Print service providers seeking to differentiate and grow their businesses need to continuously embrace change and expand services—to achieve that, they look to consultancy services to help transform their businesses. That was the message delivered by a panel of Kodak customers during a recent roundtable discussion.
The conversation was held in San Diego before a group of print industry analysts in conjunction with a briefing on Kodak Marketmover Business Advantage Solutions and other Kodak consulting services.
"The expanded Marketmover Business Advantage Solutions includes a suite of consultancy services to help print providers assess, integrate, optimize, market, and ultimately, transform and grow their businesses," said Judy Pribe, vice president of Marketing, Business Solutions and Services Group, Kodak.
Companies represented in the roundtable discussion included HOT Printing & Graphics, a full-service commercial printing, graphics and mailing organization; DST Output, LLC, one of the largest global statement and billing output providers; RT Associates, a marketing logistics partner that helps clients manage the entire workflow of their marketing campaign; and The Bureau, a marketing manufacturing company.
In discussing the process of diversifying and changing their business, each participant agreed that a necessary first step involves thoroughly examining their operation, determining resources and technologies they need to put in place to support their business plan.
"The readiness assessment conducted through the Marketmover program helped us realize that we needed to alter our skill sets in several areas. We had all these pieces sitting out there that weren't effectively tied together," said Bob Radzis, chief customer officer, RT Associates.
"We also looked at the skills of our workforce and how we're organized as a company," said Dana Johnston, vice president of eBusiness Development, DST Output. "We are looking at creating Centers of Excellence to bring together people with new areas of expertise."
The panelists agreed that, once new services are in place, marketing those capabilities requires new knowledge and approaches.
"One of the biggest challenges in becoming a marketing services provider lies in continuously educating ourselves and our customers about things like the latest campaign components and how to measure ROI," said Greg Shapiro, president, HOT Printing & Graphics. "Our sales team attends Marketmover webinars, then shares information with agencies and customers through lunch-and-learns and similar events. We've also seen success with multimedia campaigns that promote our capabilities and expertise."
"One of the first things we learned was how to sell a campaign or service versus selling a job. That was critical to becoming an advisor to our customers on their marketing campaigns," added Radzis.
Educating customers about the vital role of print in today's multimedia environment is imperative—a sentiment echoed by John Henderson, director of digital marketing services and technology, The Bureau.
"As an industry, we need to take every opportunity to remind marketers about how print can make their campaigns effective and we need to take every opportunity to demonstrate to customers that we are about print and a whole lot more," said Henderson.