Print Industry Panel on Predictions & Trends for 2023

February 23, 2023 • Posted by Michelle

Discover predictions and trends for the industry in 2023, insightful observations, and tips and tricks for success in this webinar.

Print industry expert panelists include:

  • Eric Vessels, President & CEO, WhatTheyThink
  • Joanne Gore, President – JGC
  • Amanda Bronowski, Owner, Mom OF
  • Brad Kugler, CEO/Co-Founder, DirectMail2.0



let’s get into it so uh we’re here for the printers webinar I’m calling it The


printer’s webinar that’s probably not the exact name but we have some very accomplished experts that we hope that


we’re going to give you about 45 minutes of very interesting in-depth uh perspectives on the industry you know


we’ve all been in this for a while I I will introduce myself and admit that I am probably the Newbie to this industry


uh I’ve only been in a print related industry since 2017. I’ll admit before


2017 I spent the previous 26 years uh in


wholesale distribution and e-commerce um found myself coming into a marketing and


digital uh digital marketing company out of necessity I sold CDs and DVDs online and


I don’t know that anybody in our audience has bought one of those probably in a few years which you have


to thank you a little bit recently not recently okay okay well there was a time


some years ago where almost everyone bought them every day and it was a great business so I had to uh


re-career myself about six years ago and uh I I found myself here I was always


into technology but I am the CEO and co-founder of direct mail 2.0 we are a


marketing platform to lift the results of direct mail we usually lift the results of direct mail by 25 to 50


percent we’ve been doing this now for over six years 40 000 campaigns were


coming up on almost a billion pieces of mail lifted as a result so we’re not the


new kid on the Block anymore so uh that’s my back story I’m going to turn


it over to Eric to give his little commercial and then he will pass the torch and we’ll get going


yes I’m uh Eric bessels president and CEO of what they think so what they think is uh are about our official about


is something about the global printing Industries leading source of information but and it is basically a go-to source


and and I also career transitioned um I but I’ve been in the industry I do


want to make an apology because I’m on a printing industry the expert panel I don’t consider myself a print industry


expert I think I’m what we used to call in the military a jaffo just another blank Observer


um but I’ve been in the industry for a couple of decades and I have been observing and leading the growth of what


they think as a as a media source for the industry transitioned over from I was actually in the Paint and Coatings


world for a while but since uh the year 2000 have been involved with what they think so I’m I’m happy to be here to


represent uh what we do at what they think and what we know um and uh yeah it’s gonna be a good good


panel I don’t know who I’m passing it to Joanne I’m passing it to Joanne all


right thanks Eric so I am Joanne Gore and I am the President of joint Gore Communications we’re a full service B2B


marketing agency that Services the print industry um we help companies stretch their


marketing dollars and uh generate awareness engagement and growth we’ll


pinpoint your quickest time to money will help you attract a new generation of business and really will help you


figure out who you help hi help and why it matters before um I launched jgc I was a corporate B2B


marketer for some of the larger software and tech companies around the world so I cut my teeth in B2B marketing primarily


in the technology space which is probably why I migrate a lot to the


stories around automation technology software Cloud AI I I really am a nerd


when it comes to all of that I’ve worked for some companies some of you guys might know I’ve worked at Avanti I’ve


worked DST output um I have to jot some of them down I worked at compact every company I’ve


worked at has since been acquired by the likes of HP broadridge open text you know big names


out there um so I like to say over the years I’ve been such a great marketer that I


marketed myself out of every job I ever had but but really I’m here to help


companies truly stretch their marketing dollars and figure out the best programs that


are going to uh get them their quickest time to money that’s what I want to do


thank you and last but not least Amanda my name’s uh Amanda bernofski I am the


owner of Mom of marketing merchandising and social media


um basically what I do is help printing companies technology companies kind of utilize a different form of marketing to


promote their business um focusing on social media aspects and Merchandising


previously I have actually been in the print industry for over 20 years but basically on the operational side I ran


an implant for multiple years so I know the ins and the outs of the operations


and then within just the past few years I decided that I wanted to help companies that I used to work for kind


of Market themselves to get more customers and try some new and Innovative types of marketing that some


companies you know haven’t started using yet so that’s where I am right now excellent thank you for that so what


we’re going to do now and I wanted to let everyone know I would like this to be as interactive as possible there is a


q a feature so if you have a question or it’s for a specific person on the panel please put it in the Q a section as


opposed to the chat because there’s a lot of comments and things in there and I may miss the question so if you want


something actually brought up live we can do that please put in the Q a so the first thing


