10 Tips to Help Printers Sell Marketing Services

What Do Marketers Want? How to Win Brand Business.

Many print businesses have differentiated themselves by adding marketing services to their portfolio. With higher-margin services in your toolkit, you can stay ahead of your competition. Offering marketing services makes you a strategic partner, ready to take the lead on multi-channel campaigns for your clients. Here are some of the competencies printers need to build marketing-centric relationships:

  • Cross-media strategy
  • Data work
  • Persona development
  • Personalization
  • Buyer journey mapping

What to Know about Selling to Marketers

So, you know how to sell print, but if your team had to pitch marketing ideas, too, would they be prepared? What do marketers want from their services providers? Here are some thoughts from a marketer’s perspective. Follow these ten tips to win more marketing business for your print organization.
marketing services

What does a marketer want from you?

  1. Confidence that your team can do the job – Your clients can’t afford a fail in front of their own boss or team.
  2. Quality – Table stakes, for sure, but how do you guarantee it? Impress clients with samples they can see and touch.
  3. Bring value – Bring something to the table and take something off the client’s plate. Be easy to work with.
  4. Meet deadlines and commitments – Again, table stakes and non-negotiable, but what happens when the client screws up the schedule? Always be ready with a solution. Which leads to the next point.
  5. No surprises – Invest in equipment and workflow that make reliable outcomes the rule, not the exception. Calm those clients who suffer from FOMS – Fear Of Missing Something.
  6. Clear estimates – Give clients a proposal they can understand and justify to their management.
  7. Reasonable costs – Show the value-add of your marketing capabilities and how that rolls up with print services and multi-channel campaigns for more value. Take an ROI approach, instead of a cost-based one.
  8. Show clients how they can simplify and bring more activity under one umbrella. Marketers love that.
  9. Provide data on results – One value-add of your marketing services should be the ability to measure and optimize. Quantifiable results matter to this group. Think about ways to track direct mail and other pieces through PURLs and other techniques. These can be high-margin services, especially if you build in practical, meaningful metrics from the start.
  10. Understand the client’s target audience – Know the market and the vocabulary. Too many marketing agencies just skim the surface for messaging, and the work becomes “me, too.” Clients may buy that once, but it won’t lead to an ongoing, energizing relationship. If you’re new to your client’s industry, do your homework. If you’ve been working with this client for a while, there’s no excuse not to be up to date on their goals. Ask smart questions. Do a reality check.

Walk the Talk and Self-Promote Your Own Print Business

There’s nothing like practicing what you preach. Successful print and marketing service providers showcase their skills by promoting themselves. Launch a self-promotion campaign that demonstrates your competence in serving marketers’ needs in creative ways. Demonstrate what you can do with a cross-media self-promotional campaign that drives recipients to a networking event or an educational luncheon at your facility. Document the success of this campaign in a case study and post it to your web site. Share it on social media.

By supplementing lower-margin print services with high-margin marketing services, you boost profits and build customer loyalty, while future-proofing your business in a competitive marketplace. Most marketers don’t want change, once they find something that works.

Learn more about selling marketing services. Download this guide: “Marketing Services Provider: An Opportunity for Growth”, part of the Xerox Market Segment Series. It will help overcome the sales hurdle and show your business development staff how to frame discussions around solving customer pain points.

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