Make the most of your print production partnerships
Debbie Simpson, president, Multi-Craft
The printer used to be simply the last stop on the way to a finished project. Smart marketers and business professionals know there is a better print solution out there. Today, your print provider should be a strategic marketing partner, bringing far more expertise than just putting ink on paper. Leading print production partners are making themselves available to clients in flexible, creative and logistical roles.
Are you missing the strategic print and marketing support partnership boat? Here are 10 tips for maximizing the working relationship with your print production partner.
- All print providers are not the same.
Just like an employee interview, consider your breadth of work and what you value — supreme customer service, a wide range of capabilities or fast turnaround. Invest in a company you can count on as your go-to.
- Consider that your printer is a valuable strategic partner.
Whether you are a marketing pro or from the creative department, seek ongoing and frequent input from your print partner as creative projects arise.
- Subscribe to your print company's communications.
Sign up to receive its newsletter or e-newsletter. Attend any seminars or webinars it may offer. Follow their social media. All of these are great sources for information and may help to spark new ideas.
- Looking for a cutting-edge idea?
Consider that your printer may have knowledge of new technologies that are still not fully understood outside the industry. Ask what's new or on the horizon.
- Give them the whole story.
When meeting with your print partner, let them know what other channels you may be considering. It might have a better recommendation or be able to call out a logistical issue.
- Ask the tough questions.
The successful print provider understands response rates, conversion rates, return on marketing investment, mobile marketing, near field communication and addressable TV. Let it provide you information you can use in developing your marketing strategy.
- Make it easy on yourself.
Choose a printer that also offers fulfillment and mailing services. An all-inclusive provider can cut cost and minimize hassle, as well as improve distribution, efficiency and accuracy.
- Always buy value — not the lowest price.
You will get what you pay for. It's not about price, but about what you get for what you're paying — return on investment.