Moving from the Go-to Printer to Go-to Marketing Genius Isn’t Always Easy

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

Understanding multichannel marketing has been a recent mandate for print service providers of all sizes. We have been hearing about it for some time now. The good news of all this is that it presents print service providers with an excellent opportunity to expand their portfolio of products and services. However, the bad news is, it is not always an easy transition.

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PRINT 13 Is Right Around The Corner

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

PRINT 13 is almost upon us. For both print providers and exhibitors, the PRINT shows always seem to offer more excitement. Everyone comes to see what is new in the industry, to network and often to simply meet up with old friends. Many of us have been in this industry for most of our careers in one capacity or another, so we are sure to run into someone we haven’t seen for a while. It is always nice to catch up with those friends and colleagues and see what is going on in their world.

Why else do we find attending these trade shows worthwhile? For exhibitors, it is of course to connect with current and prospective customers.  For attendees, I am sure one of the reasons you come is to learn about new technologies or products that will influence the future of your business.

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Welcome to Ricoh's Main Street!

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

Graph Expo 2012 may seem like months ago—well actually, it was months ago—but news about Ricoh receiving top honors from the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals in its annual MarCom Awards competition was just announced in December – and we were very excited to get this news. We were a Platinum Award winner for the Graph Expo booth design, gaining notice among 6000 very qualified entries. Needless to say, we were thrilled to get this recognition.

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Focus on the World Beyond Production Printing to Deal with the Real Challenges Ahead

By Graham Moore, Business Development Director, Ricoh Europe

At Ricoh we naturally talk about technology, products, speeds, feeds, dpi, and pages per minute, market leadership in transactional printing…… However while the reliability, productivity and quality of the technology is critical to print service providers like you to run your business, it’s only one part of what is needed for a profitable printing business.

So in this article I’d like to focus on the other areas that also need to be addressed more by the print service provider – namely the challenges of your own clients. They are the companies, both large and small, also faced with increasing their revenues, retaining their customers and keeping up with the accelerating rate of change that is driven by the impacts of technology.

Read the full post at the Ricoh Europe Production Print Blog.

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College Business Management Institute Provides Comprehensive Study of College and University Model

By Mike Loyd, Production Marketing Manager, Ricoh Americas Corporation

I recently completed training at the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) and the University of Kentucky’s (UK) College Business Management Institute (CBMI) held on the UK campus. This was the 60th Annual CBMI—which I believe is one of the major bargains in higher education today.

Of course print-for-pay providers need to know the print industry, but college and university printers need to be well versed in printing and also know the ins and outs of the peculiar working environment of colleges and universities. CBMI provides the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the financial workings of an institution—from accounting and budgeting to facility services and all in between. The program is one week each summer for three years, along with the ability to attend “refresher” years, if you so desire.

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Higher Education In-Plants Need Advocate Voices - Yours

By Mike Loyd, Production Marketing Manager, Ricoh Americas Corporation

As I have expressed in previous blogs, perception by your parent institution can be your major problem. Whether this perception is justifiably earned, inherited from previous management or erroneously placed upon your operation, it is important to turn those negative perceptions into positive ones.

When I attend conferences geared toward higher education upper management personnel (Auxiliary Managers, Business Managers, CFOs, VPs of Finance, etc.), I am struck by the absence of any positive presence of Printing Directors or In-plant Managers. It is almost as if printing is non-existent.

Many of the vendors, sessions and topics of discussion are wrapped around the outsourcing of support services—and in-plants have no one present to counter the bogus claims of better service, cheaper costs and more professional performance. Why is that?

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Let's Not Forget to Communicate with the Rest of the Population!

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were seriously expecting a camera crew to pop out from behind closed doors and the host of the show to yell “Smile—You’re on Candid Camera,” or better yet, Ashton Kutcher from “Punked” to rush out laughing hysterically at you for falling for such a stupid prank? Well, that was me just yesterday.

Let me set the scene—I’m having a quick lunch, by myself, between customer meetings at a fast-food restaurant (yellow arches encased the establishment). Luckily they had free Wi-Fi, so naturally I brought my laptop in with me to check emails while I was chowing down on a grilled chicken salad. What transpires next is when I started looking for the hidden cameras … A retired gentleman walks up to my table and proudly says to me, “I’m 67 years old, and just yesterday when I was here having lunch someone sitting at the next table was on his computer ‘communicating’ to another person in Tokyo—can you believe that?” He then walked away, sat down at his table and opened up his newspaper. Well, no hidden cameras appeared and no Ashton Kutcher to laugh in my face.

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Print? Yes. It's Still a Vital Component in an E-Centric World. Part Two

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

It’s been a few weeks since we talked about the strategic value of print. I left you with the first two of five best practices to ensure print is successful in your operation. Today, I want to wrap up the topic with best practices numbers 3, 4 and 5. Here we go:

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Print? Yes. It's Still a Vital Component in an E-Centric World. Part One

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

Last week, I was in Indianapolis presenting a seminar on the topic of multichannel marketing, a favorite subject of mine. The room was packed with “commercial print professionals.” Yes, you read that correctly: “PRINT PROFESSIONALS.” Initially, I had a few very concerned people in the room wondering if I was going to be sharing the message that print was dead and it was time to convert to a full-service “e-Centric” operation. After about 10 minutes, the concerned faces drifted away when I highlighted that “Print is still a vital component of any well-thought-out multichannel communication program.” Whew! That was close. Everyone calmed down.

But let’s face it: The world of communicating has changed dramatically. It was less than a decade ago that the primary distribution channel for communications was traditional print. Whether you were in the business of preparing and distributing mission critical bills and statements, or were in the more creative world of designing and delivering direct mail, flyers and brochures, print was King. Then something happened: Tradition was socked with a one-two punch—the e-World—and the methods of communicating changed forever.

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How to Design and Implement Effective Multichannel Marketing Campaigns. Part Two

By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation

It’s been a few weeks since I shared with you my initial steps to implementing an effective multichannel marketing program.  Hopefully you had a chance to think about the process and now you’re ready for my Four Key Elements for Ultimate Success! Ready – Set – Read!

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