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3 ways active print can increase profits for printing companies

There are two routes for printing companies to be successful

The first of these is to produce print more and more efficiently. It’s the only way to keep up with the relentless price pressure from today’s buyer. Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to stay as efficient as the market demands. Worse, you’ll rarely be seen as anything more than a commodity supplier.

The other route is to start offering services of real value to your clients. Traditionally, this has been done through services such as web to print and fulfilment. These have been ways to reduce company costs. However, to be a really valued supplier it is more useful to be able to help your clients grow their businesses.

One route to business growth is “active print”.

What is Active Print?

Active print allows consumers to scan a piece of print and gain access to relevant information. The scanning takes place via a free app on the consumer’s smartphone. The piece of print can have an invisibly watermarked image or an old fashioned QR code. Here’s what happens when a scan has been made.

Find out exactly where consumers are interacting with your campaigns and products

Find out exactly where consumers are interacting with your campaigns and products

From the consumer’s point of view they can be served information that can be varied according to:

  • The time of day
  • The consumer’s location
  • Data known about the consumer that is linked to their mobile phone number

For instance, a consumer scanning a product package could be sent further information in their own language. And it could have a special offer linked to them visiting a specific store near their location.

From a marketing point of view, a map can be built up of how people are interacting with a product. Where is it most popular? What type of store is it being bought in? When do people buy it? This builds up very valuable consumer behaviour information. In addition, the company has a database of people with whom they can communicate further, for instance with special offers.

How does this help printing companies?

You can offer active print technology on leaflets, brochures, direct mail and packaging (to name but a few products). By partnering with the right technology provider you offer this solution to your clients. It can completely change the relationship with a customer. Here are three reasons why you should consider adding active print to the services you offer.

1) It opens doors to clients

You now have the opportunity to offer something that most clients will not have seen before. This sort of technology has a real benefit to many businesses. It has provable benefits. It also sets you apart from the competition. Active print is the type of solution that will engage your clients and prospects and win you meetings.

2) You can sell print at a higher price point

Active print adds value. It stops print from being treated as a commodity product. You are no longer selling ink on paper. You are selling a route to customer engagement, marketing information and client data.

Your solution has a return on investment that can be measured. Your clients are starting to build valuable customer lists and data from the solution you provide. It makes it easier to justify higher prices for print. But printing companies can also start offering further services.

3) It allows you to offer further services if you wish

Active print also allows you to expand the services you offer. If you wish, you are able to help your clients develop their marketing strategies. You can design campaigns for them. You can also manage the reporting and data side for them.

Alternatively you also have the option to do this in conjunction with the rest of a client’s supply chain. You become a valuable link for their marketing team, their design team or their agency.

However, many printing companies have a major worry.

How expensive is this technology?

Traditionally, our industry has talked about augmented reality. The consumer scans a piece of print and is taken to computer animation or video with high production values. This has involved expensive campaigns. The software companies charge high prices for this The printing company is not really involved in the actual implementation of the project.

Now there are solutions coming on to the market that are much easier and more economical for printing companies to implement. A simple campaign that is created by a printing company can be as little as a few hundred pounds to get going. These types of campaigns can be easily managed by the printer or the client, or indeed their agency.

Don’t you need marketing knowledge?

Some of today’s software providers offer a range of service levels. Printers are able to use the software themselves to create simple campaigns. However, if there are issues with the knowledge of staff or with resources, providers can help out. They can set up campaigns and even come to pitch meetings to help create the right campaigns.

What should you do to find out more about this technology?

One provider that offers active print at both entry level and for higher-level campaigns is Linkz-IM. Go to their website to find out more about how their technology works. They also have a range of very varied case studies that show how this type of technology helps a variety of businesses. (Linkz-IM has also sponsored this article).

You may find that active print is the route to winning clients that have higher turnover and higher profit margin accounts for you. Just as importantly, these are clients that will value you. They will see you as partners rather than commodity suppliers.

PS Linkz-IM are currently seeking investment in the next stage of their development through crowdfunding. Those who invest more than £300 receive a range of rewards. For instance, those who invest £1,000 or more receive two free, standard Linkz campaigns for a year including a full tutorial and responsive website and analytics. Go here to find out more.

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