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Reaching Your Customers Effectively
The 7 Ps of marketing are the enhanced elements that serve as a basic framework for assessing and adjusting your marketing strategy and have been thought of as the core of a good marketing plan. People, Process, and Physical have recently been added to the original 4 Ps of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
Place refers to the physical or virtual space where your product is available for your customers to buy. Printing companies do not necessarily have products available as “off the shelf” items sold through a store. The channels that your customers use to purchase printing are very important elements in your marketing mix. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you a smaller local storefront operation? What can you do to make it easier for potential customers to come off the street to purchase their printing? If you are a larger print shop, consider making it more accessible for those product offerings that complement this type of walk-in purchase that you normally wouldn’t service this way.
- The industry has moved entirely to having potential customers able to find you through your website. Do you have a web-to-print portal where they can get a quote, place an order, upload files, and submit payments? Making this seamless opens a much broader geographic market area that may only be limited by the cost of shipping to their location. In this case your physical plant location may be a less important factor than it was in the past.
- Does the key client you are seeking have a national presence? If so, it may be a requirement that you have production sites located across the country.
- Do your customers place individual orders which you simply print and ship? With items like packaging, these are likely ordered several times throughout the year. In this case, consider striking an agreement where they commit to their annual quantities and then you warehouse these for them at an agreed upon cost. Companies will often pay a premium for this service so that items are always available. The benefit to you is you can manufacture at a lower cost in longer runs that fit your schedule, while securing a yearly contract.
The element of Place in your marketing mix plays an important role in influencing the relative size of your reachable market and can be an important factor in your success.
In our next article, we’ll cover the value of Promotion.
Ken Freek and Drew McLaren are experts at Connecting for Results, a management consulting firm serving print companies across North America. Ken combines his experience in marketing, operations, automation, change management, and supply chain and logistics to provide a solutions-oriented approach to business challenges. A former company owner and marketing expert, Drew’s experience running a family print business gives him a leg up with decision makers. Both Ken and Drew excel in identifying new marketing and sales growth opportunities. To work with them, contact us!