Man, it’s an exciting time to be in the printing business…
We’ve finally come to the place where we can focus on objectives over specifications. We’re able to sit at the table with clients and help them solve problems that haunt their business or organization.
I have been doing this for a long time. When I think of how I started, the work was actually pretty bad. It was good for the times but today you couldn’t sell it. It was hard to produce, slow to be ready and very expensive.
Sales conversations of the day were all about presses and paper. We spent our days begging for work while explaining that what the client wanted was only barely possible. Then we tried to force things through the plant that had almost no right to happen…or chance to happen. It was a lifestyle of managing expectations and hoping you didn’t break too many promises.
Things are different today. You can have anything you want. Not only that, you can see a test or example in hours. You can look at dimensional renderings, flip pages, open lids and rotate a virtual copy before you make expensive decisions.
The work is better too. Colors are consistent day in and day out. Data tells us how we got there and ensures we’ll do the same thing a year later. So much stress has been removed from the process.
Technology has also leveled the playing field. You can be confident of your outcomes. You can count on costs being similar across the printing universe. As a client and a printer, you are in the driver’s seat and can control your business.
This really puts the focus on problem solving…not delivering what was specified like 40 years ago…but actually helping our clients sell their stuff. It empowers us to sit with senior creative people and focus on messages not tools. It allows us to help people communicate rather than worry about press sheets. It gives us the chance to be partners rather than vendors.
Today you can have a single banner in an hour. You can think of a table tent in the morning and have it on tables in the afternoon. You can expect POP case cards overnight and standees while you wait. Clients can be agile, and productive.
You can also talk to your audience at exactly the right time, exactly the right way using exactly the right media. Today you can leverage what you know when you speak to your clients. You can reach out in small segments, measure results and adjust your message.
Today our imagination really is the only limitation. We’ve finally come to a place where the tools don’t retard our ideas or activities. We can do whatever we want, when we want and expect it to pay dividends. There are endless possibilities.