With over 30,000 commercial printing establishments spread throughout the US, how do business customers know they’ve chosen a company that’s a modern manufacturer with marketing chops? We’ve devised this simple test that reveals seven sure fire clues to tell you if you are.
- The company offers a lot more than just ink-on-paper. Decades ago, printers printed. That was pretty much it. Today, some manufacturers still focus on putting ink on paper, while others have evolved. Modern print companies offer a full range of services, with printing being just one of them. A contemporary print company is more about helping you create and deliver an entire program rather than an isolated product.
- The company is clearly knowledgeable about marketing. Because most campaigns are multichannel, higher-end printers have expanded their skill sets to include expertise in other channels, such as social, mobile, and email. They are conversant in marketing automation, data processing and integration, and in helping you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. It’s a holistic approach to your communications challenges.
- The company has on-site mailing and fulfillment capabilities. In the old days, mailing/fulfillment houses were separate from commercial printers. Today, full-service printers have these capabilities in house, providing customers with a seamless and more efficient process. They also have mailing specialists on staff.
- The printer invests in new technology and equipment. The printer you choose to work with should be regularly investing in the company. Ask about their equipment and what their most recent purchase was. Print technology changes rapidly (systems as well as presses), and the quality of the company’s equipment directly affects the quality of your products as well as the time-to-market.
- The printer has state-of-the-art digital printing capabilities. You might think every printer offers digital and variable data printing, but you’d be mistaken. As you interview prospective print partners, quiz them about their digital capabilities. Can they do personalized (variable data) printing? Do they have on-staff digital experts to help you design and create an effective campaign? How much personalization and versioning do they offer?
- They are experts in data integration and data analysis. It’s not always easy getting your head around what kind of data would be ideal for a targeted direct mail campaign, let alone determining if your company has that data. That’s why a key determinant of a contemporary print service provider is the company’s experience with data management and its knowledge about how to integrate a customer’s data in a multichannel campaign. You want to work with a firm that understands the value of data and other digital assets.
- You find yourself seeking your printer’s advice about upcoming marketing campaigns. If you find that your printer’s input is invaluable, you’ve hit the “print provider jackpot.” Strive for a partnership with a printer who regularly offers insights and fresh ideas about products, formats, substrates, timing, and strategy, relative to your needs.
In the wide world of commercial printing, these seven clues are strong indicators that you’re working with an evolved and modern printing company. Here’s what you’ll get: a wider variety of services delivered by one professional team that understands the entire process of executing a campaign.
Contact us to learn more about EarthColor’s innovative printing practices.