Buy product from a manufacturer. Mark up the price and resell that product to an end user. In a nutshell, that's how the traditional distributor model has worked for a long time. Then, end users stopped wanting to buy "products." Distributorships responded by offering services and solutions. Many transformed themselves into marketing services providers.
Distributors have been branching into digital marketing for a while now. As part of their reinventions, some have hired developers, designers and other staff more traditionally associated with marketing agencies. Others sell digital marketing services and then subcontract the work to firms with those capabilities.
My first time attending the PPAI Expo was in 2007. I ducked into the restroom between education sessions. For those of you who have never been in a men’s room, just know that every urinal has a splash guard in its basin, usually made of rubber or plastic. Only at the PPAI Expo, the splash guards were imprinted with the name and logo of an exhibitor and a call-to-action: “Visit us at Booth XXX.” Talk about a captive audience.
In the 20 years since she founded PrintFUSION, Deb Byrne Johnson has turned business trends into good ideas for her company. The first was about eight years ago when she recognized the need to diversify her product line beyond business forms. She added promotional products, apparel and commercial printing to her offerings.