The PSP-to-MSP Journey: Why it Pays to Differentiate

What it means to be a printer is fundamentally changing. Take a look around and you’ll notice the marketplace has become incredibly crowded.
There’s competition from the sheer volume of media channels – mobile, social media, digital, radio, print, just to name a few – each of which is vying for your customers marketing dollars. Then there’s the endless number of marketing messages fighting for their attention.
And, of course, there’s also competition from other print providers – both local and online.

Falling into the commodity trap

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What makes you different from, say, Joe’s Print Shop down the street? If you’re thinking excellent service, outstanding quality, and the best prices – then you’ve fallen into a commodity trap.
Everyone is touting those exact same things. As a result, you’ve lost your differentiated positioning. Now your customers view you the same as they view all other printers, forcing them to make decisions based on price. And a sprint to the bottom is not a race you want any part of.
Unsure how to differentiate yourself? Skeptical that it’s even possible? Keep reading.

Anything can differentiated

42-35442492Consider this: Despite being available for free from the spigot, 288 billion gallons of bottled water are purchased globally each year. On average, consumers spend the equivalent of $7.50 per gallon for a bottle of water – twice the cost of gasoline!
If one of the world’s most basic commodities can be differentiated, then you can certainly do the same with print.
But how were beverage companies able to turn a commodity into a premium product?
By adding value. Knowing consumers had little interest lugging around large containers and that they would place a premium on portability, a variety of sizes were made available. And because consumers view their beverage of choice as a form of self-expression, companies created desirable packaging and different flavors.

Becoming the ‘go-to’ one-stop print shop

This same theory can be applied to print – which is exactly where the value of marketing services comes into play.
Many of your customers realize that for their marketing efforts to remain effective today, they need to make adjustments to their strategy.
Take printed mail, for instance – it’s not going away, it’s just changing.Multi-Channel-versus-Print-Only-Response-Rate
A survey of marketers found that 92% expect the amount of direct mail they send next year to increase or remain the same. However, more are looking to shift away from mass mailings and move more towards personalized communications.
The same is true with campaigns. Gone are the days where a single touch-point can equal success. Studies show that multi-channel campaigns are notably more effective in driving response rates than single-channel print-only campaigns.

Your customers need help

But your customers can’t accomplish this themselves. They need help managing data, developing strategy and measuring analytics.
And as they look to streamline and simplify their work processes – they’d love one supplier to deliver all these services, from implementation to execution.
By adding marketing services to your toolbox, you can move higher up the value chain, positioning yourself as a strategic partner contributing to all phases of a marketing campaign…not just a vendor tasked with delivering a single piece.
How can you successfully make the transition into marketing services? Be sure to download our Marketing Service Provider eBook, which is full of industry trends, market insights and practical advice to help you capture these opportunities.right-rail image
Want more? Our Market Segment Series provides key insights and strategies
to help you unlock new growth in seven business-boosting application segments – including Direct Mail, Digital Packaging, Photo Publishing and more.

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