I’m going to do is I’m going to I’m going to take sort of a very high level question and I’m going to have each person answer it based on their


experience first and because we all have different tangents into the print


industry uh we all have a different viewpoint on what the answers to this question will


be and that’s why I want to hear it from each of you and the first question is what do you consider what do you find


are the biggest challenges print companies are having right now in


today’s market not years ago not coming up in the future but what are you


hearing right now from multiple connections clients interviewees


whatever uh are the biggest challenges they’re having right now so so Eric why


don’t we start with you on that yeah I think um the biggest one that I’m hearing and


it’s it’s been pervasive um through covid and and continues to be


a little bit persistent is is labor and just talent and um you know training issues or or


finding people keeping people in the industry first of all how you how do you locate them


um and then how do you keep labor I think that I think the coveted part of that constriction is lightening up quite


a bit but it’s it still seems to be a Remnant so I see a lot of printers that I talk to in shops there they just


struggle with the the people aspect of it I think a lot of places have the technology dialed in they’ve got a lot


of the equipment dialed in the sales well marketing may be a little bit not


so much um but they really struggle with people with the people side of it and I think it’s it’s going to be an ongoing uh an


ongoing issue something that the industry I think is going to continue to face and there’s really no no one answer


I guess we could probably explore the answer but it would be good we will we’ll go deeper into that uh Amanda how


about you what what do you what are you hearing is the biggest challenge um I would say and especially with the


clients that I work with budget restrictions right now it seems like with the inflation with the paper


shortage with everything people are having a really hard time with their budgets not only not having enough you


know money up that maybe they’ve had for previous years pre-covered but you know knowing what to do with those dollars


that they do have and spending them wisely um I’ve seen so many different instances where you know someone throws all their


money with into the technology portion of it and it’s awesome they have all the equipment but yet they don’t have


anybody to run that equipment because they don’t have the labor or they’re throwing all their money into sales but then they don’t have the equipment and


Technology to back it up so I would definitely say that you know having those budget issues right now seems to


be you know especially with the clients I deal with is you know what they’re struggling with right now


Vanessa and Joanne um I’m gonna piggyback on what Amanda


said and take it up just one level higher I think overall they’re just overwhelmed


um there are so many choices that they need to make so many they know what they need to do but I think in many cases


they just don’t know where to begin is it an equipment is it in the software is


it in the people is it in the paper is it is it should they get into New Vertical markets


um I can’t even tell you how many companies I speak to who still don’t even have a CRM so we’re talking like bottom of the


barrel elements that are you must have in my opinion that are still not out there and


they know that they know they don’t have a CRM they know they need some sort of you know marketing automation or they


need to be able to measure more efficiently and they need to to eat their own pudding they just don’t know


what to do first they don’t know what to do next and then of course then they have to figure out and it’s already late


so that’s what I’m seeing yeah and and for you know we have hundreds of print


clients too and I Echo the same thing if or when we will lose a partner that


resells our product every single time it’s it’s not your solution it’s not your software it’s the fact I don’t have


anybody to actually do it so there is a hole in the labor market and people say


well you just keep offering more money so we’ll take the job well that that may be true but here’s the problem even if


they do now you’ve probably wrecked the profitability of your company if you just pay anybody anything well I don’t


know that that’s a smart decision either because that could set you back uh there’s already a question where someone


says why do you think the labor short has become so prominence in covet well one I think that the situation has not


been completely absent before covet but it was definitely exasperated after uh


inflation drove the labor prices up uh we all know this business is not high margin it’s


low margin so there’s very little room to pad those offers to something that’s


gonna that’s gonna attract somebody from another more lucrative job so that that would be my answer to that and


moving right along is that is do any of you have any specific suggestions how to


close the labor Gap or fill the labor shortage and and we’ll go in reverse order Joanne we’ll start with you on


this oh good I’m glad because I don’t know if I could have kept my mouth shut through it looked like you’re chomping at the


bed there so I got it I mean I I don’t I’ve been saying this long since before


the pandemic but we have to make we have to stop selling print in the print


industry as the print industry because unfortunately it has this sort of


tarnished whatever brand that it’s dated an


old-fashioned and it’s dead and oh my God if I have to hear that again I just I might just kill somebody no no kidding


but I I just feel we need to do what it takes to make Prince sexy to make print


hot to make people want to say how did they do that I want to be involved in


that I mean there are so many areas within print that aren’t just the


manufacturing side there is the whole business side there’s the financial side there’s the legal size there there’s oh


my God just the whole data and analytics and software and development so just


because it’s the print industry does not mean it’s exclusive to manufacturing


something on some type of substrate I’m not even going to say ink on paper


anymore because we all know that it’s it’s gone so beyond that but that’s it


it’s our job collectively and industry-wide to really show off why this is such a really cool


industry we are a very unique and very very powerful channel of communications


that will cut through all the digital noise that’s out there and at the same


time re-engage people back into that digital ecosystem that that metaverse that they


are familiar with and print is the only Channel really that can do that you know


QR codes wouldn’t exist without print so think when you wrap when you start to


wrap your head around that value chain it becomes a completely different


conversation so I’ll shut up now and let everybody else no that’s a great point and Eric do you have any suggestions to


address the labor shortage I I agree with Joanne’s yeah point but it’s very


hard to if you’re printing menus or uh business cards or letterhead you know to


portray that in a new disruptive sexy way but how do you attract labor to come


into this industry so I’m gonna I’m gonna back up and get a little more macro and and I think I think the first


thing that you need to do is take a look at yourself right like are you have you


built an attractive culture someplace that people want to plug into and work right I’ve got like this philosophy that


