In the past decade, marketing has become a rather important tool in every business’ arsenal for growth. Whether we talk about offline tactics or going digital, marketing offers many benefits, provided it is done right. The printing industry is no exception.
With the economy rapidly moving back to where it was before the COVID-19 outbreak, we can expect to see a plethora of exhibitions, conferences and events in 2022. Plus, the ad spends across domains is also on the rise.
So when we recently sat down with Joanne Gore, the President of Joanne Gore Communications and a renowned B2B marketer in the print industry, it was clear that printers will have to take marketing seriously if they want to grow.
In our fifth interview from the series, we discussed the major trends in print and marketing tactics that we can hope to see in 2022 with Ms. Gore.
DNB: Joanne, we are happy you gave us the opportunity to interview you. Would you mind sharing a bit about yourself?
Joanne Gore: Yes, of course. Many know me as a B2B marketer who’s passionate about print. But it goes beyond that. I graduated as a graphic designer and spent the early part of my career working in the print industry as a typesetter, production manager, and brand owner. Print is in my DNA.
As a corporate marketer, I have helped software, hardware, manufacturing, and print companies build global B2B marketing strategies and pinpoint the quickest time to money. As President of Joanne Gore Communications, I oversee the company’s strategic direction, take a hands-on approach to innovation, and work one-on-one with our clients to pinpoint who they help, how they help, and why it matters. We’ve proven that using the approach of creating awareness first, will result in engagement and grow your company.
I’m a Top 5 LinkedIn Print Mover and Shaker, a print industry speaker, published writer, and regular contributor to Graphic Arts Magazine and WhatTheyThink. I also serve on both the International and Canadian Board of Directors of Xplor, a not-for-profit association dedicated to the CCM (customer communications management) segment of our industry.
I am very active on LinkedIn and appreciate all new followers and connections. Don’t be shy – follow me on LinkedIn.
DNB: Awesome! So, tell us — what are significant trends and factors in the print industry after COVID-19 that printers should know about?
Joanne Gore: The first and foremost thing that printers should focus on is “who their customers are, how they can help, and why it matters.” It is imperative to understand the end customers properly. Otherwise, no marketing campaign can lead to results.
Secondly, printers must employ opti-channel marketing strategies to deliver a hyper-personal, relevant, cohesive customer experience across every device and channel that matters to them (online, offline, and social).
Thirdly, they must use real-time data to make better business decisions, learn about their prospects and customers; optimize the prospect to the customer journey, and ultimately deliver personal and relevant customer experiences.
Automating and streamlining processes and workflows enables printers to spend more time focused on business and less time on repetitive, time-consuming, tasks. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) MIS, ERP, CRM, W2P, marketing and sales automation.
DNB: Digital marketing or offline marketing — which marketing channel do you suggest to printers in 2022?
Joanne Gore: Brands are looking for ways to cut through an invasion of digital noise. And they’re turning their attention and dollars towards print to provide memorable, long-lasting, tactile experiences. And they’re using interactive print (QR, AR, AI) to deliver immersive and engaging experiences that blend our physical and digital (phygital) worlds. It’s a huge opportunity for printers! Simply put, phygital solutions engage customers with an experience that transcends platforms, devices and location.
Interactive packaging, labels, embellishments, and direct mail are stimulating the senses, triggering stronger brand memory recall, and creating powerful, engaging, touchable experiences. Plus, using other opti-channel strategies such as voice-to-text, SMS, social, and telemarketing throughout the prospect-to-customer journey will take precedence in the coming year.
I encourage printers to embrace, as well as promote, both online and offline marketing strategies in 2022.
DNB: How do you think self-ordering portals and print eCommerce will evolve in the coming years?
What is your one piece of advice for online print shop owners who want to optimize their stores?
Joanne Gore : Because of COVID-19, more people are shopping with their keyboards. While inevitable, the pandemic has only accelerated the change in both business and consumer buying patterns and behaviors.
It’s more important than ever to understand your buyer’s mindset. You see, customers want self-service solutions, 24/7, from any device. They do not want to deal with a salesperson until well into the second half of the customer journey. And if they cannot figure out if your website helps them and how within the first 5 seconds of landing on your home page, they will leave. Having a self-ordering portal where the customer has complete freedom of their buying experience can make a massive difference for printing businesses. They’ll get a much better understanding of they buyer’s mindset, how they search, what they want – and don’t want.
This helps printers get a real handle on which products or services are attracting business – and which are losing money. For business to thrive, it’s important that printers embrace the role that data plays in the prospect to customer journey. The more you can manage the flow of information, and the more you can learn from the data, the more it can be leveraged to impact your bottom line.
Looking at the data through a variety of lenses, you can isolate the information that will help you embrace – and then entice – new buyers. You can convert prospects into customers more quickly, extend the lifetime value of your customer and reduce lead acquisition costs.
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DNB: Which strategies can you suggest to printers for client retention?
JG: Showing gratitude is so important. It’s amazing how simply saying “Thank-You” can impact customer retention and loyalty – and of course, referrals. Being transparent and honest with customers is everything in this day and age.
I firmly believe sharing is the new selling! That means educating end customers and looking for ways to add value. This can come in the form of guides, FAQs, videos, lunch and learns – or simply by having a conversation. Knowing what motivates or has motivated a purchase, opens the door to learn more about what your customer is trying to achieve, and opens up the conversation to other ways you, as their trusted printer, can help them hit their goals.
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DNB: Thank you so much for sharing your inputs with us. Marketing for printers has become more critical than ever. It was great having you, Joanne!
Joanne Gore: Thank you very much for inviting.
Please note this interview is a part of a series. To catch more interviews with print industry influencers, please keep an eye out on our blog. Alternatively, if you are interested in our web-to-print solutions, please visit the contact form, and a staff member will contact you at the earliest convenience.