Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Elevate Print 2020, brought to you by the Print Media Center. The focus of this three-day event was to inspire print professionals on how to take their business and customer relationships to the next level. Multiple sessions were held each day and more information was shared that I could ever put into one blog – so here are three takeaways:
Be There. Be Brave. Boldly Go Where No Printer Has Gone.
I really love this statement. We are all facing changes in our respective industries, whether we like it or not. Now is the time to embrace those changes and think about how you can do things differently. Deborah Corn (who coined the statement above) provided some really great insights about how to tackle pandemic print prospecting. One suggestion included an omnichannel approach – so in addition to thinking about how you can use print differently, you should also consider incorporating digital marketing into the mix.
We want to be known first and foremost for our craft – paper and print. However, how are potential customers supposed to find you if your website hasn’t been changed in the last five years? Focus first on updating basic information like phone numbers and hours of operation then move to more ambitious feats like adding a gallery of samples or a section for customer testimonials.
Marketing in the New Normal
It should come as no shock that consumer behaviors and preferences have changed so far this year (hoarding toilet paper and rubbing alcohol – wow!). During an Elevate Print session on Wednesday, Comperemedia presented the latest research on what consumers want and why, and how you can use this type of information to improve marketing efforts.
One interesting thing discussed was around digital consumption. The pandemic has disrupted our behaviors, and a lot of us find ourselves online A LOT. Of this course this increase is causing many to become disillusioned with always being connected. 68% of the seemingly always connected GenZ wants to reduce their use of technology and 87% of them want to spend more time outdoors. Now is a great time to capitalize on the digital fatigue by communicating with print. Paper and print provide a direct connection and tactile experience that digital marketing will never be able to match.
Print and the Revolution
Elevate Print held a special session on Thursday featuring three of the industry’s brightest stars – Leiman Chan of Nonstop Printing, Josh Montcastle of Konica Minolta and our very own Vanecia “V” Carr. In this session, they discussed what it takes to create a print industry that is inclusive and attracts young talent. A resonating theme was being open to (and embracing) opinions that are different from your own. You can only go so far with your own ideas – you should look to find people who have different experiences, lifestyles and beliefs to add to your team. Expanding your circle will help bring in diversified and unique perspectives which may help take your business in a direction you never thought possible.