I call like Vibe and tribe like find the people that have your Vibe right that kind of vibrate on the same frequency


that like you you meet for the first time you’re like oh hey do I know you right those are the kinds of people to


bring in and then create that tribe around that where your value viewing those people right


if you plug people in on that level you’re not going to really worry as much


about losing people but if you just continue to just do the grind and just have this you know a Sausage Factory of


like pay people more and bring them in it’s just it doesn’t matter you’re right Brad 100 it doesn’t matter what you pay


somebody if you don’t have that culture of of acceptance and of recognition and


empowerment all those things so it’s it’s a more of a macro thing relative to


and this is just leadership right that that I see in terms of like if you’re if you’ve got a print shop and you’re


having trouble finding people to do the work a you might be


finding the the wrong people to begin with and B there may be something culturally where you’re not able to keep


them so there’s there’s a couple of different questions but I just took sort of a more of a macro look at it and I


think it’s just like dating right like you’re not going to meet the right person until you do the work on yourself and and get your together so first


and foremost get the in-house stuff together build a solid business build a solid team and then man people will want


to be there and then that’s kind of what we try to do what they think that’s that’s brilliant so we got two great


bullet points I want Amanda’s going to add the third Bill a point I’ll summarize it because I think this is


this is a key point for this webinar that should be worth the value admission right here so go ahead words of wisdom


Amanda okay so I’m going to take this and just kind of piggyback off of what Eric said


and especially being in operations I ran into labor shortages and trying to


figure out how you know you still have to keep those practices running you still have to keep you know business going and the one thing that I found


that worked the best was to work with to kind of get out of that traditional


mindset that okay first shift has to come in nine to five second shift has to come in two to four I worked with my


team and we all sat down and we had you know we had 10 positions builds that should have been 15. and we talked about


okay what would work best for you guys how would you know how could we create a schedule here that is going to optimize


what you can do for us and you know just getting their input and it was very non-traditional by the


time we finished it and you know we changed it we would have a review every three months or every six months to see


you know well what has changed with your schedule what has changed with it have we brought new people like how do we accommodate for that but it’s it’s


really cultivating those different schedules and and different


ways for the employee to work it doesn’t have to be that traditional okay I tell you first shift you have to be here at


nine o’clock when you actually work with your employees especially if you’re having a hard time getting new ones and


you really need to appreciate you know the ones that you have and work with them and treat them more like you know


this is not just you coming in do your job go home you know we you know cultivating that idea that you know we


are like he said a tribe we you know we care about what you think your scheduled and I you know I was able to get almost


six months of work out of 10 people that I should have had 15 people for and and you know like I said just giving them


that respect of here we’re going to work with your schedule you don’t have to work with ours you know was it benefit


for them and for the company that’s I just want to I just want to pile on that that’s brilliant I mean and


I would just Echo that like what came to me while while you were speaking Amanda was I think a collaborative work


environment will be a hierarchical work environment every day of the week yeah well 100 and just to kind of you


know boil these down into bullet points so people can package up and take away this this vibrant tribe or cultural sort


of thing and and I I also think it’s brilliant Joanne’s sort of I don’t want to say rebranding of the print industry


but there has to be a new a new label of it it’s very hard to take an old industry and put a sexy shine on


everybody’s looking for the bright shiny new object in the room you know but being that it’s probably one of the


oldest continuous businesses in the history of the world uh well there’s some that I won’t discuss but


everything’s been around for what 600 700 years now um that is a very old industry you know


by the way I mean I was thinking of masonry and construction but you know that’s what I wanted to do but the point


being is you have to be able to take these old Industries and apply New Management Concepts new


cultural Concepts new working environment Concepts they can be applied it’s the owners of these businesses who


have to get out of that older mindset and come to terms with what the world is


like today yes your business may be a legacy business that’s gone hand to hand for five generations but listen man it’s


it’s it it’s adapt or die you know so you must come up and re-educate yourself


into what is acceptable now you know in the 50s people yelling at employees and


docking them for two minutes late and all this other stuff that’s that’s over you’re not going to have any employees


if that’s how you run your business so um especially people in an industry that is not quite as sexy as some of the


others so we have to go the extra mile you know we can’t just try to keep up


with these other sexy businesses we have to actually have a better culture because we are lacking in that


bright shiny new object sort of Industry so uh so there was a question that came


that I saw that came in why did covid affect it and I just I was going to chime on chime in on that real quick I


think like what you saw in the great resignation and the dynamic of covet is is covet caused a lot of places to shut


down so people you know we’re forced to like some people were forced to like sit around


like because they didn’t didn’t have the work and I think while they sat around it occurred to them why am I doing this


like why am I working in this way why am I in this environment in this culture and I think that’s what caused the Great


resignation and so now like the the people that are working in a lot of these positions are starting to have the


power and it’s and it’s flipped so it’s relevant the answer to that question and the question itself prompts like our


whole conversation right that’s that was the the kind of the covet effect and the whole great resignation I think it’s


because it like the workforce is just like why and they a lot of them couldn’t come up with a really good answer so


it’s incumbent upon employers and people that are running businesses to answer that question for them and create that


that really great culture it’s it’s true I mean I I I’m an old school guy and and even the work from home sort of


mentality has been difficult for me to overcome in a lot of cases but again we


all have to adapt all right being that we’re about halfway through the content part I’m going to move us along to


