Online Omnipotence

How important is a strong online presence for today's print shop?

We asked 10 of Big Picture's Editorial Advisory Board members to address the current state of the wide-format industry and reveal what we should expect in 2019.

Why is it important for your shop to have a stellar website and interactive social media accounts?

Jon Sherman, founder/creative director, Flavor Paper: The web and social media are the first places people generally encounter the brand. That first impression is so critical in the highly competitive marketplace we operate in.

Diana Herrera, president, AP Imaging: Because it’s the first impression for new clients and represents your brand! We’re currently working on both to improve them, but as a small business it’s challenging because we don’t have one designated person. 

Kirk Green, president/CEO, Ferrari Color: Seeing how quickly our clients have shifted, Ferrari Color offers a full range of consultative visual solutions. We can work through large and complicated projects with the experience and guidance gleaned from years of success. We can also solve immediate, right now problems with our web-based solutions at Clients need both. Without a solid website, clients may not be able to access all of the best solutions.

Chris Laniak, VP of sales, Excelsus Solutions: Because it needs to resonate with the new generation of buyers and how and what they are using to make purchasing decisions. We’re in the process of changing ours because it’s outdated and not with the times. The current look of websites seems to be simple with not a ton happening on the homepage.

Stan Lucas, business development manager, wide format, DCG One: Because that’s how people shop for suppliers these days. They want quick, comprehensive info on who you are, what your capabilities and capacity are, with some indication of your level of quality. Expanded use of video in websites seems to be growing and is also dynamic and persuasive. 

Ryan Clark, president, Direct Edge Media: It probably isn’t. We try to post things on Instagram for fun, but none of our top clients view it. The buyers with million-dollar budgets just don’t seem to be checking out the web for new vendors. It’s much more relationships and recommendations that bring us work. But… we did meet Big Picture via Instagram.

Elaine Scrima, VP of operations, GSP Companies: It’s just what people do these days. If you don’t keep the website fresh and innovative or use social media, you are viewed as antiquated or lacking the modernization, creativity, savviness that our customers are demanding in order to attract their customers. Our mission statement is to be the authority – if we’re going to be the authority, we better stay ahead of the competition by using those platforms to our advantage and keeping them fresh. You’re never done inventing yourself. 

Brian Adam, president/owner, Olympus Group: It’s critical for recruiting. The job market is tight and prospective employees are going to vet you by your website and by your presence on social media. 

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