The second annual Vision 3 Summit convened in Marco Island, FL, on Sunday, February 19 and ran through Wednesday, February 22. The conference, which addresses the interests and concerns of commercial printers, is produced jointly by NPES, NAPL, and Printing Industries of America. The theme for...
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Lunch allowed attendees to divide up and choose from four Peer Exchange Roundtable Forums: “Using Data and Trends in Business Planning”, “Crossing the Chasm—Strategies for Marketing Services Providers”, “Living Socially—Social media Success Stories”, and “Leveraging Digital Asset for Business Success”.
The afternoon wrapped up with another set of breakout sessions. “Evolution of General Commercial Print: Implications for the Future–A Market Research Study by PRIMIR” was presented by Andy Gordon, president of 48HourPrint.com. “Hot Technologies for Growth and Profitability” was presented by Dr. Mark Bohan, vice president Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America. And Mike Philie, vice president and senior consultant for NAPL discussed “Is Your Sales Compensation Plan Working?”.
The rest of the afternoon offered free time to enjoy the amenities of the resort facilities, then the group reconvened in the evening for cocktail hour and dinner. During dinner, NAPL presented its Management Plus awards and the audience was regaled by a pair of circus acrobats.
Day Three: Full Throttle
The final day of the Vision 3 Summit ended at noon, but the presentations blasted full speed ahead until the very last minute. Immediately following breakfast, attendees opted for one of two concurrent breakout sessions: “Impact of Electronic Technologies on Print—A Market Research Study by PRIMIR” presented by Marco Boer, vice president of IT Strategies, or “Why Print Is Sustainable”, presented by Gary Jones, assistant vice president, EHS Affairs, Printing Industries of America.
After opening remarks, the day’s general sessions began with the high-energy motivational program “Delivering the Ultimate Customer Experience” by Scott McKain, co-founder and principal of The Value Added Institute. His program was rooted in the premise that the experience you deliver needs to be so compelling that your customer won’t go anywhere else.
In order to become a company of “distinction”, McKain outlined four steps that should be taken by each company:
1. Clarity: You can’t differentiate what you can’t define. You need to develop a clarity statement. Be precise when describing who you are and what you are not. Customer loyalty declines as that clarity becomes fuzzy. In your customer’s eyes, you become the same as everyone else.
2. Creativity: Creativity without clarity is useless. Define all your points of contact with your customer and then pick one to focus on. Be creative with that one point and be different.
3. Communication: Customers learn through narratives more so than through facts and figures. Customers want to be entertained when they learn. Write a story about one of your customers’ successes. Make them the hero.
4. Customer Experience Focus: What does it feel like to do business with you? Do you offer personalization? Customers will only become loyal to something they care about. Can you offer that “ultimate customer experience” that will differentiate you from your competition and keep your customers loyal?
Messages from Top Marketers
Gina Testa, Xerox vice president, Graphic Communication Industry Business, moderated a panel on “Messages from Top Marketers—How You Can Be Part of Their Team”. On the panel were Karen Keenan, CMO of Integral Metrix Group, and Jim Mikol, EVP director of The Solutions Group, Leo Burnett Worldwide.
Everyone is talking about the transition from being a print service provider (PSP) to a marketing services provider (MSP). Whether you love the term MSP or hate it, what it really denotes is a change in the way you think. You have to transition from thinking like a manufacturing organization to thinking like a service organization. Your mindset has to change from reactive to proactive.
Print is just one component in the multi-media marketing mix—which now includes up to 28 different platforms. All of those platforms are used by ad agencies, which are the primary consumers of print. According to an RIT study, 85 percent of print is bought by agencies, yet only 15 percent of printers actively call on agencies. If you want to tap into this lucrative market, you have to understand what agencies want and need. One salient piece of advice: “You need a marketing professional on board if you are going down this path.”