Investments all right so so we’ll start with this and I’ll let Amanda take the first one what investments do you think


printers should be making to improve their business and increase their revenue if they were going to make one


investment this year what would you say that investment would be


okay so as I’ve said before you know coming back from an operational side I know I see it a little bit different


than you guys do um as in what I would think an investment would be and for me it would


definitely be automation within your production um you using different Technologies and


different software to automate your process makes things go so much smoother and so much faster and so much more


efficient where you can reduce your labor you can reduce the time that


people need to be there having something like that can you know can change


the dynamic of how things operate in a shop I’ve seen places that have


absolutely no system automation whatsoever everything’s done manually versus the same size company with the


same type of equipment who has automation doing almost 10 20 30 times more production because they have


something like that within their facility and it works all the way up from sales down to finishing to getting


that piece out the door so that would be my one investment suggestion would be an


automation software fantastic um Eric what would you say in terms of


investment immediately so I’m going to answer a couple of different ways automation was on my list so check we I


don’t have to mention that automation is is definitely needs to be on everyone’s radar because of the labor issues that


we talked about before right um I would say also like any kind of of


margin increasing things like embellishments or or maybe you already


have the capability to do embellishment but maybe you need additional training or any kind of investment around


leveraging the equipment you have or getting additional equipment that can


add margin and add value to the work that you’re maybe already doing or or maybe sell different creative things to


people I think that would be my suggestion the second way that I was going to answer the question is is to


reference some of the work that’s coming out of our printing Outlook survey at what they think and into what actually


people are looking to invest in and the top one is finishing right so


um finishing equipment is at the top of the list and what printers are expecting to invest in so that’s probably needs to


be on the radar there’s also a continued and increased uh interest in production inkjet presses toner presses aren’t very


far behind but but digital Investments digital embellishments finishing


equipment Automation and I’m getting ready to go to a huggler Innovation days where they’re going to demonstrate how


print engines and Automation and finishing all work together so it’s going to be a a wonderful place to sort


of see that happening but those seams seem like the areas that should be on on every printer’s radar in terms of of


Investments good Joanne did you have an opinion here so the the toughest thing about going


last is reading the fact that everybody who said what I want to say but this is


why I switch it up so everybody no I know but I will add because there were a couple that I did jot down everything


that Amanda and Eric said 100 bang on automation uh having some problems there


yeah drinking problems you know I have drinking problems yesterday you’ve experienced my drinking problems all for


myself um but you know if you don’t know what to automate or where to automate it


comes back to sort of that original point so for me I always say you’ve got to pinpoint your quickest time to money


right where are you going to make the most amount of money in the least amount of time from the most amount of people


and focus there find more like that Master what it takes to get those


prospects and to really streamline that Prospect to opportunity conversion then


you can start expanding and you know to your point investing in more equipment if you have an audience for sexy print


but if you you know maybe you have an audience for commercial uh stationery so


you’re gonna really focus on the businesses and verticals that will adapt


and adopt that solution but again if you don’t have a way to track and measure if


you don’t have a CRM for the love of God get a CRM first first and foremost before you do


anything else now there are some solutions that have built-in crms so you get a twofer right


but you’ve got to be able to track if you cannot track you cannot automate if


you cannot automate you cannot grow you cannot deal with everything that is


coming at you and you will continue to be overwhelmed so Alex added something Brad really


awesome in the comments I don’t know if you saw it I saw it after our whole conversation invest in people


like that that that’s an obvious point to invest in you know I I’m a big


believer in low-hanging fruit what is the biggest Bang from the buck what can you do that will give you the the most


immediate return on whatever you spend now that being said I wanted to delve in this because I’m curious uh with Rising


interest rates and inflation and you we’ve all mentioned software and Equipment investing


is that becoming less and less a viable option with interest rates and lease


rates going high are printers going to have a problem at the banks and the leasing companies for this or is this


not a problem I have no idea I have known nothing about this world uh


what say you guys so I think something else that came out of uh and I spent a lot of time before


this talking to Richard Romano who did uh the survey and knows this inside and out


um there seemed to be a lot of fear around recession but by the time we got finished with the


survey and was putting the report together a lot of those economic indicators were kind of were leveling


out uh to to pointing to a fairly good 2023 um so I mean I would say at least from


what the printers are telling us from being surveyed and going into the the printing Outlook report that we did


that a lot of those recession um woes are are maybe just there’s fear


there I think um but I’m not sure to answer your question I’m not sure that there’s going


to be as big a struggle as we maybe think in terms of being able to do capex and being able to acquire new equipment


and grow your business um because it’s looking like the economy is going to be pretty decent in 2023 and


maybe some of those fears were a little unfounded that’s true unless you listen to the the


financial traits that I listed yesterday and the producer price index went up almost double what it was predicting so


there’s some that’s hence the stock market cracked yesterday but we’ll we’ll see it’s too soon to worry about that


um I I did want to make a point that being a lifelong marketer during a


recession 20 30 40 of the businesses tend to pull back on their marketing expense normal


