Use Know-How to Sell Commercial Print
Well thought-out marketing strategies can boost commercial print sales.
With all of the ongoing challenges in the print world, manufacturers of commercial print products have found themselves at the helm of aggressive marketing efforts in order to stay on top.
"Establishing credibility with distributors is our top marketing strategy," said Richard Ghelerter, president of Jacksonville, Florida-based Apex Color. "One way that we have done this is by participating in the Printing Association of Florida's annual awards, and we have received the association's Best of Category award in commercial printing for four consecutive years."
Ghelerter added that receiving such awards looks great on a company's resumé. "Having some credentials when going into a marketing campaign shows distributors that we are serious and sets us apart from the competition," he noted.
Ghelerter also said that attending industry trade shows and using traditional forms of advertising—such as magazine advertising—play important roles in Apex Color's marketing efforts. "Distributors sometimes find us, and we sometimes find them through referrals and by other means," he explained. "However, we have found that attending trade shows and advertising in various industry publications are the most effective means of bringing the two together."
Similar to Apex Color, which only sells to the trade, Anthony Rouse, president and CEO of Team Concept Printing & Thermography, Carol Stream, Ill., said that referrals, advertising and direct mail are his company's top marketing strategies. "Word of mouth seems to be the most effective strategy that continues to move us forward," he said. "We also advertise in four different magazines, bringing in an average of 35 to 40 new distributor leads per month, and we also do bulk mailings once every quarter."
With marketing efforts producing favorable outcomes, Ghelerter said that commercial print sales, which make up 30 percent of Apex Color's total sales, are on the rise. "For the past three years, we have averaged more than a 30 percent increase in commercial print sales each year," he explained. "However, I expect the trend to average out to approximately 20 percent next year, and I anticipate double-digit increases for the next several years."