Is your business ready to become a print company that can prosper in the future? Technology is changing the business communication model. Growth and success aren’t going to be based on who can afford the new technology because everyone can afford it. For a printer to succeed, you must learn how to integrate print with the new Internet tools that drive printing use. Printers must become experts in the Internet and mobile marketing.
Are you taking advantage of the Internet? A great number of printers still aren’t using the Internet to their advantage. Printers must have an interactive Internet site in order to market their businesses and communicate with their customers. A printer needs to use his site to educate and inform visitors about the benefits of using his company. Customers don’t care what kind of equipment you have. They want to know how the services you offer can make their business more successful.
A printer’s site must be a tool for interactive communications with the customer. Customers don’t want to have to travel to a printer’s shop to find information. They want to instantly contact a printer via the Internet to place orders, have questions answered, and get their work done. Does your Internet site enable them to do that?
More importantly, printers need to know about the Internet so they can learn more about their customers’ printing needs. One of the few growth areas for quick and small commercial printers is in producing marketing materials. Since the Internet is an important part of the marketing strategy for many companies, printers have the opportunity to produce the print collateral to support their customers’ Web initiatives.
It is easy to review a customer’s printing needs. If a website asks the visitor to contact the company, what printed material is available to send the prospect when they call or email? Does the printed marketing material match the message on the Web and vice versa? Printers will often find that customers do not coordinate the print message with the website message. Helping them match the message means more printing.
Some printers are finding that offering Web development and maintenance services can also become a new profit center.
On the Go
Mobile marketing on smartphones has opened new selling opportunities for printers. Many businesses are integrating QR codes into their print collateral to push viewers toward their mobile sites for smartphones. Businesses can now use traditional print media to interact with customers in new and unique ways through the Internet. QR codes can direct viewers to such things as online video, coupons and discounts, additional information, signup page and contact information. Customers are adding QR codes to everything from business cards and brochures to training manuals, point-of-purchase signage, and more. The static printed sheet is being turned into a dynamic, interactive Internet experience when linked through a smartphone.
Printers must buy smartphones and learn about mobile marketing and QR codes and how they work. QR codes have been embraced by large companies, and now smaller businesses are seeing the advantages of the technology.
It will be up to printers to show their customers how QR codes can benefit them. A printer can’t demonstrate QR codes or begin to understand mobile marketing without a smartphone. Mobile marketing opens another opportunity for print since most mobile marketing begins with scanning a QR code from a printed piece.
Print collateral for mobile marketing and website services are creating more short-run color printing and mailing opportunities. Print is required to drive customers to the mobile and Internet sites. Mobile and Web-based marketing will continue to grow and drive print needs. If print owners understand the Internet and smartphones, they will see the obvious integration of print services and prosper in the future.