Written by Susan Weiss
Manager, Xerox Worldwide Customer Business Development
Two firms with starting points in different locations and decades have had their paths indirectly cross by how they have chosen to serve their customer bases. QuantumDigital began business in 1986 specializing in postcard mailings for real estate agents, while PIP Printing and Marketing Services Columbus got its start in 1974 as a general-purpose commercial printer. Today, the two firms have arrived at a similar place: finding growth by aggregating production volume from small and medium-sized businesses that share industry-specific marketing needs.
Both told their stories during a recent webinar in the 2013 Xerox Business Development Webinar Series, “Targeting: Small and Medium-Sized Businesses…the Volume Aggregation Opportunity.”
And a good-sized opportunity it is with about 6 million SMBs in the United States, according to InfoTrends. “They want to do what every other business does: gain new customers, expand existing relationships and do customer retention effectively. But they are constrained by a lack of budget, time and expertise,” said Barb Pellow, group director, InfoTrends, the webinar’s moderator.
Those are the needs QuantumDigital and PIP Columbus are meeting with solutions that blend print, mobile, social, email and Web components. “We automate marketing to take it from a random act to a systematic one that frequently takes place whether the client touches it or not,” said Eric Cosway, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Austin, Texas-based QuantumDigital.
For years, QuantumDigital focused on real estate clients, building an information technology expertise that helped them guarantee 24-hour turnarounds. More recently the firm has leveraged its expertise to win work with franchise businesses, such as Hallmark Crown Stores, Michelin and John Deere.
In addition, QuantumDigital partners with AT&T Systems to run Digital Express, an end-to-end direct mail service that serves small businesses from a QuantumDigital-hosted Web site. “We make small businesses look bigger than they are,” Cosway said.
Columbus, Ohio-based PIP Columbus has long counted small- and medium-sized businesses as its heartland customers, but recently began offering marketing services and targeting verticals in a systematic way.
“We’re all aware that a lot of printers who are only printers are going out of business,” said Susan Layman, general manager, PIP Columbus. The franchise took the advice of its franchisor, Franchise Services, Inc. (FSI), she said, “to broaden our base, and develop the expertise to provide a range of marketing services to our customers.”
Among their targets: the 700 dentists in the Columbus area. “They don’t have time to develop marketing plans,” Layman said. “We show how we can help grow their business, and they appreciate it.”
To hear a replay of the “Targeting: Small and Medium-Sized Businesses…the Volume Aggregation Opportunity” webinar, click here. And to sign up for upcoming 2013 Business Development Webinars, including “Targeting: Vertical Markets…The Enterprise Opportunity on June 12,” click here.
Do you target the SMB market? What’s your approach? Is it working?
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Susan Weiss, manager, Xerox Worldwide Customer Business Development, is Xerox’s host for the 2013 Business Development Webinar Series.