Archive for November 2015 | Monthly archive page

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pantone range

Is your digital printer hitting the right levels of colour gamut?

Previous limitation to the breadth of colours available has meant that some oranges, greens and blues were just not achievable.

And then, along came the Xerox iGen 150 with a fifth colour station that achieves the unachievable.

Xerox-igen-150-press-sl

Other devices in our range are equipped to excel with fifth colours.

If you are looking for white, clear, silver or gold then Smart Print can help.

For more information…..01707 888500

 

 

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You’ve done your planning and understand that Web2Print is a good solution for your business. Maybe you’ve even selected a supplier and are beginning implementation.

The next step is ensuring staff and customers take that journey with you.

What information should you be conveying to your customers, to get them on board and into the 21st century? The benefits of Web2Print are many, although not all of the benefits will apply to all of your customers. This means you’ll need to prepare your sales team thoroughly, and give them the information and tools needed to effectively communicate the advantages, and to understand which customers will benefit the most from the investment.

Preparing for a new way of hunting.

Get the team together and educate, educate, educate. There’s lots of great information available online to help, as well as help offered by a multitude of ‘specialist’ consultants, but don’t forget the suppliers of these technologies. Although there are still many companies happy to simply ‘sell’ you their software and the ‘dream’, there are a few who take a more nurturing approach to your purchase and companies future growth in this area.

Educating the team en masse is less time consuming than training in smaller groups, plus you get the added benefit of your company’s more seasoned sales professionals guiding those less experienced. Remember to cover off the benefits of the Web2Print platform being purchased, how to best communicate its benefits to your customers and of course how your Web2Print offering can help your customer differentiate themselves from their competitors. Win/win.
Summarise the key features of your web2print platform and prepare some tailored responses, explaining how particular features will work for different types of customers and what related benefits will appear off the back of that. Breakdown the relevant ROI (Return on Investment) model, demonstrate to customers what returns they are likely to see over time. Again, the supplier of the technology should be able to help you with this. However at all times avoid overcomplicating the explanation, your customer won’t appreciate the technicalities any more than they really need to know the complexities of your colour management software or RIP functionality…

Speaking with your customers

Explain your company’s investment into automation and online technologies and how they have benefited your customers and company (provide some examples, your technology provider should be able to give you some pointers) to better support and benefit your customers.

Offer to help by showing them that you are considering a number of areas of efficiency within your business, and would appreciate an opportunity to investigate further into areas of mutual benefit from shared processes. Everyone likes the idea of saving a few pounds.

Ask to speak with their system administrator about the possibility of automating connections with your systems – giving your customer more transparency of orders as well as more tangible savings in waste levels, time and money.

Show how you can provide education to your customer in understanding the benefits of Web2Print. This could be in the form of a series of meetings with their teams, management and if appropriate even with another of your customers that has successfully integrated their systems, along with a Web2Print platform. Education can if required also be provided in the more structured form of training days although from experience the Web2Print platform should be intuitive enough to not need training!

Wrap up by reaffirming all the much discussed benefits to companies using Web2Print platforms. Don’t simply do this once, continue to offer your client new approaches and encourage them to increase their own revenues by diversifying their core offerings and expanding it into other areas of their company that may want nothing more than access to a library of images in a DAM (Digital Asset Management) or even more simple stock management of printed and non printed collateral. So much is possible with Web2Print, the more you can guide the customer, the better the benefits they will see.

Not only will you be more likely to engage your customer with a Web2Print solution, having these types of discussions elevates you from a “supplier” to a “trusted partner” and helps build customer loyalty longer term. As a by product of an exercise like this you will also gather a wealth of information about their business, which you can use to tailor and recommend products and services in the future.

Author:

Tim Cox – Managing Director, Vpress Ltd.

This article is part of our web2print advice series: Ensuring it’s a great investment for your print business. Did you miss the first article? If so, click here

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More valuable information form our web2print partner, Vpress…. for more information call us on 01707 888500

vpress-web2print-solution

In my experience, although many business owners recognise they need to think about moving away from more traditional print methods, there is still a significant number who have yet to acknowledge the imminent change occurring around them.

If the statistics are to be believed, the average person working in the print industry is between 45-55 years of age. In contrast, the average print buyer is around 28-35 years old, and is unlikely to come from a print background. You don’t need to be Einstein to see the disconnect between the consumer and the provider, and this is why you have to look at how you add value to your customers, if you want to survive.

Think about your own experiences, how many times have you been to see Customer X and asked yourself, “Really, this brochure, same as last year. Again?” If you are not asking yourself this question, your competitors are likely to be doing so, and may be looking at ways to suggest how the customer could do something different to get better results. These type of challenging conversations needn’t be scary. What is difficult about explaining to your customer how they can save time and money, avoid maverick spend, secure their brand, control what is printed and when or simply have a more positive effect on the environment moving to a Web2Print platform solution?

