In a cut-throat world where everyone is competing on price, businesses are seeking strategies to differentiate their products, services and solutions. At the heart of nearly all differentiation strategies are techniques for enhancing the overall customer experience. By improving the customer experience, organizations hope to increase customer satisfaction and boost loyalty. This should help generate more customer advocates who can spread awareness and send their business referrals. It can also create points of differentiation that will help you fight off competitors and win new business.
Marketing automation continues to evolve, and it is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. Marketing automation refers to technological platforms that enable marketers to more effectively deliver content to multiple media channels and automate as many tasks as possible. During 2016, marketing personnel will be more accountable than ever for generating sales results. This level of accountability involves deploying technological platforms that engage with old and new customers to increase lead generation and inbound traffic.
Nearly every industry is undergoing its own transformation due to new and emerging technologies. Few have been impacted as heavily as the print industry, and the relentless pace of change is exacerbating the challenges you face.
Distributors are constantly talking about the need to transform their businesses from commodity-oriented organizations to marketing and communication service specialists. It’s a common and worthwhile goal, but there’s no roadmap (or even a starting point) to help most companies move forward along the path toward transformation.
The McKinsey Quarterly once published an article titled "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Digital Enterprises." The fundamental premise of the article is: "To stay competitive, companies need to stop experimenting with digital and commit to transforming themselves into full digital businesses." The article reported the management consulting firm's observations from studying dozens of successful firms. While the article, and research, was targeted to a broad audience, its messages are highly applicable to the graphic communications market.
Digital publishing software is currently experiencing rapid adoption, and InfoTrends estimates that the digital publishing platform market will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.5 percent over the next five years. While the technology for digital publishing platforms has been in existence for some time, the adoption of solutions is now accelerating outside the traditional market of print service providers and publishers. Large printers, enterprises, book publishers, magazines and newspapers are all beginning to adopt this technology. Because this market is not yet fully developed, larger vendors that are established in enterprise software and print production workflow have the opportunity to come in and acquire smaller players — or disrupt the market by offering their own solutions. These vendors can also serve as an educational resource for enterprises and others that are looking to use the technology.
In the print industry, service providers frequently view marketing and sales as a medicine to be taken when something is wrong. (So, your business is down this quarter? Add some salespeople, do a little marketing and you'll feel better in the morning.) Yet the most successful companies recognize that proactive sales and marketing investments are vital to growing and driving business results.