The past one-and-a-half years have been nothing less than a roller coaster ride for us all due to the pandemic. Who would have thought we would be locked up in our homes, running businesses and households together, for an extended period in this digital age.
But it happened, and now hopefully, COVID-19 is very much behind us in the rear window. The print industry also pivoted. While the demand for certain products plummeted, it surged for other print items. The year 2022 is going to be exciting for the printing industry.
In our sixth interview from the series, Team Design’N’Buy caught up with Joseph Manos, the Executive Vice President at MindFire Inc, and talked about the print trends, challenges, and growth opportunities we can hope to see in the coming year.
He helps printers, agencies, and SMBs grow using “OptiChannel Marketing” — a new form of marketing that finds prospects and clients on the channel that is best for them.
Design’N’Buy: Mr. Manos, we are incredibly pleased to have you for this interview. Could you please tell our readers about yourself?
Joseph Manos: I am the Executive Vice President at MindFireInc, a marketing automation (SaaS) and OptiChannel Marketing Services company based in Irvine, CA.
I have over forty years of experience successfully leading and growing technology companies, including three decades of senior management experience, delivering exceptional financial results and innovative programs.
An experienced entrepreneur, sales executive, and marketer, I am a recognized strategic leader responsible for revenue growth of business, an educator and speaker on marketing efficacy, and a marketing strategist working with marketers across the globe to deliver optimized results.
DNB: What are the significant trends and factors printers need to know before forming their marketing strategy for 2022?
Joseph Manos: I have spent the last three years working with executives of Print Service Providers (all sizable companies) across the globe, helping them with their marketing programs and implementing strategies for growth.
The world is changing rapidly, and what we could count on in the past is no longer the case. You see, in the past, we simply had to manage the dynamic change taking place in our businesses and our customers. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore.
Today, we have just completed 1.5 years of COVID shut-downs, and now we are facing a global paper shortage, as well as distribution challenges.
These challenges have impacted PSPs differently, but all printers would be well served to keep in mind the following trends that will absolutely impact them in 2022.
- It is more difficult for sales reps to schedule appointments with prospects to discuss their offering.
- As much as we would like to believe that customers remember all of our capabilities, they simply do not, and maybe availing printing services from your competitors for projects you provided them in the past.
- Most printers are not viewed as innovators, so you do not have a seat for new innovative program needs at the table of your prospects and customers.
- Prospects want 3-5 pieces of high-value content before they agree to meet with a sales rep. They do not want to waste their time, so you have to earn the right to get time with them.
- Prospects are available on seven different marketing channels and five devices in 24 hours. The more marketing channels you leverage for connecting with your audience, the more leads for your services you will enjoy.
Loved the idea? Check It Out: Web-to-Print Guide – Biggest Implementation Challenges, Success Stories and Learning
DNB: What do you suggest to printers for client retention and engagement?
JM: In today’s world, printers that leverage a nurturing OptiChannel Marketing program, targeting their customers, prospects, and lapsed customers, are generating 4-6X increased revenue versus other approaches.
This technique warms up the audience, providing them with ongoing, high-value content that explains the value of working with you and various solution use cases/success stories.
You have to commit to and stick to a program, but the results are significantly better than any other approach you can leverage.
DNB: What can you suggest to printers for enhancing their market reach and grabbing new customers?
Joseph Manos : As stated earlier, an OptiChannel Marketing Program approach is the #1 market reach approach. Your customers are available on seven different channels and five devices; therefore, you need to connect with them where they are spending their time.
For most of our print customers, they use the following channels as part of their OptiChannel Marketing program mix:
- Personalized direct mail with a PURL and QR code
- A personalized email with a PURL
- Personalized landing page to gather missing marketing intelligence info, as well as their current needs, additionally, providing the ability to download high-value content
- LinkedIn posts
- Social media news feed ads linked to landing pages
- Data enrichment on their website – identifying anonymous visitors and then following up with a direct mail piece with specific information about their interest areas
Want to learn more about How To Give Your Printing Business A Competitive Advantage
DNB: How can one identify and create a niche market in tough competition?
JM: You have to create competitive differentiation for your offering and company. What makes you unique versus other print providers? You have to have all of your marketing communication written from your prospect’s and customers’ viewpoint.
You should explain why working with you will be different and the key deliverables they will enjoy by working with you versus others. All of your downloadable content supports this messaging with pieces that allow you to build your target audience’s trust, confidence, and awareness. This is what leads to the new meetings for services.
This is not a speed and feed discussion. Most printers like to say we have the best quality, the best service, and the lowest price. Everyone is saying that, so where is the customer value in working with you?
DNB: What do you think will be the role of print eCommerce or web-to-print storefront technologies in the coming years?
Joseph Manos: Both solutions are essential for any printer who wants to be relevant with their prospects and customers. They offer significant value to your customers and a ton of value for your organization. Having said that, they need to be supported by effective marketing programs, as I have noted above.
DNB: Thank you so much for sharing such fantastic advice. Marketing for printers is undoubtedly going to gain precedence if not now. Thank you so much for talking to us, Mr. Manos!
JM: Thanks for having me!
Wrapping up :
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.