How do you define your printing business? Do you promote yourself as a print services provider (PSP)? Probably not. The term “print-services provider” sounds like a catch-all phrase that marketers of printing equipment created to describe any shop that makes printed products for internal or external customers.

Although it’s too vague for your shop’s promotional efforts, the phrase “print services provider” reminds us that printing today is as much about service as it is about manufacturing. Print buyers today want more than ink on paper (or fabric, vinyl, or foamboard). They want a print shop that can provide design ideas as well as cost-effective solutions for image creation, print finishing, display fabrication, packaging, delivery and graphics installation.

Some print shops have evolved to offers a comprehensive assortment of services for online and print marketing. Companies that promote themselves as marketing-services providers offer printing, as well as services such as e-mail marketing, database management, e-commerce storefronts, online ads, and web design.

So, when promoting your print business, a great way to differentiate your shop is by making customers aware of the many ancillary services you provide beyond printing.

Here are a few tips.

Be specific about prepress, finishing, and support services your provide that will make your customer’s job easier. Do you provide digital marketing assistance? Trade-show booth design and fabrication? Photography and photo-editing for brand visuals? Installation of wall murals and vehicle wraps? Prototyping? Trade-show booth set up? Inventory management? Total project management? The more clearly you describe your shop’s full range of services, the more likely you will be to attract the right types of clients.

Promote specialized products for vertical markets. If you are targeting clients from specialized fields such as commercial interior design, healthcare, retail, or events, set up different web pages that focus on the supplementary services that are most relevant to them. For example, if you print event graphics, highlight any services you offer that support installation and removal. For interior designers, feature photos or case studies about branded interiors your company has helped created.

Highlight ease of job submission, approval, and tracking. Let customers know how easy it is to work with you. In addition to making them aware of your one-to-one consultations, let them know about your systems for online ordering, job submission, proof approvals, and job-status tracking.

Personalize your email messaging to different segments of your customer base. When your order management system lets you see which customers buy which types of products and services, you can segment your customer base by their interests. Then, you can craft personalized email marketing messages with content and promotional offers that are relevant to them.

Share educational content that can help them get the best results without spending more than they have to. If clients routinely request the most expensive “brand-name” options, let them know that you offer lower-cost materials for shorter-term applications that don’t require the same level of durability. Encourage them to ask for recommendations for different types of display requirements.

Instead of telling them about the incredible new printing technology you just bought, show what it can do. Print an attention-getting marketing piece or promotional product that shows some of the technology’s unique capabilities, such as embellishing the print surface with textures or foils.

Make them aware of environmentally friendly alternatives you offer. If clients want to move away from one-time-use plastics, recommend reusable fabric graphics or sign materials that can be easily recycled. Promote your company’s own corporate social responsibility efforts.  

Allow time for your marketing messages to resonate. If you are consistent in emphasizing the many problem-solving services your shop can provide, eventually more customers will start using them. Ideally, some customers will start consult with you earlier in the planning process. They won’t reach out to you only when they want on quote for a specific type of graphic.

When they truly regard your company as a solutions provider, customers will ask for advice on creative ideas they can work into their brand marketing or event design plans. Offering practical tips on design, materials, finishing, and fabrication can help you build a lasting relationship with that customer.

Gain Time through Super-Efficiency. One way to gain time to focus on your marketing efforts is to streamline everyday management processes. Ordant provides a super-easy-to-use cloud-based system for reducing the time you spend creating estimates, tracking and scheduling incoming orders, getting proof approvals, collaborating with outsourcing partners, and invoicing clients.

With the customer-relationship management module, you can keep notes about the types of projects customers have ordered in the past and the types of questions they asked. You can use these details to segment your customer and prospect lists and communicate with each segment more effectively. For a demonstration, vist ordant.com