ALL marketers in today’s economy need to be flexible to allow for quick market changes. This is particularly true for printing companies who face a double whammy of changing technology and marketing techniques.

It’s often been said that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This has certainly held true for the printing business. A quick look at its history on the one hand shows technology will always change but on the other hand, the need for marketing never stops. I think it can be effectively argued that assuming two printing company’s services and operations were comparable, one printing company’s success and the other’s failure is in good part due to its marketing, or lack thereof.

Here’s a quick review of printing processes starting from the second century through 2009 showing the vast changes and improvements in printing processes — it’s kind of fun to see where we have come from since the second century!

Woodblock printing 200

Lithography 1796

Flexography 1873

Offset press 1903

Digital press 1993

To say the printing industry has come a long way is an understatement. But how effective is its marketing? Here’s a quick list of marketing tactics that most printing firms should be using on a regularly scheduled basis:

  • Website with built-in online search engine marketing management that develops a minimum of 25% of all qualified prospective customer referrals.
  • Monthly E-Newsletter with a minimum of 20 relevant links for more information and education regarding your specific set of printing services.
  • Monthly printed presentation of your company’s most recent and best print work mailed to your full customer list (or emailed if the customer prefers).
  • 24/7 customer relationship management including contacts, addresses, telephones, faxes, cell phones, website addresses, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. for each active and inactive prospects and current customers of course.
  • Clean and crisp environment from the time a customer drives up to your facility and throughout the entire printing plant.
  • Thoughtful and considerate customer sales and services representatives including friendly pressman and floor managers.
  • One special marketing promotion that only your printing company provides its customers such as a calendar, print estimate system that only your customers can use.

There are dozens of marketing promotions that we could talk about but the primary requirement is to develop a marketing program that presents your printing company in the most advantageous manner possible– and then market, market, market!

How many of these promotions does your company use or do you use a different set of promotions? Let us know.

At the end of the day the one thing you can count on is really special marketing programs are always well received and remembered and they can mean the difference between gaining new customers or being passed over for another printing company.