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You Can Get There From Here…
Web enabling the printing community – options and opportunity -
Multi-Media, trans-promo, viral marketing, purls, personalization, YouTube, Facebook…  What does it all mean to you? It means it’s time you took a good hard look at what new opportunities are being afforded printers now and for the future. The internet and print are struggling to co-exist in turbulent economic times. They’re both here to stay, but the printing industry needs an e-injection to reengage and retain existing customers while continuing to develop and grow.  As print service providers, the marketplace is demanding that you provide more of the services required to retain the privilege of continuing to service their increasingly complex marketing campaigns.
According to Jeff Prettyman, Executive VP and Director of Marketing of Wise Business Forms Inc., “Marketers are starved for a solution that integrates print and electronic media while fostering brand consistency with personalized messaging.  Printing has become a component of a much broader marketing initiative, often involving database management, variable data printing (VDP), Web design, direct mail, email fulfillment and campaign analytics.  Corporations continue to reduce the number of vendors they engage, in favour of those that can supply more one-stop, holistic options. …research shows that the potential customer is no longer just the print buyer, but the marketing executive and beyond.”  As customers look to you for innovative and effective integrated marketing solutions, you stand to lose by remaining just a printer or graphic communications provider.
“The Tyranny of Shoulds”
So what should you do? Seems to be everywhere these days “you should grow your business,” “you should expand your service portfolio,” “you should become more than just a printer,” “you should be a business consultant and MSP (Marketing Service Provider),” “you should buy some new equipment or hire more sales people” It goes on and on.  There are options and some common sense approaches.  The internet or Web2.0 is one option that needs to be considered as a practical, logical and approachable method of customer retention, growth and development that printers can easily employ.  Adding some “e” to your business may provide just the jump start you need. Providing internet business solutions to small and medium-sized business can be an extremely attractive opportunity for printers looking to expand their service offering.
Complex doesn’t have to be complicated
Thinking like a printer is a great place to start while repositioning to become a true Marketing Service Provider. After all, printers have always been the “go-to” experts helping clients with branding, design, marketing concepts, manufacturing and distribution.
The Internet and the Printing/Graphic Communications industry are at a point of convergence and consolidation. By deploying a structured and proven system that can train you and/or your staff to become internet marketing savvy, you’ll be able to close the campaign circle and offer the kind of consultative marketing direction your clients are looking for now.  Your client’s confidence, trust and respect that you’ve earned from years of experience in the printing industry is transportable to the Internet with the help of experts who can provide the tools and training you’ll need.   
There are companies that currently provide the tools and training - WSI in Toronto, Canada has developed a patent-pending Lifecycle system, and certification program that rewards the participants with the WSI Certified Internet Marketing Professional designation while also allowing them to market their companies as a WSI Certified Internet Marketing Partners. This designation gives WSI partners not only credibility but also the brand power of the WSI network of over 1500 WSI Consultants in 87 countries not to mention unimaginable support.
Companies that offer business-focused solutions that are deployed quickly, without sacrificing quality or features, are the types that need to be considered.  Also to be considered with their offering is their use and introduction to advanced technology, extensive customer research that has identified the needs of most businesses as well as solid reputable suppliers.
A leader in its Market Sector
Printers need to find a partner that allows them to start in this new direction by providing an approachable entry point with an affordable initial investment, early ROI, and incremental recurring revenue from multiple sources. WSI is a company that has several strategic alliances, industry partnerships and membership in industry associations that gives you a distinct edge in the marketplace. The business opportunity has to provide industry accreditation, recognition programs, awards and achievements but most importantly it must also provide printers with credibility.

 

Explore the opportunity - Remember, you can get there from here.

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