Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mobile Web Site Opportunities

Ever use your smartphone to visit and website and find it is difficult to read and navigate? That is because the site is optimized for a computer screen and not a smartphone. If you have a website or sell websites, you will want to make sure you are selling the additional service of creating a mobile site that is easily read online.

One service you might want to check out is It allows you to build and launch mobile-optimized web pages quickly. The site says that you don’t need HML knowledge to create a site. It allows you to upload a logo, create pages, enter text and setup links.
There is a monthly fee. The company has a 14-day free trial so you may want to download it and try it out. It could be another web-based service to add your arsenal.

If you are selling QR codes, you will also want to make sure that your customer’s website is optimized for smartphones. Mobile marketing projects that link QR codes to specific web pages have opportunity to generate a lot of collateral printing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't Forget QR Codes

If you are a printer, one of the first questions you should ask your customer when he gives you a job is if they need a QR code on the printed piece. Quick Response (QR) codes are becoming very common in the U.S. to drive prospects to mobile websites. With the growth of smartphone use, more people can quickly access

CNN reports a February survey of U.S. smartphone users by MGH, a Baltimore social-media marketing company, said 32% of respondents said they have scanned a QR code. Of those, 53% said they used the code to get a coupon or discount. And 72% said they were more likely to remember an advertisement with a QR code.

Another big bump will be for QR code use is coming from the US Postal Service. They are running a discount promotion if you use QR codes in the mailing. Visibility will also be increased when Valpak, the advertising envelope starts putting QR codes on the outside of the envelope and on individual inserts. Over the next two months Valpak will mail more than 80 million households with the QR Codes resolving to mobile pages  providing additional information and sweepstake entry.

People now know what QR codes are. The smartphone is the most popular phone in the US now and the tool you need to read them. Printers should be jumping on this opportunity to get people to throw away their old marketing material and reprint new ones with QR codes include. And when a customer asks why should they throw away the old material, just ask them how many leads are they missing because they don’t have the QR code on their material now? The value is that high.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don’t Ignore the Web

As printers search for new revenue, selling and supporting websites is becoming an exciting new product to sell. Websites integrate easily with printing companies since many printers are already working closely with customers to manage their message.

But there are some printers who do not want to get into web services. Printes don’t have to sell web services, but they must realize that it is important to understand the web if they want to continue printing for a company. Printers will have to become “web experts” because they need to help customers integrate their print collateral with the current web site information even if they don’t maintain the websites.

Combining the power of the web with print is proving to be a powerful vehicle for getting out a message. Any response generated by the web needs some sort of printed information. It might be in the form of brochures mailed to the customer. It could be leave-behinds from a personal sales call. Print is still an important part of the communication process.

Customers need help making sure the printed material matches the web-based material. Is information available both in print and online? Do the logos and colors match helping build the brand? Do the messages from both mediums match? In the rush of business, many customers haven’t really looked at how they have integrated their message and need help. Printers can help the customer be assured that the look and feel of the web and printed material are the same and the customer’s “brand” is protected.

At the same time, printers can be looking at the web to see what mobile marketing and QR code opportunities are available. Has the customer added QR codes to their printed material to drive customers to websites? Does the customer have online video that can use more clicks?

If print owners ignore the web, they are just putting another nail in their coffin. Printing and the web play well together. Neither can be as powerful separately as they can be together. No sales call should be done without a review of the customer’s current website. Printers must understand how a customer is using their web site and what they want to accomplish with it so they can provide the printing support that is needed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Where did June go?

I just realized that I didn’t post a blog the entire month of June! It has been a crazy month. Onsite visits to CPrint International affiliates, a week-long sales summit in Chicago for printers from around North America, and a week of R & R in Mexico made the month fly by.

It has just been hard to keep up because of all the positive changes in the print industry and keeping up with success stories and changes. I have been sharing regularly online with my Twitter posts. You can find me on Twitter at JohnG247. As I find cool information I try to get it out immediately. I also keep up with my Facebook comments.

The news I’m hearing from the printers I work with is good. For most of them, sales are up. The reason is that they are embracing new technology and getting in front of their customer and introducing it to them. They are getting into customers who would never see them before because they have a new message: “Let us help you get more leads and increase your business.” Customers who want new business are willing to give time to vendors who might have ideas to help them get it.

Usually I hear that the summer months are slow times for most printers. Yet the printers who I work with who are actively selling to their customers aren’t seeing the sales peaks and valley from month to month. They have steady work that is growing because they are consistently calling on their top customers and new prospects. The owners are out selling and spending at least 50 percent of their day communicating with customers about new jobs.

By the way, selling isn’t making a delivery and then asking if they have any more work. These printers are identifying the customers who need their services and then getting appointments to tell the customers about the benefits of using their services. They are developing a sales funnel that keeps their name in front of customers and generating leads to follow. They aren’t just sitting back and waiting for someone to call.

What type of work are they getting? They are reporting that customers are throwing away their old print collateral and reprinting it with QR codes. They are redesigning print collateral to match the look-and-feel of the website information. They are selling website services and mobile marketing programs. The sales are all related to getting a customer more leads so they can sell more.

I hope June went as fast for you as it did for me. July and August are going to be just as busy. I don’t know if the economic engine is speeding up or if the printers I work with have found the magic formula to get more sales, but it is keeping me busy. It makes for an exciting ride when you are focused on growing your company.