Welcome to my blogging duel with TEAM UK’s Matthew Parker. If you have been following along you can skip right to the post… and if you are just joining us, here is some background…
Matthew and I haven’t always seen eye to eye when it comes to Print Buying. He comes from the UK procurement world, and I come from the USA agency world. We used to argue about process, but over the years it has turned into a mutual respect. However, that doesn’t mean we now agree, or see things the same way! As a matter of fact, most of the time we don’t. So we decided to turn that into Print Buying: #UKvUSA and share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond!
At the end of my post is a link to Matthew’s post on the same subject. We don’t know each other’s response before writing our own. Maybe we will agree, maybe we wont, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part! We have also set a 500 words or less format to keep things moving along.
Please do leave comments and if you happen to support one side over the other let us know on either blog! I am proudly representing TEAM USA, and share with #UKvUSA on Twitter. LET THE DUEL COMMENCE!
#UKvUSA: Was 2015 A Good Year For Print Buying?
From where I stand with my feet planted in the buying space and in the industry space, I do not believe 2015 was a good year for print buying. I know, I am surprised I’m saying that too, but here are three reasons why:
The Industry Doesn’t Care. Most manufacturers say they do, but it’s hard to see that when new printing technology is introduced and the need to sell to printers, overrides the need to educate end-users, and print customers are left on their own to figure out what is relevant. The press, paper and technology makers believe it’s the responsibility of the printers to educate their customers, but printers only educate on what they have, and what they use. There may be a better solution for customer needs, and because it’s almost impossible to get that information without knowing what you are looking for, this systematic FAIL doesn’t lead to effective and efficient print buying in many cases.
Watch Your Back! The Print Management Service movement is gaining momentum, and it’s a direct result of the issue above. Print has become all about ROI, and with printers focusing on delivering the best price to win work vs. the best results, the bean counters are being swept off their feet by PMS companies promising to deliver both. The cost, well besides our jobs and essentially creating a workforce of print brokers who are loyal to their PMS employers vs. the clients they are deployed to, CHOICE loses big time here. And while it would be unfair to position as all PMS company’s are bad and/or detrimental to print buying, having that system become the norm instead of the exception is what we need to stop before it’s too late. There is no going back, and everyone will pay the price for the savings corporations will enjoy.
Dear Occupant. It’s almost 2016. Personalization has advanced leaps and bounds over the last few years and you’d hardly know that looking in my mailbox. Again this is tied to the first issue, and if your printers aren’t helping you understand data, data collection, data storage, data security, and personalization… find someone quickly who can. Mail is only junk when it’s irrelevant to the recipient. Print buyers need to step up their data game so every piece has a better chance to be read, deliver a result and the almighty ROI for our company’s, agency’s and clients.
Of course there is more to say on this subject, however I’m being mindful of the 500-word limit Matthew and I set for these posts. I’d like to leave you with this: It’s my mission in 2016 to bring education and resources directly to the print customers so you have choices, and can make the best ones for your materials and bottom lines. With support and cooperation from the industry, I have hope that 2016 will be the BEST YEAR EVER for Print Buying!
Next month: What Should Buyers Beware Of In 2016?
Print Buyers… join us on LinkedIn: Marketing and Advertising Print Production Managers and Print Buying Pros. This group is private and closed to all vendors.
Everyone else, join us in Print Production Professionals where I am sure this post will ignite a heated debate!
Until next month… HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!
LEARN LONG AND PROSPER!
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing endeavors.