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Inkjet Production Printing, A Disruptive Technology?

One of the questions asked during the recent Inkjet Summit was how long before inkjet production printing becomes a disruptive technology and becomes a mass-market product. The term “disruptive technology” was coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen to describe a new technology that unexpectedly displaces or significantly reduces the use of an established technology. If a new printing technology started to reduce the purchases of offset presses …Read More

Benchmarking the Bid vs. Awards Ratio

Recently we were asked if there are any industry standards for the bids versus awards ratio, which is one metric used with sales. For example, if you had four requests to bid and was awarded one, then the ratio would be 25%. Of course, that is a very oversimplified example because there are a lot of complicating factors that can impact this metric. For example, is there a portion of … Read More

Where’s the Money? It’s in Marketing Strategy, Not Tactics

In a recent presentation about printing companies offering marketing services, I referenced a presentation I attended at the 2012 Podi AppForum of best practices in direct marketing. The presentation was made by Eclipse Cross Media because they won a Podi award for their campaign with ScottishPower. As a judge for Podi, I get to see all the submissions. Early in the presentation, Hans Lith and Andy Bacon described their philosophy … Read More

Blogs Vs. Social Media: Which Drives Purchases More

Blogs Vs. Social Media: Which Drives Purchases More According to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, blogs are more influential than social networks in shaping consumers’ opinions and influencing purchase decisions. However, if you look at the big companies with well-known brands, they are investing more money in social channels like Facebook, than on blogging. The obvious question is what are the pros and cons of blogs versus other channels? What is … Read More

Could Better Shipping Options Increase Your Business

It’s natural when business gets bad to look for something to blame. If you’re a printing company, these days an easy target for blame is the Internet printers. As their name suggests, Internet printers advertise with banner ads on the Internet and offer easy ordering, competitive prices, and multiple options for shipping. While many complain that it’s their lowball pricing that is driving their customers to these Internet printers, it’s … Read More

How Closing In-plant Printers Can Create the Illusion of Savings

I recently completed an in-plant printing evaluation that reminded me of a blog I wrote a few years ago entitled, “How Closing In-plants is Like the Shell game.” I was reminded of this because I see this Shell game all the time.  It’s simple really—moving the ball from one shell to another seems to make the ball disappear, and moving the visibility of the total amount of money spent or …Read More

Struggling with Pricing—Listen to Your Peers

While moderating our latest NewsTalk Live entitled ‘Digital and Wide Format Pricing – More Than Just Numbers,’ we got swamped with questions. This occurred after Tracey Cohen, the President of Target Printing, talked about how her business grew after they dropped their prices. The discussion of dropping prices clearly struck a nerve with many. However, a less controversial subject is the fact that dropping prices often requires reducing your costs. …Read More

In-Plant Printers Preparing for a Better Year

The December cover story article in In-Plant Graphics magazine talked about good news for in-plant printers in 2012 and new strategies for 2013.  After years of bad news, there were very clear signs at the Graph Expo show that things were improving for in-plant printers as well as a general sense of optimism that the worst was over. Many of the presentations by in-plant managers at the show talked about …Read More

Are you unsure and lurking in social media waters?

The importance of social media and internet marketing in your sales efforts is controversial. Some argue that selling print and graphic arts services requires a more hands-on approach that requires phone calls and face-to-face meetings. But others argue that you need to be easier to find, faster, and more convenient to work with and constantly touching your customers in multiple and different ways (email, social media, mobile). If you are …Read More

Struggling with Print Productivity – Try Charting Performance

It’s funny how technology changes things. If I want to remember an old address, I log onto my Amazon account. If I want to confirm my employment history, I go to LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, I started with NAPL in 11/2002 and remember talking to Andy Paparozzi, NAPL’s VP and chief economist about a digital services study. We drafted the first survey about a year later, which generated 40 responses. …Read More