Live Blog: 10 Web to Print Mistakes To Avoid

Written by:
Joel Basa
eMarketing Manager
Xerox Corporation
We have a “High Profit Applications and Strategies” Thought Leadership Workshop at the Gil Hatch Center today. I’ll be covering a portion of this event as Jennifer Matt presents “10 Web to Print Mistakes to Avoid.” We’ll get started in at around 9:30 EST.
We’ll be getting started in a few minutes. Before Jennifer presents her top 10 list, what do you believe are some common Web to Print mistakes?
[09:38] – Okay Jennifer is about to take the stage…
[09:41] – Jennifer talking a little about her background. She’s been involved in over 400 Web To Print Implementations from Staples to smaller colleges.
[09:42] – Mistake #1: Lack of Online Strategy – She’s not talking about a 50 page business plan, but planning so you know what you can predict. Have to be realistic and know what  you can sell online. You can’t just “build it and they will come.” The web is like real estate, if you have a main street in your local community, you will get good traffic versus a dead end alley. Your web site starts in a dead end alley and you need to push people there and promote. Also, go after people you already know.
[09:44] – Mistake #2:  Focus on a single customer – If a single customer says “they want web to print.” Who is creating the strategy? The customer. You need to decide and strategize web to print.
[09:46] – Mistake #3: Built it Yourself. There is no faster ecosystem than the web…every time a browser changes, your product needs to be compatible. This problem alone will be problematic.
[09:48] – Mistake #4: Lack of internal resources – What’s critical to the success of a Web To Print Implementation is to make you “own” the platform. Make you you have a resource that becomes the resident expert besides relying on the vendor…so that you can determine your destiny. Often times, the customers become more experts that the resources with a vendor.
[09:51] – Mistake #5: Too production focused. When evaluating, make sure the customer’s experience on the web is tested. Make sure you find an outsider to try the system. The experience on the customer’s desktop is more important than what’s happening on your desktop.
[09:54] – Mistake #6:  Configuration paralysis. Don’t worry too much about “What color that banner is.” Get your first order through the door. That is critical.
[09:58] – Mistake #7: Purchase the future. Software moves so quickly but don’t get caught up on what is coming. Focus on what exists now. If you purchase the future, you may wait longer due to the software development process. Focus on present functionality in a product.
[10:01] – Mistake #8: Lack of ownership. Once you purchase, make the web to print solution part of your business. Own it and make it part of your culture.
[10:06] – Mistake #9: Too focused on technology. Sometimes we get glazed over with technology but stay focused on the boring stuff of making money. Focus on the strategy and ROI.
(drum roll)
[10:11] – Mistake #10: No sales involvement. Sometimes direct sales folks see this self service model and think, “I’m out of a job.” Sales reps aren’t selling print jobs now, they’re selling “ATMs” in your customers that pay you! Web To Print removes all the drag behind a buying decision and “inserting that ATM” machine does just that.
What are your thoughts on this? We’re about to field questions so if you have any, please comment below.
[10:28] – Jennifer says you should make sure you always sell the value of the Web To Print solution regardless if you charge or not. Establish the value to your customers from the beginning.

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  1. edward October 20, 2011 -

    not marketing the site

    • Joel Basa October 20, 2011 -

      Edward, this was definitely addressed in multiple items in the list.

  2. tom October 20, 2011 -

    Looking forward to updates / highlights about todays workshop

    • Joel Basa October 20, 2011 -

      Thanks Tom! Hope you enjoy! Any questions for Jennifer?

  3. Mike October 20, 2011 -

    Great list!!!

    • Joel Basa October 20, 2011 -

      Thanks Mike, I wish I could share much of the discussion happening live here. Any questions for Jennifer?

  4. Al Lautenslager October 20, 2011 -

    Love the way she characterizes web to print as print enabled e-commerce. More customers / prospects might understand this phraseology making it easier to sell by printers!

    • Joel Basa October 20, 2011 -

      Completely agree. Print Enabled E-Commerce more directly describes the business value of the solution.

  5. Mike October 20, 2011 -

    re: mistake #2 – I’ve spoken w/ a few customers that are approaching w2p this way…they don’t want to implement it until they have a client they know will use it….I’m afraid to ask them about the chicken and the egg….

  6. tom October 20, 2011 -

    What are the first few steps to making web to print part of the culture, except 1 or 2 most sales people are nervous about it and sell what they know; others sell more then it does. We are integrating with our Print MIS and trying to decide if selling web to print or are we selling workflows.

  7. Matt Bansberg November 19, 2011 -

    Print mistakes should really be avoided as they are difficult to modify. Actually, rather than modifying mistakes, it would be much better to start printing again. Mistakes can also waste some of your printing materials.

  8. Foster Austin October 19, 2015 -

    Re: Mistake #2: Yes it is a big mistake to focus on the one customer and provide the solution. One should have to focus on the potential set of customers and then provide suitable web to print solutions. Case studies will help a lot in strategy formulation.

  9. David Singletary November 28, 2016 -

    Superb sum ups.. Specially like Mistake #3 & Mistake #4. Most of the web to print providers are not focusing on that, which i personally feels, that irritates the end users. Again thanks for the reminders with the superb listing of mistakes.

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