Here at Where The TradeBuys, we have watched the landscape of printing services change dramatically, and if you work in an agency, you’ve probably noticed a change in your world. In short, buyers are becoming more difficult.
A few years ago, buyers relied on agencies for innovative ideas. They were happy to pay extra for the right creative input into a project. They accepted that art directors and designers should come at a higher price.
But recently buyers have become more cost-conscious. They expect to pay lower hourly rates. They are more aggressive in comparing agency prices. These buyers are also more knowledgeable about the digital world. They are no longer prepared to pay the premiums that could originally be charged for website, SEO and social media work.
It’s becoming a lot harder for agencies to make a profit.
So what’s the solution?
The answer can often lie in providing print solutions for clients. Recently, agencies seem to have moved away from print. Digital work was seen as more profitable. Print was seen as a more complicated and time-consuming option. But now things are changing.
Agencies that provide print services often have a deeper relationship with their clients. They are seen as a communication strategy partner rather than being a commodity digital provider. Clients also see them as a more creative supplier. These agencies also often achieve better profits.
Here are three reasons why print services can raise agency profits.
1. You can add a handling charge
If you handle a print job for a client, you should be billing a handling charge. This covers the time for agency staff to place the job and liaise with the printer. But it is also an easy way to add profit to a project.
2. You’ll be billing more design hours
If a client needs print, they need you to create the right design for each item. They need you to set them up correctly for the print supplier. Your design team is going to get busier. You can bill your client for more design work and create more profits for your business.
3. Print is a great upsell
Once a client is committed to a project, you have some great upsell opportunities. If the project is digital, adding print can add an extra dimension to the campaign. It gets the campaign seen by a different group of people. The project will often generate more awareness and discussion with print. In addition, many clients are very open to being upsold on print specifications. Their brand will look better with a premium brand of paper or a varnish or coating.
Let’s see how this can work in practice
Imagine your client wants to publicise a local event. These days, most agencies will suggest an e-mail campaign supported with social media. Imagine the extra impact the campaign could have with print. Having a set of posters to publicise the event can generate a lot of interest from passers-by. Producing flyers to post through doors or hand out at other events can promote awareness from people who might ignore social media and delete emails. If the client has physical premises, you might even consider producing some window clings.
The result of these suggestions means that you will be seen as a creative partner. Clients still like different ideas. None of these print ideas will be hugely expensive. But they can make a big difference to a campaign. In addition, the agency creates more profit from the extra design and the job handling charge.
Aren’t print services complicated to manage?
These days, many agencies don’t have any specific print skills. But this need not be a problem. The right print partner can manage everything for you. You can find a print provider with instant online ordering. The right online ordering system also lets you price by product, so you no longer need to create a complicated print specification. In addition, you will be guided through all the upsell opportunities. A good provider will also give detailed instructions on how to set up files. You are free to concentrate on offering your clients great print solutions that let you increase your profits.
Here are three action points to get you ready to sell print services
1. Look at our website, where you can price up ideas instantly – you don’t even have to sign up to do this.
2. Use the site for inspiration for the print products you could be selling to your clients.
3. Create a print upsell suggestion the next time you pitch a project to one of your customers.
Stuck for ideas? Take a look at our Promotional Print range, full of products to help create memorable marketing campaigns!