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From PSP To MSP
For optimal success, it’s time to begin transitioning from a print-only business to a
With the rise of digital printing, storefronts, VDP and cross-media services, the Print Service industry has been steadily evolving into a Marketing Service industry. Customers today are expecting more and more from printers, and while shifting a company’s core competencies can seem daunting, having a solid strategy can make all the difference.
Key Phases To Guide Your Transition
- REVIEW your Customer’s Needs – Transitioning to a MSP doesn’t mean giving up print — it just means taking on services that support print as part of a larger campaign. Print is still important to your customers. Take a look at the jobs you’ve done in the past year or so and see if they were part of a larger cross-media campaign. Also important, identify any jobs you might have lost to competitors because you didn’t offer the specific service the customer needed. Once you get an understanding of what your customers are really doing with their marketing dollars, you can begin expanding services in these areas.
- RESEARCH your Options – Implementing new services could mean an investment in new equipment, software and solutions, employee skills and sometimes even new staff with specific training. Make sure you understand the pros, cons and costs of all new solutions and offerings you take on.
- REPOSITION your Company as a Partner – Shift your customer’s perception of your business so they think of you as more than just a print provider. Many printers are taking on the role of a marketing consultant. Upselling additional services such as VPD, storefront and inventory solutions will expand your profits and put you in a position of marketing authority with your customers. And be sure to use these services to promote your own business to display your new expertise.
- REFINE the Plan as Needed – As you and your staff become more practiced at these marketing-centric services, periodically refine your expansion strategy to either include more services or specialize in one you’ve already brought on. As you take on more jobs in these areas, other avenues of revenue streams will open up and you should stay flexible enough to explore these new fronts.
Ricoh hired InfoTrends to interview three different print shops who followed different paths for their transition. Read about the successes they’ve earned and the advice they have for other Print Providers in From PSP to MSP: A Phased Approach.
Additional PSP To MSP Resources
Response Rate Report
How much can personalized, relevant direct marketing increase your response rates over static direct marketing? This is not an easy question to quantify as response rates depend on several variables including: the relevance of the message, the offer, the list, the creative, and the timing. Often the process is as much art as science. However, we do know that personalized, relevant direct mail, done well, will significantly improve your response rates.
Customized Communications: Entry-Level VDP
Digital printing presents print services providers (PSPs) with new opportunities to offer personalized data-driven print to their customers and drive not only more digital print volume but more profitable print volume! There are many opportunities in variable data printing (VDP), but many PSPs do not know where to begin. Entry-level VDP offers print service providers a great starting point to deliver more relevant, effective business and marketing communications to customers, but there are key concepts that PSPs need to understand to approach it successfully.
Cross-Media Marketing Transition Takes Hold
The transition from print services provider to cross-media marketing services provider is in full swing. Firms of all sizes are expanding media types offered and backing them with marketing services, such as creative, campaign strategy and management, as well as data analytics. The idea is to have a variety of marketing communication tools on hand that can be custom blended into the perfect media mix, based on individual client needs, which generate results. A core component of that mix is print.
Marketing Automation: Adding Science to the Art of Marketing
Marketing automation and automated lead nurturing are becoming foundational marketing activities for accelerating sales and reactivating dormant customers. In an environment where high-quality leads and customer loyalty are critical, marketers are seeking partners and solutions that can automate communications at the right time. Ideally, automated communications can be linked to transactions and can also help reactivate dormant accounts.
Cirrus Visual Communications: Redefining Commercial Print with a RICOH Pro C900
Cirrus Visual Communications in Tucson, Arizona, is not your typical commercial printer. The company’s name might be your first indicator that something different is going on at Cirrus. Brandon Blair, company president, explains “I wanted a name that wouldn’t pigeonhole the business we were in. I liked the idea of a cloud because they change shape, and I knew that our business would definitely evolve over time and change shape. The cirrus cloud is the highest and the fastest-moving cloud, so the name doesn’t pigeon-hole us into anything.” Serving a strictly business-to-business clientele, owners and brothers Brandon Blair, company president, and Matt Blair, vice president of sales, like to emphasize their company’s innovative and creative design capabilities, supported by today’s digital technologies.