There are two routes for
printing companies to be successful
The first of these is to produce print more and more efficiently. It’s the only
way to keep up with the relentless price pressure from today’s buyer.
Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to stay as efficient as the market demands.
Worse, you’ll rarely be seen as anything more than a commodity supplier.
The other route is to start offering services of real value to your clients.
Traditionally, this has been done through services such as web to print and
fulfilment. These have been ways to reduce company costs. However, to be a
really valued supplier it is more useful to be able to help your clients grow
One route to business growth is “active print”.
What is Active Print?
Active print allows consumers to scan a piece of print and gain access to
relevant information. The scanning takes place via a free app on the consumer’s
smartphone. The piece of print can have an invisibly watermarked image or an
old fashioned QR code. Here’s what happens when a scan has been made.
From the consumer’s point of view they can be served information that can be
varied according to:
time of day
known about the consumer that is linked to their mobile phone number
For instance, a consumer scanning a product
package could be sent further information in their own language. And it could have
a special offer linked to them visiting a specific store near their location.
From a marketing point of view, a map can be built up of how people are
interacting with a product. Where is it most popular? What type of store is it
being bought in? When do people buy it? This builds up very valuable consumer
behaviour information. In addition, the company has a database of people with
whom they can communicate further, for instance with special offers.
How does this help printing companies?
You can offer active print technology on leaflets, brochures, direct mail and
packaging (to name but a few products). By partnering with the right technology
provider you offer this solution to your clients. It can completely change the
relationship with a customer. Here are three reasons why you should consider
adding active print to the services you offer.
It opens doors to clients
You now have the opportunity to offer something
that most clients will not have seen before. This sort of technology has a real
benefit to many businesses. It has provable benefits. It also sets you apart
from the competition. Active print is the type of solution that will engage
your clients and prospects and win you meetings.
You can sell print at a higher price point
Active print adds value. It stops print from
being treated as a commodity product. You are no longer selling ink on paper.
You are selling a route to customer engagement, marketing information and
Your solution has a return on investment that can be measured. Your clients are
starting to build valuable customer lists and data from the solution you
provide. It makes it easier to justify higher prices for print. But printing
companies can also start offering further services.
It allows you to offer further services if you wish
Active print also allows you to expand the
services you offer. If you wish, you are able to help your clients develop
their marketing strategies. You can design campaigns for them. You can also
manage the reporting and data side for them.
Alternatively you also have
the option to do this in conjunction with the rest of a client’s supply chain.
You become a valuable link for their marketing team, their design team or their
However, many printing companies have a major worry.
expensive is this technology?
Traditionally, our industry has talked about augmented reality. The consumer
scans a piece of print and is taken to computer animation or video with high
production values. This has involved expensive campaigns. The software
companies charge high prices for this The printing company is not really
involved in the actual implementation of the project.
Now there are solutions coming on to the market that are much easier and more
economical for printing companies to implement. A simple campaign that is
created by a printing company can be as little as a few hundred pounds to get
going. These types of campaigns can be easily managed by the printer or the
client, or indeed their agency.
you need marketing knowledge?
Some of today’s software providers offer a range of service levels. Printers
are able to use the software themselves to create simple campaigns. However, if
there are issues with the knowledge of staff or with resources, providers can
help out. They can set up campaigns and even come to pitch meetings to help
create the right campaigns.
should you do to find out more about this technology?
One provider that offers active print at both entry level and for
higher-level campaigns isLinkz-IM. Go to their website to find out more about how their
technology works. They also have a range of very varied case studies that show
how this type of technology helps a variety of businesses. (Linkz-IM has also
sponsored this article).
You may find that active print is the route to winning clients
that have higher turnover and higher profit margin accounts for you. Just as
importantly, these are clients that will value you. They will see you as
partners rather than commodity suppliers