Want some free inspiration

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 9.20.38 amI came across a rather interesting website this week, that I wanted to share with you. They happen to be one of my twitter followers in the United States and I had a couple of minutes to spare between appointments and decided to take a look at what they do.

Now if you’ve been reading my email newsletters and occasional posts here on this blog you’ll know that I’m a really strong advocate for printers becoming more than just printers, I’m pushing really hard to convince you to become marketing services providers for your customers. It’s now become critical.

Here’s a quick recap for those who don’t know why (everyone else jump down a paragraph) – if all you do is offer cheap print then someone else will take your customers and your work away eventually, if you only offer quality, price and service (which of course everyone does) and you aren’t working with your customers on how to improve responses, drive more business or retain their customers then you probably only have price to work with and you’ll be losing customers from time to time. Remember one of my goals in 2014 is to really get my customers and my potential customers thinking about change, thinking about ways to grow their digital business (as well as their traditional business streams). The one area that you as a printing service provider can capture your customers imagination is by helping them with their marketing, their promotion, their sales. Sounds complex, but in reality a printer is better positioned than most to do this.

Anyway, the company is REX3 and these guys are a printing business that has been around for over 60 years but their philosophy and market positioning is so much more than your traditional printing company.

To quote them

“We are the communication, technology and production department for your business.”

Now when I saw that I started to get a little excited, they weren’t talking about their press, or their skill with colour, or their awards (all good stuff- but) they talk about how they can help their customers achieve results.

“Creating effective marketing communications isn’t enough; knowing how to print isn’t enough; understanding pre-press isn’t enough, being efficient in our processes isn’t enough.

They get it. They have made the jump to being a business that helps their clients get more out of print , design, web, email, PURLs etc.

Do you think that they have to fight everything on price? Of course not. I’m sure there are clients where price is paramount, I suspect that they probably don’t care too much for those customers, they’re too busy working on really large profitable projects (look at the case studies) with customers that want and are prepared to pay for more.

I love the little box which appears on each page – “You’re just one step away from having your imagination accomplished!” – Beautiful.

It’s very hard to find anything too specific about printing on the website, it’s much more about positioning really strong, value propositions with their customers, showing them that they take the time to understand and learn from them about what they want to achieve.

I’m not suggesting that any of you run out and re-write your website to mirror what these guys do. I think there are some really great ideas that you may be able to bring to your business and clients. I think that if you were doing these things you’ll be fighting less on price, you’ll be doing less quotes and doing more work.

Take a look at the case studies they have put forward and think about how you could do that as well. I’m sure that you have many scenarios that your other customers weren’t aware that you did for other clients. What a great opportunity for a discussion.

Our business today is more than supplying print hardware to customers, we work with our clients to develop systems to achieve some of these things, where we fall short, we bring in market expertise to fill any gap. Don’t get me wrong we love winning new accounts with our print hardware, we have the industries best solutions for short run fast turnaround production printing so we’re very comfortable with that. We enjoy developing these complex workflow solutions because they transform business overnight.

I’ll leave you with one last thought – if you don’t start to think about this, how long will it be before your customers are stolen from you by someone who is doing this? What’s worse is that they probably won’t be anywhere near your location, they could be on the side of the country or worse still in another country. While that poses a massive threat, it also poses a massive opportunity – you can do the same thing.

Have a fabulous weekend.

p.s. If you’re using twitter, come and connect with me – I’m @KMauDealerPPG

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