Personalised print used within marketing campaigns can be a great way to get a customer on board with Web2Print services, so we’ve put together this short guide to help you kick off some conversations – let us know how you get on!

1.Fact finding
Don’t blind the audience with science, they really don’t care about the “how”, they care more about the “Why”. You can get to the part about personalised print in marketing campaigns in due course but in the first instance, ensure that your initial conversations with your customers are full of open questions so you can discover whether or not Web2Print and more expanded campaign services will fit. For example, what are they trying to achieve with their marketing or that of their customers? What is it they like or don’t like about traditional print methods? What issues do they experience on a daily basis? What gaps do they see? How are they faring against their competitors approach to marketing?

2. What might that conversation look like?

“What’s the purpose of this document you’d like me to quote for?”

“It’s to let our database know we have a new product.”

“Who are you aiming this at?”

“Our database.”

“Would you say your database was up to date?”

“It’s ok, but not really something we’ve really looked into, but probably should?”

”What type of customer would this new product appeal to?”

“Those who have money to spend. It’s quite expensive, it wouldn’t be suitable for all our customers”

“Increasing revenue must be a main driver of your business?” (OK so not an open question but who’s going to respond ‘no’ when asked that?)

“Yes.”

“Well, did you know, you can use something like Web2Print to personalise the communications about this new product? It can also be used to segment the data, so it only goes to the relevant people with a relevant message or offer. We’d be more than happy to help you get it all set up – and show you how personalisation can increase responses by as much as five times.”

A resounding ‘yes’!

Clearly this is a condensed conversation, but it’s a reasonable reflection of many conversations currently underway in the world of print and other marketing services providers, and if used places you firmly at the centre of adding value to the customer’s business.

3. Getting them on the right path with data and set up

Explain to your customer that Web2Print, or what some dress up as a ‘digital marketing communications portal’, is not as daunting as its sounds. Ask them if they have ever undertaken an exercise to sort out their customer data; maybe by gender, age, geographic location, services/items they buy regularly (and/or ad-hoc), or by any other segment which makes sense for their business. You’ll often find they don’t know as much as they make out and are often receptive to help; even if it has to be ‘off the record’. So, if your customer appears a little like a bit rabbit in the headlights, offer to help! Your knowledge and guidance is a value added service they will come to acknowledge and appreciate.

If (as suspected) their data is not already categorised, help them segment products and services into groups and work to identify obvious segmentations in their database, based on some of the above categories.

Help your customer create a simple document, which though generic in its main design, is personalised or variable based on the identified segmentation or the product/service being offered.

Your customer may find all this new jargon a little brain-addling in the beginning, so keep it simple, explain clearly and offer to assist at all stages of this new approach to printing which will only bring you closer to them. Although there is a minefield of acroyms and jargon supporting marketing and data; as a little help i’ve included a very brief handy glossary below.

Now you have a mix of products and services that are segmented for specific customer interest and demographic, and a template that can handle all that variety of data fields. Your customer is now hopefully ready to get going with personalisation.

4. Longer term engagement

Chances are customers will still need some guidance to move forward and familiarise themselves with the new way of working, and you’ll need to ensure they keep using the system in order for you to make it easier for them to do business with you.

Scary though it may seem, why not demystify everything and give them control? Using a web2print platform gives your customer access to their own collateral, to do with as they wish, when they wish. From here, your customer can vary print runs, personalise communications by directly accessing the data that has been previously segmented, and amend current designs en masse; All of which can be sent or printed immediately.

Once you’ve set the foundation for your customer to move to your Web2Print platform, off the back of this success you’ve set the scene to have wider conversations.

Adding this kind of value to your customers will elevate your conversations from price to partnership, and differentiate you from the competition.

Author:

Tim Cox – Managing Director, Vpress

Glossary

•Variable – apt or likely to change.(sometimes referred to as VDP AKA variable data printing)
•Personalisation – to design or tailor to meet an individual’s needs or specification.
•1:1 marketing/personalisation – the ability to produce/print a specific piece of marketing/print tailored to a specific individual
•Segmentation – Market segmentation is a marketing strategy which involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers, businesses, or countries who have, or are perceived to have, common needs, interests, and priorities, and then designing and implementing strategies to target them.
•Profiling – A market profile is a set of attributes relating to a target population, and in business, a target group of buyers. Characteristics typically include demographic factors such as income, geographic factors such as region, and psychographic factors such as values.
•Demographic – a specific segment of a population having shared characteristics
•DAM – Digital Asset Management – an on/offline environment where images and data exist for use in the production of print and marketing collateral (many times this is referred to as an image or data library/bank/store

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