reaction in tough times but here’s the thing that means marketing is on sale that means 30 percent of the your


competitors have just backed out of the game and gone and taken their chips off the table and went home guess what you


now have a better chance of actually getting those customers so if there’s any time to beef up the marketing let


alone keep it the same at the very least you now got a 20 30 discount on the price of


eyeballs so I I love to push this message whenever I can I believe it


wholeheartedly I’ve old enough to have lived through four recessions now and the people that hang on and push


marketing tend to come out the other side even better than they were before that’s my point on that question you


have to keep your pipeline full no matter what and if you’re focused only on current and not looking at top of


funnel and where they’re coming from at some point you’re going to run out and you’re going to run dry and I’m seeing


it now it’s happening over and over and and going back to your question Brad one


thing I wanted to point out um from a mergers and Acquisitions perspective again I’ve been on both sides of that


fence and I’ve worked with incubating companies sorry I’ve lived that life I


can tell you you know it could have been 20 years ago it could have been two days ago what banks are looking for from a


valuation perspective is your data and if you think back to the good old days it used to be your value was in your


Rolodex right who who’s in your Rolodex well right now is what data do you have


what do you know about your customers what value is this data to other


potential interested parties and again I it goes back to everything we’ve been


saying automation The Collection the management the visibility all of that it all comes down to the data right I I had


one question that popped up mainly for Joanne and you guys can all pipe in


since I did uh what’s CRM do you recommend I put I said Zoho CRM because


I think it’s the best bang for the buck it’s cheap there’s a lot of things that you can do with it you agree it’s that’s


what we use and what to think I mean it does 95 of what Salesforce does for 10


of the cost because with Zoho the only drawback I would say maybe Brad would be


to get it to really do what you want there may be some custom development involved and like like you you either


have to pay with Salesforce though yeah yeah you either have to internally learn it really well like out of the box it’s


a little clunky the interface is a little a little 99 yeah it taste but but


it from a data standpoint it does the job and it ties into a lot of other


um uh feeds that that are that give us what we call just like um


um the data you know like signals we call them signals and they have interfaces to all the social sites and


if you support tickets and finances but anybody else have another vote beside


Zoho Amanda you do okay Joanne tell us your phone so there’s a few because I am


asked this question all the time everybody says HubSpot because it’s free but be careful what you pay for


um HubSpot has gotten uh better at keeping their pricing down so if you


want to get you can have their CRM but if you want to actually use it you have to purchase HubSpot marketing or HubSpot


sales or marketing and sales so it used to that that free service ended up


pricing you out of out of the league but now you were tied um at that time I was recommending less


annoying CRM or lacrm that’s what we use


um it’s a little more user friendly than Zoho I agree that Zoho was probably a


bit more powerful but it is great if you have that developer’s mindset so if you have any developers at all on your team


Zoho is a walk in the park but if you don’t I would I would go back to lacrm


again it’s it’s pretty Dirt Cheap it’s basic but what’s most important is it


helps put you in the habit of using a CRM because it doesn’t have all the


bells and whistles in its basic get in the habit and then once it’s have it once you are in that habit of constantly


updating the records keeping your notes keeping track putting in the reminders and the triggers and everything to


follow up with then you can look at what you need next so again what I always say


is what do you need now what do you need next what do you need later if you don’t have one start with something simple


that’s not going to turn you off with all of its bells and whistles put it in make it a habit and then once you


realize oh I wish it did this as soon as you start saying that then it’s time to


look at the next level until you say that stay where you’re at you don’t need to change for the sake of change and


zapier or um something called zapier I don’t know if it’s a Canadian U.S thing zapier is


is brilliant for for Solutions like this because even if La CRM doesn’t integrate


let’s say with your Mis you can create a zap and it’ll do it for you so there’s lots of ways to make it


work um and it’s a great starting point that I highly recommend again along with Zoho


and that reinforces my whole collaboration Point too right if you’ve got a tool like this everybody can sort like I can go in and


see oh when is the last time that we sent an email to so and so and it’s in there like and oh okay Stephanie sent an


email on this date now that gives me context and how to relate to our clients and customers in in a way that you


wouldn’t have if you’ve got silos built or if you don’t collect the data at all which is the worst possible scenario and


that’s also how you figure out where to automate because the more touch points then it’s like why is this being touched


so many times let’s automate it you know if it’s only being touched once or twice it’s okay let’s leave it alone again


going back to automation is key but if you don’t know what you’re automating you’re just going to be spinning in


circles and you’re just going to get really frustrated and just give up on the whole thing right Amanda did you have a comment I


know that you haven’t gotten a word into edgewise on this question


good to warn you a little more versed on this right now with the clients that I see which are


smaller companies HubSpot works for you know for what we what I’ve been doing what I’ve been seeing but Joanne is


absolutely right which he says you get certain things for free but then all of a sudden if you want to try you know a


drip campaign or automate email or something then it’s like extra extra extra if you’re doing just for the very


