I was asked a question in a phone interview: "Should printers change their names to reflect that they can do more things than print?" In other words, should you change your name to include something like "media, communications, marketing etc?" Here was my answer. It was not overly long. Ready? It was one word..."No!" You see, it makes no difference. You can change your name to whatever you want, and if you are not providing great content, value and consistent solutions to your customers, then the name dilemma is simply irrelevant. For example, let's say you are a printer named…
Continuing with "11" guest blog posts in "2011"…
Guest post #6 from my colleague Billy Mitchell/President MLT Creative
I like to have guest blog posts from my colleagues from time to time. The following post is an excerpt from a blog post http://www.mltcreative.com/blog/bid/71722/A-B2B-Marketing-Pro-with-Ink-in-His-Blood-Speaks-Out written by Billy Mitchell President/MLT Creative. I thought it was quite good and thus wanted to make it a guest blog post.
According to Billy Mitchell, "I know many printers are having to rethink their business model to survive. In a tough economy, printing budgets are often one of the first things a company cuts. And as much as social media marketing is over-hyped, printing is too often overlooked… I believe too many printers are doing a poor job of demonstrating how effective print can now be.
I think any printer who isn’t focused on developing partnerships with agencies and independent specialists is making a big mistake. I know how challenging it can be to maintain a content marketing staff of talented inbound strategists, technical and style writers, digital designers, web developers and marketing automation experts. I don’t think printers need to duplicate these resources any more than agencies need to buy printing equipment."
Here are some things to consider:
Although some printing businesses that are alive today won’t be next year, the industry is no more challenged than most. They need to adapt and evolve to survive. To quote the motto of a Michigan-based agency I am friends with, they must “mutate or die.”
Printers who try to serve as full-service marketing consultants (MSP)… might be overreaching… printers need to reintroduce themselves to the design firms and agencies in their markets and work more on building strategic partnerships than trying to be one-stop shops. In a world where content is king, I don’t think it’s practical… for printers to maintain, on one staff, the amount of special knowledge required to create industry-specific content for multiple industries. Agencies that are getting the most work now already have this talent on their staffs. Printers need to engage with these agencies rather than trying to compete with them.
I am not blind to the fact my stack of business mail is thinner than it used to be. Or that every trade publication in which my clients advertise in losing page counts. But I see this as an opportunity and believe smart clients will, too. I just wish more printers in my market were interested in collaboration.
This is an insightful excerpt about the future of printing and creative firms and the importance of collaboration. For more info visit the hyperlink above for the entire blog post.
What do you think?
President/Sauers Consulting Strategies