Is it time to throw offset “under the bus”?

Should you sell digital printing differently to “traditional” print?

This is a question I asked recently on the LinkedIn Digital Printing Group. Here was the first answer from Paul Gardner, ‘The 2nd Most Disruptive Person in Print”. His take was:

“Oh, Yeah! One of our digital sales guys – who also sells a bunch of offset – describes his approach as, “To really sell Digital, you’ve got to be willing to throw Offset under the bus!”

His answer certainly provoked some thought from me.

Is this too extreme?

Printing companies that embrace this point of view might actually start creating better customer (and prospect) relationships. They will be suggesting a different mentality to both sides. It will focus on what the customer wants to achieve.

Printing companies that keep mentioning the word “offset” may struggle to achieve the same results from their customer base. They will often be stuck selling commodity print.

So should you stop selling offset?

Is it time to stop selling offset printing?

Is it time to stop selling offset printing?

Well, yes. And no! I’m not suggesting that you should immediately sell off your offset presses and invest in digital instead. But I am suggesting that we adopt a different mentality when it comes to talking to our prospects and customer about print, be it offset or digital

Typical digital print solutions often don’t talk about print. Here are some of the sales topics that I hear from some of the more forward-thinking digital companies:

  • data driven marketing
  • just in time delivery
  • highly targetted retail campaigns
  • personalised publishing

There’s not a lot of talk about print going on here. Instead, the conversation is about how they can help customers grow their business.

What do your customers want?

Typically, it not print! Print is simply the means to achieve a business goal. They would be very open to achieving that same goal in a different way. That’s why a sales conversation that is focused on business results is much more likely to get a positive response.

With that in mind, let’s go back to Paul’s original statement.

Yes, it’s time to throw offset under the bus

It’s time to throw digital print under the bus too. It’s time to stop selling print. It’s time to start talking to prospects and customers about what you can do to help their business.

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3 Responses to Is it time to throw offset “under the bus”?

  • Cristian says:

    Why not combining digital print media and offset printing process? Some customer of mine printed special self adhesive vinyls engineered for digital printing in their offset and offset Uv plant with excellent output.

    • Matthew Parker says:

      Thank you for your thoughts Cristian. I don’t think the process mattrs – the point I made in the article is that we should sell results, not processes.

  • Elie Yalenghadian says:

    The idea is to strengthen your workflow to handle and process your data efficiently.
    After you will see where to shoot on digital or on offset.

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