Margie Dana Cites Print Buyer Trends
Margie Dana, founder of Boston Print Buyers, is a marketing specialist who focuses on improving the printer-buyer relationship. The following is from one of her recent Margie’s Print Tips e-newsletter postings.
When print buyers speak, I pay attention. It’s an honor to run buyer panels, and I love getting their e-mails and phone calls. Often, I get calls from the media and from trade organizations seeking my take on buyer trends. I thought I’d share three of these with you here and now.
1. There are no hard-and-fast print buyer trends.
People who perform this below-the-surface function—working with printers and buying print—are all over the map in every way imaginable. They can’t be easily categorized, although this is my new favorite: new buyers vs. experienced buyers.
This is how I most often distinguish buyers today: Those who have no experience and those who have a lot. If this were a high school, they’d be in separate academic tracks or curricula. It is that simple. Savvy buyers may be into direct paper purchase options, RFP negotiations and perfecting color management issues. New buyers want help with finding and evaluating printers, understanding the language and identifying buyer resources.
Some buyers are gung-ho about green print initiatives, but not everyone. Some buy only locally/regionally; some look overseas. Some buyers bid every job out; others do not. Some want to learn and use every new printing process. I have met others who don’t do any digital printing. It all depends on the buyer and his or her company’s needs and budgets.
2. Buyers are struggling with two things: how to prove their value to their employers and how to add to their skills.
The U.S. printing industry continues to slide, as newer media challenge, and often replace, print as a preferred medium. Printing companies go out of business far too often these days. More closings and mergers can be expected in this unsettling period.