Making a print sale is not easy these days. Supply chain problems hinder the process and the ability to promise that everything will be fine with 100% certainty. This situation can scare even the most experienced print customers, especially if they work as printers for advertising agencies, brands or companies planning their print marketing and media placement strategies. These plans often require the coordination of campaign materials to reach the market on time. It’s not as easy these days as I said.
In addition to the pressure to deliver materials on time and within budget, massive layoffs have affected advertising agencies and marketing departments within markets and agencies.
The creators tried to work remotely and work their time. They are no longer back in the office and have stopped working from home. They also reject full-time offers, which were significant until a ridiculous salary increase that will never be rejected in 2019. NO.
As the creators stopped instead of commuting, the press manufacturers came under enormous pressure to complete the projects in any way.
I have contact with a friend who is the vice president, production director at a specialized full service production agency who has a client list that includes other advertising agencies in the area. When he did not answer, I followed his answer.
What if he couldn’t?
He is one of 3 redesigned and obese printers responsible for every job of each customer in this full service production agency. Hide it. Three people who did the job at 17 and believe that 17, had already done the work of at least 2 people.
I’m talking to another vice president of production from the premium cable entertainment network. He told a similar story. Work most days from 6:00 to 22:00, work is never harder or stressful. He too is trying to survive and now the company is reorganizing the presentation of a new set of obstacles that can be overcome with the need for time that does not exist.
We are at a crucial moment. I know that for more than 25 years I have held the position that professional print producers may be ill, but we – you, me, agencies, brands, retailers and printer manufacturers – will not allow them to disappear. Our world without them is all about price. Craft will eventually turn into a commodity and will play in many ways if you are not Vista and Canva or you cannot act like them.
WHAT DO WE DO ????
I’m glad you asked !! I thought about it for 2 days. Here’s what you can do now.
Stop bothering these customers unless you have something very specific to discuss. No phishing sales calls. If they need your help, they will find you. Currently, you can send “check-in” e-mail, text messages or messages on social networks and it will remain primarily in memory from a human perspective unlike marketing and no response is expected.
Take a look at her past work. If they email regularly in June, don’t wait for them to contact you. Think about how to get the paper and when it will arrive, share this information and a quote with the customer – NOW.
Repeat this process or whatever comes to mind to avoid bidding requests and be more careful to be active in everything you can. Especially on paper and stamps. There is an increase in prices.
Let your customers know right now and help them come up with a plan to print everything they can before it happens. Provide a list of projects they have printed in the past; suggest how they can be improved. Provide estimates for all scenarios with very clear warnings about security of supply and prices and payment terms. Good printing is essential because printing costs fluctuate.
Think about the next level of movement
Unless we come up with a viable solution to help clients with professional printing, the introduction of Printing Management Services (HH Global, Williams Lee, Schawk) is dire. This podcast is from 2018, but it is still a relevant first-hand report on what happens when these companies enter the CFO’s door.