How One Printer Thrives with Repeatable Marketing Programs
Some commercial printers hesitate to position themselves to customers as a marketing partner. Becoming that type of printing business takes more than just words. It’s a transformative experience, but it doesn’t have to be from-the-ground-up change. Think of it as simply adding a layer of complementary skills and expertise around your existing services.
You can do it. The tools and information you need to add marketing services to your arsenal likely already exist within your own business or are at least within reach. Do you currently help clients create printed marketing materials? Do you produce direct mail pieces? Do you bring creativity plus big-picture strategy to your conversations? You’re already in the marketing ballpark.
The Goode Company, one of the largest commercial print and direct mail shops in the San Francisco Bay Area, made the leap to being much more than just a printer. By adapting a new mindset, leveraging in-house expertise and not shying away from looking outside for help when needed – The Goode Company now successfully provides clients with full-scale, repeatable marketing programs.
“We constantly look at ways to create programs to sell once within clients and process multiple times within the account. It’s tough to grow organically 200 sheets at time. When the rep sells the initial program, they don’t have to keep selling 200 sheets. We’re trying to get share of marketing wallet with a variety of services,” explains Michael Sanabria, CEO of The Goode Company.
When Organic Growth Isn’t Enough
A major draw for many of The Goode Company’s clients is how the relationship goes far beyond putting ink on paper. It’s a true partnership. “Our customers are compelled to partner with us because we show interest in growing their business,” says Sanabria. “We pursue questions about marketing and sales goals. We talk about increasing response rates, generating leads and helping our customers close business.
“We’re great at multi-touch campaigns, but that’s just one of the solutions we bring to customers. We get to know their product or service, how they distribute and the current promotional strategy. It might result in multi-touch campaigns, or just as easily in the development of sales tools, including complex kitting and fulfillment projects to get those sales tools into the client’s direct or indirect sales channels. Good examples are the large programs we execute for wineries. There a number neckers, shelf talkers, case cards, displays and so on that we produce and then kit and distribute to the wineries’ sales people and partners across the US.”
And a win for their clients is a win for The Goode Company. “When we’ve helped with a recurring program that drives results for a customer, it’s very difficult for another company to come in,” he declared
Call in the Problem Solvers
“A lot talk a good game, but vendors still like to focus on filling presses and shifts,” says Sanabria. “We take a customer-centric approach as a company. We’re not the low price leader, nor do we want to be.” Instead, Goode focuses intensely on what customers actually need. They also know how to practically support that vision internally with a skilled team and robust line of technology.
The Goode Company is vendor-agnostic and not hesitant to outsource if that’s the best way to meet the customer’s need. That’s increased their credibility as a problem solver. “We outsource about 30 percent of what we sell. It depends on the production application and volume. If the volume exceeds our capacity, we’ll outsource,” says Sanabria. He shares the example of a client’s need to produce and mail one million 36-page self-cover booklets each day for 22 days. “Our client had to get it right, and trusted us to figure out the best way to do that. Whether it was produced here or in another plant didn’t matter to them. What mattered to us is that we were their first phone call for planning and strategizing.”
Program Selling: Repeatable Processes Make Repeatable Revenue
Digital color printing plays a big role in the success of Goode’s repeatable marketing programs. “If I had to put a finger on why digital color printing grew so quickly for us, it’s because our team emphasizes program selling. Digital print is a natural fit, especially given the shorter-runs, quick turnarounds and personalization of multi-touch campaigns. It’s also good for our bottom line. It’s hard to put in enough overhead to manage all the touches in a one-off campaign. Hence, the big growth in selling programs.”
But Goode also makes sure it’s a win for customers by paying attention to the end results. What is the ROI? Were new customers acquired? What do the numbers show? “Once we develop a program around the marketing goal, it becomes repetitive steps with data, and customers don’t have to think about it. We make it streamlined for them and it works,” says Bryan Neil, Vice President of Sales. “We’re taking out a lot of things that are expensive for them to maintain internally.”
Data Adds Value and Complication
To help drive their digital color work, The Goode Company recently invested in a Xerox iGen 5 Press. That decision came after an extensive head-to-head evaluation with another manufacturer’s press, and included file testing, paper handling and blind quality comparisons. In the end, Goode chose the iGen for its quality and RIP speeds – 50 percent faster than the competing press – a critical factor when considering the amount of data being processed for campaign work.
Neil notes that many clients don’t have good data on their customers. “Often ROI will improve if clients have good data.” He cites the example of a casino doing monthly mailings using loyalty program data to target gold and platinum customers with different levels of incentives. Good data pays off in increased engagement with an offer.
Another example is a large veterinary care organization that leveraged a routine postcard to add a marketing dimension. Whenever a postcard was sent with lab results, Goode helped the client use it as a marketing opportunity, too, and removed their fear of digital marketing through customized, segmented data.
Because of what’s involved with that data, Goode leans on Xerox FreeFlow Core – a prepress automation platform – for support. “We were spending too much time and resources on monotonous tasks like setting up workflows, imposing files, managing data,” says Martin Barnes, Director of Prepress and Digital Operations at Goode. “Now we can achieve that same level of quality, faster, and with fewer touches and less risk for error.”
Want Success with a Repeatable Marketing Model? Two Essential Takeaways
The secret to The Goode Company’s success with repeatable marketing programs lies in customer focus. Remember these two takeaways to grow your own customer-focused business.
- Take a Consultative Sales Approach. Have a senior team that can come in and develop what customers couldn’t easily do themselves. Solve problems!
- Add New Dimensions. Pull as much as possible off the customer’s plate, so they don’t have to think about it. This creates account stickiness.
If you’d like more information on adding marketing services to your toolbox, please visit: www.xerox.com/marketingservices
Nice piece, and it’s spot on in describing Michael’s approach to business. I’ve known him for 20 years, and I respect him as much as anyone in the industry.
Excellent article! Known Michael for 50+ years. Same attention to detail that he has always had.
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