In an earlier post “The Next Generation of Print –Evolve or Die!” I discussed the changing landscape of today’s Print Service Provider and the need for evolution. I made the point that in order to achieve success you have to identify the new dynamics associated with the new solution. I also noted that many companies acquiring new solutions fail to develop a comprehensive plan before going to market. They go right from training on the solution into the field (or onto the floor) with exactly the same approach that they used for their traditional offerings. This is a doomed approach.
With that in mind let’s discuss the new skills for new services that are required for success with a new solution.
First of all, the skills needed will depend on the new solution that you are bringing to market. If the solution is an extension of your existing print services, many skills you currently possess will not change radically. But if you are moving into a new area of opportunity like Integrated Marketing Services there will be some new skills required for success.
Let’s review some of the technical knowledge required for success:
- The ability to populate and share content in social media and online communities
- Internet media channels
- Mobile messaging
- QR codes
- Google ad words and PPC (Pay Per Click)
- Print as part of an Integrated Marketing Campaign
Now let’s take a look at how each functional area of the business may be impacted. Each group will need a number of important skills before working with customers and prospects. Here’s a short list to get you thinking:
- Sales training on the overall value proposition, how to “approach” and “present” to the customer and how to engage the customer/prospects with the solution meeting their needs
- Technical training on the various use cases to meet different customer need
- Proof cases on different implementations for success
- Development of new decision maker contacts
- Solution training on all of the functional capabilities
- Best practices for campaign success
- Typical design and customer campaign configurations
- How to discuss current customer needs as it relates to new projects
PRE-PRESS and PRODUCTION
- It depends on how deep these groups will be involved in the actual creation of campaign versus pure production of the campaigns
- At minimum, the key elements of a campaign and best practice personalized elements of finished goods
- How the data base is appended for campaigns
- Advanced functionality like Personalized QR Codes versus standard QR Codes
- Comprehensive technical training on how to create and deliver campaigns
- Advanced design elements for special campaign needs
- Best Practice use case methodologies
- Advanced functionality training for varying needs
- New pricing parameters for Integrated Marketing Services
- Each campaign is unique – so is the pricing
- Sales compensation changes – more profit
- SOW requirements and associated processes
- Payment upfront (50%) to start project – balance due at campaign launch (50%)
As I mentioned earlier this is simply a short list to get you thinking but it clearly demonstrates the need for effective planning, training and execution across the entire organization.
I would also suggest that you can’t do it alone. You are running a full time business in a changing environment. You need to have a partner to help you make the transformation. The good news is that there are many resources available to you in this area. The even better news is that hundreds of service providers just like you have made the journey successfully.
If you need more information on the options available to you please do not hesitate to ask for help.