.com.