As you read through Printing Industries of America’s 2012 Forecast Part 1: Trends and Tactics, it becomes evident that there are many new challenges facing printers, but also, many new tactics to overcoming them. One of these challenges is the effects of the rise of Internet and e-media. The real culprit, however, is that today’s consumers are more demanding than ever. In an age where the most sought after goods and services are just a click away, business must redirect their focus to being more than just printers. Today, printers need to take effective steps to improve their customers’ ROI and transition to being total service providers.

According to Printing Industries of America’s 2012 Forecast Part 1: Trends and Tactics, contributor Jack Miller, Principle Consultant for Market-Intel, LLC, printers are now in business to serve the customer.  They must evolve beyond the idea that they are a company that “puts ink on paper” and focus on “helping their customers improve their ROI on their marketing communications.” 

For a successful customer-centered business, follow these top practices:

  • Evolve into a “marketing services provider” or “solutions partner”
  • Longer sales cycle, more loyalty
  • Opportunity for cross selling
  • Content delivery vs. multiple channels
  • Focus on consumer retention more than acquisition
  • Growth with existing customers: offer a broader range of services
  • Balance—not putting too many eggs in one basket
  • Integrate social media and search engine marketing into the mix

Print as ink on paper, Miller predicts, will continue to play an important part in the media mix. The name of the game is adaptation. Printers must evolve and embrace new technologies and these value-added services to overcome a changing environment.

Printing industries of America offers many publications to serve printers.  For a comprehensive look into the future of print, check out our Forecast Part 1:Trends and Tactics from The Magazine. It looks at many facets of the printing industry– from politics to prepress and from economics to print markets– and how they will be affected in the future. 

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