Basics and you have a very small team that I think HubSpot is great because it’s not a large investment but then


once you get into getting these larger teams um definitely those other platforms will


work better so Amanda’s like my grandfather doesn’t speak very often but you better listen


she’s good she’s got the pearls here I mean that’s what I love about these these panels is is there’s actually some


great little truth bombs even in the chat there so uh again it’s about a


collaborative Minds sharing what they know and everybody wins you know all right we’re gonna transition into


marketing with the seven minutes we’ve got left here uh and we’ll go right to


it how many questions have we have we gotten through Brett four okay we had a number under a sign


I was thinking six we’re really lucky to get through one more you know we had just for everybody watching we had 10


questions I don’t know there were a few questions that got interjected so those count two right okay yeah true all right


um so this one will will let well hopefully people can keep their their stuff short what marketing tactics do


you feel Drive most of the success for printers these days and the next


question is going to be what can they do to differentiate themselves or basically


accelerate the drive for for new customers so why don’t we combine these and everybody gives a minute or two


about what do you think they’re doing now and what can they do to improve their own marketing all right A man is


going first this time


Omni channel can for printers I mean it’s pranks people need to see it


and touch it and then you need to be reminded on a digital you know platform about what you’re seeing and what you’re


touching you need to kind of pull all those together with either you know an email marketing campaign or social media


campaign with you know a direct mail piece or you know something that’s going


to be your printed material what they can do to kind of differentiate them you know differentiate themselves


now is for one stop selling on your marketing and start teaching that’s the


one big thing that I preach to all of my clients is when you start teaching them especially


campaign with a direct mail piece was like a little how-to booklet on um


design for one of my companies and then we did a webinar and a social media campaign that went that time today and


we got the best response like once we started teaching people then they’re like oh wait you taught us this so what


can you offer us you know now that we know all about this so that’s like my biggest thing is getting on digital


using still using you know an omni Channel approach with Direct Mail pieces but stop selling and start teaching I


would say if no one says anything else that’s probably the best point so we’re done with this next question yeah


does anybody have any that trumps that I don’t think so no I was just like


okay I don’t have I don’t have anything else straight mail check Omni


channels I think the big point for me that jumps out is if you’re a printer


demonstrate it right like like show what you can do it’s obvious it’s a it’s a


right it’s a pudding it’s a touch a touchable type thing the only thing I would maybe add uh and it’s an addition


not a not uh um a different thought really is content marketing like Amanda


said I think it’s a vaynerchukism Gary vaynerchuk is give give give give give and then go for the ask but you’ve got


to give like eight times before you go in and go for the ask so position yourself as a subject matter expert in


wherever you are and you do that through content development you do that through demonstrating what it is you can do


teaching giving giving right and then what I’ve learned is when people need


that you don’t even have to sell at that point they come looking for you because you’ve positioned yourself as the expert


I I totally agree and and you know I I don’t want to beat a dead horse with


that but I think we can all expound on a lot of anecdotes to how that’s worked for each of us uh we tend to practice


what we preach so everybody out there needs to figure out a way to


give before they receive all right now to segue into the second half of the


question with a more tangible or tactical approach everybody give a point of what an


example of what somebody could do to do that or some marketing action they could do that may contribute or reinforce the


points we just made as opposed to going off in another Direction so this is probably going to be like a little off


the beaten path so I’ll get it out of the way and then we can get into some probably some better answers the first


thing that comes to mind is look at your have a better website man for crying out loud it drives me crazy to know when I


go see a printer and then I go to look at their website and those two things don’t match it should it should it


should very much be just better like easier like not


outdated like invest in that because a lot of people are are going to find out


about you maybe I’ll find out about you on LinkedIn or whatever but I’m gonna eventually go through that portal that


is your website and I need to find everything that I need to find there and it needs to put you in the best light it needs to just


work um and and the successful printers that I know have a really good website they present


themselves really well um and then even going farther than that they’ve enabled it to to take you know


all of their ordering and all that for their current customers is just really easy through that and there’s tools to


do it so absolutely going through the screen on this one she’s got something to say so go for it so I’m gonna I’m


gonna try and summarize this into some semblance of an order based on everything we have and number one I


agree sharing is the new selling that’s exactly what I say that’s a it makes total sense


first and foremost you need to know who you help how you help and why it matters because if you cannot answer those


questions then any you’re wasting your time you’re wasting your money you’re wasting your resources you’re wasting


everything you if you don’t know that then how will the people who get to your website know if you are


the solution for them you’ve got less than five seconds to convince somebody who lands on your home page that they


are the right person for you and that only comes when you know what that right person looks like I like to say if I


gave you 100 leads how would you choose the top ten start there once you have that and you get your you


have your messaging Playbook which is you know basically what Eric is talking about you can take that cohesive messaging and apply it across all of


your content across all of the channels you can you know you’re creating an ebook for example a sharing tool if you


know who you help and how you help them you’ll also know what type of content they like to digest do they prefer video


do they prefer downloads do they want webinars do they want ebooks do they want carousels where are they hanging


out which channels are they on again you can’t answer those questions if you can’t answer who you help then when


they’re on your website you need to be able to grab their information so are do you have the ability to capture that


information are you putting forms are you putting the lead magnets on your site once you’ve captured that


information where is it going that brings us back to the CRM question that brings us back to the automation


