Bettering your online presence can pay off.
"We recognize that many of our clients and prospects are adding people with print industry backgrounds to handle their marketing needs. Adding the equipment videos and technical information to the website was important because it better informs our clients and prospects of our equipment's capabilities and application possibilities," he adds.
If you're going to have a profit center, make sure it doesn't get lost on your website. In fact, do just the opposite and promote the heck out of it, perhaps by providing that profit center with added emphasis or its own page or even a separate website.
Portland Color, for instance, has created a dedicated site, ferroxsystem.com, for its sustainable system for retail signage, FerroX, while OC Image Works (ocimageworks.com) dedicates a separate page to its SharpSwag program for horse-show participants.
And DGI-Invisuals (dgi-invisuals.com) has created a separate website for its Advanced Visual Technologies digital electronic signage division, avtplus.com. "Clients love our website," says Bob Bekesha, DGI's vice president of sales and marketing. "It's clean, easy to read and navigate, and provides just enough info to get what they need. But we still want to be a service-oriented company, so we don’t want them to feel that they can’t call us. We have more changes on the way but so many ideas and biz is picking up."
• Don't hesitate to have a little fun: O'Neil Printing (oneilprint.com) isn't afraid to have some fun with its "mascot" – Mr. Cato. In fact, the company has even given Mr. Cato his own website, including a track list of songs that visitors can listen to (including "Orange Crush," "Pale Blue Dot," "Get it Together," and "Kiss This"). "Cato has been a great marketing tool for us," says O'Neil's Tony Narducci. "His name was derived from our Staccato offset screening process. We originally used him to tell the story as we transitioned from 200 line rosette dot screening to 20 micron Staccato – a very successful campaign."
• Food never hurts: We like Philadelphia-based Berry & Homer's (berryandhomer.com) "Lunch & Learn" page, which showcases the shop's client programs hitting on all things wide format. And as the shop says, "Although we call it a lunch and learn, breakfast or dinner are not out of the question!" They wisely run some images of food on this page as well.
• One-stop shopping: Holland & Crosby (hollandandcrosby.com) emphasizes on its "One Stop Resource" page that it can pretty much do it all for its clients.
Says Scott Crosby: "The concept…is to appeal to the print buyer who is overworked and understaffed (aren’t they all?) and looking for someone to take the entire project off of their plate. Instead of dealing with several different companies to handle creative design, various forms of print production, finishing, collate and packaging as well as distribution, Holland & Crosby’s “One-Stop-Shop” will handle the project from beginning to end and, at the same time, manage the integrity of the image between print processes to ensure the program has the same look and feel. It has worked well for us."
• Fun, part II: On the "What We Do" page of its site, Cranky Creative (crankycreative.com) uses fun images and text to quickly get across the shop's process. "You can come to us for the whole wrap campaign she-bang!" Cranky says.
• Sometimes simple is good: To help its customers better understand the various categories of being green, BigInk (bigink.biz) has a separate page of green terms.
• Wearables: Gatorwraps (gatorwraps.com) sells company-badged hats, hoodies, and more on its website.