UKvUSA: Should printers talk about ROI?

Two continents: US and UK. Two different buying backgrounds: procurement and agency. Two alternative ways of looking at things. I’m delighted to have teamed up with Deborah Corn from PrintMediaCentr to bring two extremely different views to some important print questions. So welcom e to Print Buying: #UKvUSA where Deborah and I share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond.

At the end of this post I have linked to Deborah’s answer to the same question. We wrote our answers (each limited to 500 words) without any idea of what the other was writing. As Deborah says: “Maybe we will agree, maybe we won’t, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part!” Please do leave comments, thoughts and support at the bottom of this post and on Deborah’s post.   It would be great if also posted your thoughts on Twitter, using the hashtag #UKvUSA Remember to watch out for our answers to another question next month. UKVUSA_newsletter2

#UKvUSA: Should printers talk about ROI?

What is Return On Investment?

ROI is normally used in marketing circles. Everyone wants to be able to justify their marketing campaign. So any marketing activity is measured in terms of purchases or sign ups or engagement. However, print sales people should be looking at ROI in much wider terms.

ROI is not just a marketing term

Most buyers will have to justify their reason for:

  • Changing suppliers
  • Buying a new service
  • Spending more on a service than they currently do

They have to justify the return on their investment of their company’s funds and resources. They may not use the term ROI, but that is how they are thinking.

Here are some examples of ROI for buyers

  • Reducing stock holdings through just-in-time production
  • Increasing advertisement sales in magazines through faster production
  • Reducing design costs through web-to-print
  • Reducing the cost of errors through better workflows

These are all reasons why the buyer may spend more.

What happens if you do not sell on ROI?

If ROI is not used then it all comes down to price. We are back in the world of commodity print. Why should the buyer spend more if there is no good reason them to do so? That is why it’s not just a question of should printers talk about ROI. Whatever sector they are in, they should make ROI a central part of their sales strategy. How did Deborah tackle this question? See here. Look out for the next #UKvUSA battle next month: “What new printshop investments attract new customers.”
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