question and e-commerce and web to print and everything else direct mail now they’re on your website


and they left while their software if they’re the contract who visited your website now we know who’s there let’s


send them um an email let’s send them a retargeting ad on on LinkedIn or AdWords


or Facebook because we know where they are now we’re hitting them with the same


message from The Playbook on different channels in different formats at different times and after they’ve seen


it 10 times at least maybe closer to 15 now only then


will they say oh crap you know I think I’ve seen something from these guys before you’re sick and tired of seeing it you


need to hit them over the head at least 15 times before they’ll even remember that they’ve seen your brand then


you can really start that engagement process so there you go I think I went over but I tried to speak as fast it’s


all right it’s all right I would be remiss if we if we stopped without throwing this question in


because I believe that it’s relevant we’ve all seen and heard about chat gbt


and the coming revolution of AI and machine learning and all this well this


is I believe this is going to impact every aspect of our daily lives within the next three to five years all right


anybody in business anybody live however they live their life this will touch your life if it’s not already


what advice or suggestions or do you guys have for print industry owners


marketers how to embrace this technology what should they be doing now as far as


this technology comes so they don’t get left behind embrace it learn embrace it


learn it figure it give me some examples okay Eric how do you recommend a guy


who’s run a print shop for 30 years and he’s in his mid-50s he Embraces this what what does he what does he do


well I mean if if he’s not wired to learn new things


then find someone there that is right like find maybe it’s a younger person or another partner that’s kind of more


techy or whatever and and it’s always good to have that person that can kind of translate these things into layman’s


terms I I have that in in my partner Adam Dewitt’s we’ve worked together for 15 years and he’s a programmer techie


guy RIT I can say explain it to me like I’m seven and like he can he can do that


right so maybe that’s the answer but what I would say is here’s the thing with all of this AI machine learning I


mean it’s it’s affecting a lot and we cover this extensively on what they think right machine learning around presses kind of telling you that they’re


going to break down because they’re they’re taking in all of this data and they’re they’re it’s hey this belt this


whatever’s about to go you know you need to do some maintenance or whatever smart Factory industry 4.0 all that stuff


we’re at iPhone version one of this stuff right very very very very early so


if you imagine to yourself what the first iPhone was and I think I have one in a drawer versus what your phone now


does that’s the level that we’re going to be in a decade or less like you said so


I you know for me it’s just like there’s always a fear thing that crops up in any


new technology it’s just like oh it’s gonna eliminate this job and it’s going to get rid of this thing and blah blah


blah ignore all that learn as much as you can figure out but


but also I don’t think it’s gonna I don’t think it is gonna take away jobs I think it’s gonna it’s gonna be a tool


that we figure out how to use and we’re they’re still going to need to be people involved so I think learn and if if you


can’t do it yourself have someone in your team that can learn so that that’s a strategic Advantage for you instead of


or else you’ll just it just and and how many printers have we seen over the last decade that have been left behind by


something yeah I mean there’s people that I’ll go


back to I have a a real big Gearhead guy who’s been telling me for a decade one


of my closest friends for 30 years electric cars are a fad five years they’ll be gone I’m like dude wake up


and smell the coffee it ain’t going away and for anybody that thinks ah Chachi p


is good for I don’t know producing top 10 lists no no this is this is not


evolutionary technology this is revolutionary technology this is something that if you feel that it’s not


living up to the hype it is and you really need to get on the bandwagon and


at least get yourself educated well and in the same sense I think Brad like electric cars also aren’t perfect no


right like there’s there’s an entire energy energy infrastructure and a lot of it’s powered by coal and there’s our


there’s there’s all kinds of things to learn as we adopt a new technology and that’s going to be no different than


than what we’re seeing with chat GPT and Ai and we’re learning right away right very quickly the chat GPT and AI content


generating at least isn’t perfect I mean there’s just story after story after Story of


of it not being perfect yeah I agree Amanda I I’d like to get you in to make


a comment here and I’m sure Joanne has something she’d like to add to this


um yeah and I actually deal with this now because one of my clients is a part of all of the Mi and machine management


right now and the way that they do it it’s more like you said it’s not there to take away jobs it’s not there


um to eliminate positions but what they have been using the tool and what they’ve been advertising the tool for is


more to just make what you’re doing more efficient make your machines work better for you make your process work better


for you and you know it does for them getting people to learn it is the most


difficult part because so many people are set in their way so many people have done it for 20 plus years this way


and they don’t want to embrace the technology that’s going to help them improve their production so I agree with


what Eric said find somebody on your team who you know who is ready to learn who wants to learn who wants to help you


know make your processes better make your production better and you know Embrace this changing technology because


we see it everywhere and then another thing is to partner with a good company you know that


is introducing it I’ve learned that if you find what some of those startup companies that you know are producing


this type of Technology team up with them they are like a vast Vault of knowledge and they are so willing to


share and so willing to help and even if it doesn’t become a sales partnership or you’re buying something off of them they


you know just getting the exposure to different companies I found that they’re still willing to help you along the way


and show you the caveats and then you know you can decide is this something for your your company or you know maybe


