The print industry is undergoing a massive change — a makeover accelerated due to the pandemic. While last year saw a decline in print orders due to printing plants halting their operations for a few months, it witnessed an increased demand for printers who take online orders.
More and more printing businesses upgraded their suite of solutions using web-to-print software to adapt to changing customer preferences quickly. As a result, this year, they are now looking for new ways to market themselves.
In a bid to help printing businesses, we set out to speak to many print industry influencers who have much to offer when it comes to expanding print operations, gaining a competitive edge, and boosting bottom lines — which is the need of the hour.
In our first interview from the series, Team Design’N’Buy caught up with Matthew Parker, Champion of Print at Profitable Print Relationships, which focuses on teaching print businesses to sell their services better.
DNB: Matthew, we are incredibly pleased to have you for this interview. Could you please tell our readers about yourself?
MP: Thank you so much for featuring me! I offer print sales training and mentoring support to printing companies across the globe. Many of my clients have been frustrated at so many conversations focusing on price and have struggled to stand out from the competition. I help them win profitable new business, even during a pandemic. During my career as a buyer, I was approached by over 1,400 printing companies that wanted to work with me, so I know what works and what doesn’t! Besides being a ‘Champion of Print,’ I am an author. I have a number of books and webinars available on my site, and I also have a free eBook on “10 Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them.”
DNB: That is great! Now, we will quickly jump into our interview and ask you an interesting question.
What do you think should be the winning strategy for print service providers in the era of eCommerce and online ordering? And why?
MP: In my opinion, there is no one specific winning strategy that print service providers should execute. They need to clarify the type of print jobs they wish to produce and the type of customers they want to engage with and sell.
However, it is worth saying that the best business strategies involve a laser-like focus on specific market sectors. Besides that, print service providers must ensure they communicate from the customer’s point of view rather than the vendor’s point of view. Customers are interested in themselves, not their vendors!
DNB: According to you, what is the role of business automation in the growth of print businesses?
MP: Business automation is vital. With a steep rise in low-value jobs across industries, eliminating costly and manual human intervention is essential. The print industry is no exception either.
Without leveraging the power of business automation across a company, the economical production of jobs will become impossible.
Therefore, automation needs to be introduced at all points across business processes. That includes something as simple as encouraging customers to enter their contact information directly but remotely onto the printers’ management information system while placing an order.
Printers should automate scheduling, planning and production ofprint jobs along with order fulfilment and delivery. They should also automate their finance and invoicing operations to save time and cost.
DNB: Where should printers invest in the future for growing their business? Is it tools and technology, customer acquisition, or internal teams?
MP: The primary area where printers need to invest in the coming years is educating prospects and customers on the value of print. If potential clients do not realize how print can help their business grow in revenue and profits, they will not spend on printing.
Without promoting the value of print, the industry will struggle . However, printing companies that show prospects and customers WHY they should use print have great opportunities to prosper .
DNB: If you had to give a bit of one-line advice to print service providers to excel in 2021, what would it be?
MP: Just five words: “Be in your customers’ shoes.”
DNB: Wow, that is fantastic advice. Well, that is all from our end. Thank you once again, Matthew.
MP: Thanks for having me!
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.
Connect with me on [email protected]