Redefining Value and Capturing New Market Opportunities

What are print service providers doing to add value and keep up with changing customer demands? Based on the results from an InfoTrends/Printing Impressions Emerging Trends survey, the answer seems simple — they’re adding more services! As print service providers work to tackle this seemingly simple task, though, they often come to find that execution isn’t so easy. Something that they thought could be accomplished overnight can actually take years. According to Barb Pellow, InfoTrends’ Group Director, “Saying that you’re going to expand your services is one thing, but adding value to your offerings and accomplishing your goals takes time. It’s an evolution, not a revolution.”

In the Canon Solutions America-sponsored webinar entitled Redefining Value: Strategies for Capturing New Market Opportunities, presented by Printing Impressions, Pellow highlights survey results about value-added services. She notes, “Changing customer communication demands are causing printers to expand well beyond print. As a result of expanding their services, some businesses are experiencing an 8% to 10% revenue boost and winning new customers.”

According to the survey findings, print services providers are adding print-related services like mailing and fulfillment, personalized communications, and wide format. They are also offering marketing-related services like design and content creation, data analysis, cross-media applications, and marketing strategy services as well as digital media services like mobile applications and web services. In many cases, the benefits of doing so are substantial.

“Changing customer communication demands are causing printers to expand well beyond print. As a result … some businesses are experiencing an 8% to 10% revenue boost and winning new customers.”

Pellow elaborates, “By investing in the right technology and developing campaigns to promote new services, respondents experienced new revenue streams, developed an expanded portfolio for cross-selling, and added new customers.” According to the survey results, respondents gained an average of 15 new customers after adding new services.

Panel speakers that are joining Pellow in this webinar include Don Eichman (VP of Sales and Marketing at Alcom Printing) and Bruce Mandell (President of Data-Mail). Although they are pursuing very different business models and market segments, both of these print service providers can attest to the benefits of adding value-added services to grow their businesses. By adding value over time, both companies have overcome challenges, streamlined processes, developed and implemented strategies to support value propositions and goals, and invested in the right technologies.

The Benefits of Offering Print-Related Services

What do you consider to be the top THREE benefits associated with offering PRINT-RELATED value-added services?

Figure 1

N = 75 respondents that offer print-related services

During this webinar, Eichman elaborates on the importance of a good support system coupled with a value proposition that was designed to facilitate business growth. Over a decade ago, Alcom Printing introduced its tagline and value proposition — “Yes is the answer … now what’s your question?” According to Eichman, it’s important to have everyone on board if you want your company to be successful inside and out. He explains, “We adopted this company-wide mantra to service our customers no matter what they asked for. We adapted our business to grow with our customers’ needs.”

Alcom’s portfolio has expanded immensely through this approach. Customers drove the company’s investments into digital print production and wide format capabilities, and Eichman believes that these offerings are necessary in today’s environment. Alcom offers services that are paramount to its business, including one-to-one and targeted marketing, developing relevant messaging, and delivering trackable results. “All of these services were customer-driven and harnessed by our sales team members, who we call ‘solution providers.’ We listened to our customers and created new opportunities.”

Bruce Mandell, the second webinar panelist, echoes Eichman’s comments when he discusses how Data-Mail is also client-focused. He notes, “Client satisfaction is the key to business success. When a client has a need, you have to find a way to meet that need.” In response to customers’ ever-changing needs, Data-Mail has been steadily adding to its services portfolio for the past fifteen years. Encompassing services such as creative, data processing, personalization, postal optimization, and tracking, the company now delivers over 1.5 billion pieces of mail a year.

“Having these service options alone provides value in helping our clients determine what will work best for their campaigns.”

According to Mandell, customer expectations and direct mail programs are becoming increasingly complex even as turnaround times get shorter. In contrast to Alcom, Data-Mail has a much smaller sales team. That said, Data-Mail’s sales force is supported by 40 account managers and a dedicated team for establishing new accounts. Through a new service offering for onboarding new customers and programs, the company is able to provide value to its customers with customized support for a program’s specific requirements. Each new creative package is reviewed by an internal team with expertise in postage, printing, data, lettershop, and quality. Mandell states, “This formal onboarding process has been a big change for us, but I think it’s important as we move forward and complexity increases.” Educating clients to understand capabilities and ensuring that programs are successful from the start is critical for safeguarding future programs.

In its strategy to provide additional value to clients, Data-Mail has expanded into a variety of other service areas including campaign analytics, production value, and postal optimization and tracking. To meet clients’ demands for data analytics, the company has invested in technologies and personnel to provide quick and efficient data services. The firm has also added envelope and converting services to better manage its production schedule and cut costs. By providing this service to its clients, Data-Mail was able to tighten turnaround times, ultimately adding value in customers’ eyes. Customers also enjoy value-added services like postal optimization and logistics. Mandell elaborates, “Having these service options alone provides value in helping our clients determine what will work best for their campaigns.”

Alcom Printing and Data-Mail worked with their customers to successfully evolve their businesses into what they are today. Join Pellow and these two panelists as they uncover challenges and expose strategies for redefining your business by adding value from print-related services.