you still want to stay with the old school way so that’s that’s what I would do agreed agreed Joanne comments


so from a displacement technology displacement perspective I was fortunate


enough to start my technology career for a company that made it possible to send


a fax from your computer prior to that you had to use a fax machine


um I started my career there was no such thing as email and then suddenly there was email so I’ve lived through many


um displacements I remember when word first launched and


a lot of people suddenly the admins or you know back then they were still called secretaries were producing the


company newsletters and they were they were like okay now with word we can produce these newsletters and all the


graphic designers were up in arms like oh no it’s going to be 20 fonts and it’s ugly and you know just because it’s word


doesn’t mean you you suddenly can design a newsletter this is what we’re facing now everyone


is just dipping their toes in it trying to figure out what it does what can it


take off your plate from an automation perspective I love what you said Amanda it’s going to help streamline a lot of


those day-to-day processes so that you have another form of automation that you


can you know delve into again once you know where that automation needs to


occur using chat GPT to me is awesome but it doesn’t understand


human emotion it doesn’t understand intention so you have to you know a good


writer will take that chat GPT and elevate it to make it a great piece of


content that’s that your target market wants to download but if all we do is


rely on just what chat GPT pushes out if you really read it and you pay attention


to it you’ll start to be able to quickly spot oh yeah this was written by an AI and this was written by a human and once


we can really start to distinguish is when we’re going to be able to focus on weeding out the really you know the lazy


writers from the great content creators that’s that’s what I’m saying and I don’t just mean words I mean you know


images data code whatever you’re creating if you’re


really great at it you’ll be able to take what it gives you as your starting point instead of sort of looking at that


blank sheet of paper but you have to embrace it you have to learn from it you have to be prepared to make mistakes and


one day I’ll actually be able to get on the platform and play with it myself so far I’ve had zero luck


so I’m just taking everybody’s word for it because I’m yet to be able to play with it well I’ll give you my experience


you know I I’ve always felt myself a technologist and we are we do a webinar


every month next month is a machine learning and Ai and marketing and print


is what we’re going to do so here’s a little plug for our late March webinar uh so I’ve been doing research on it in


fact I had the AI write the title as well as the bullet points for the


outline of the of the actual webinar and it did an amazing job in about 10


seconds um so there is value there and I’m going to enjoy putting this together I don’t I


don’t have it all mapped out yet because I’m not going to rely only on the AI to do it but I’ll I’ll do it but uh I


wanted to end with that question because I know that it’s relevant in today’s world but we do have


looks like only one question here with four minutes to go well there’s a whole


bunch of stuff going on in the chat I I know what if we appear silent we can’t


actually contribute to the chat so if it looks like we’re being snobs we’re not we just there’s some great stuff yeah


there’s some awesome stuff I’m seeing clippy Lake I remember clippy


um well let me give you this question so we we let people go back to their lives on time the question is what will drive


the biggest change in printing and mailing costs in the near future will it


be significant in the next five years and how will we get ahead of it I’m I’m guessing it is the printing and mailing


cost being the issue anyone want to comment on that I am not qualified


yeah I’m gonna guess postage yeah yeah I’m not qualified as well but but I


think I think postage Supply I really think and again this sort of came out of our printing Outlook it seems like a lot


of the a lot of the pricing pressures are easing up there’s still somewhat of a challenge but it seems like obviously


Post-its and supplies are I mean those you know those are the things that do cost I get a Feeling Just based on the


theme of sort of what we’re hearing at least from talking to printers and doing the survey that they think that those


pressures are easing now that that may not be obviously anecdotal for everyone but


um I’m hopeful that that’s the case and I think I mean how to get ahead of


it obviously like you Brad I don’t think I’m necessarily qualified but I mean I think


the thing that I’m hearing from a lot of printers that they get a lot of value out of and I’ve just been recently talking to a lot of npsoa members


um doing some video clips for their for their conference is to just appear to peer learning right like in in terms of


supplies or even getting supplies or what are you doing to get ahead of this trend or that Trend I think networking


with a group of peers that had the same issues and same challenges that aren’t necessarily in a competitive market I


think is is one of the most beneficial things that I hear printers tell me they benefit from in the industry so it’s not


me or my opinion it’s just sort of me being the messenger and talk to your customers have have


honest not the salesy conversations just the conversations like hey how’s it


going like tell me what what what’s been going on


I don’t want to sell you I want to help you it comes right back to what Amanda was saying it’s all about how can we


help you those are the conversations you have not what do you not what print do you need


right you will get two very different answers agree well guys so when do we do part


two and the other five questions we’ll leave it up to them we’ll have them here so I’ll save them but listen


no I’m just I’m just kidding I do want to thank you guys I think I get I get really into this stuff I love the


collaboration I always feel that communicating with other people in an open environment helps all you know


Rising tide lifts all bugs so so our Collective wisdom helped a larger


Collective of people and I thank you for sharing your hour with me I thank all the audience members for sharing an hour


there will be a recording of This sent out in the next 24 to 48 hours so I’ll


let everyone get on with their week and again thank you very much and I appreciate you all take care guys bye


everybody thanks for having me appreciate it thank you thanks