I recently watched the free Webinar “Web-to-Print is so Yesterday,” hosted by WhatTheyThink, and was surprised — very surprised — by a particular detail agreed upon by both presenters.
The presenters were The Toro Company and LifeLock, both large brand marketers with sprawling distributor networks, and you’d think that they’d have been using Web-to-print for a long ago. But to my absolute shock, both indicated that they had just recently installed these systems. In fact, they were unaware of the full capabilities of these systems — at least as more than limited “log in and order print materials” solutions — until they saw them at marketing shows.
I’m going to say that again, because even as I write it, I can’t believe it. These large brand marketers were unaware of the capabilities of Web-to-print to use template-based design to create multi-channel, cross-channel marketing campaigns and manage their brands. They learned about them, not from their printers, but from displays at MARKETING SHOWS where few printers were in attendance.
Don’t assume that anyone, regardless of company size and seeming sophistication, knows what Web-to-print solutions can do.
But a warning from the Webinar, as well. Don’t go in there pitching a print-centric solution. They know that printing can be ordered online. What convinced these companies of their need for online portals was they had pain points regarding brand management, overwhelmed design departments, and desire to give distributors flexibility but with the corresponding inability to fully control their brand. They already knew what they needed. They just didn’t know the solution. When they saw the demonstration of centralized document control, the time savings for their design teams, the brand management, and ease of creating multi-channel campaigns for a decentralized network of distributors, they were sold.
“Why didn’t we know about this before?” was expressed by both companies.
They were won over, not by a print management solution, but by a content management solution.