In-Plant Multi-Channel GPS: Sail and Develop a Plan

  • Elisha Kasinskas
  • |
  • August 31, 2012

How can an in-plant build variable and multi-channel offerings? Master in-plant leader Phil Larson, president of Shepherd Consulting OK and former director of AFPress and grafaccent at American Fidelity, has written a series of how-to articles for in-plants and those who work with corporate print centers. This series is designed to help in-plants build a road map for successful multi-channel offerings.

Last week's article discussed how an in-plant can get started. This week we will cover how an in-plant can determine their direction and develop a plan to add variable and multi-channel offerings to their services.

Gaining Ground with Multi-Channel. 

Anchor Your Place in the Future. Make it Happen. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: "I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."

Gaining new ground as an in-plant is different in each shop. How do you define your port of heaven? The port of heaven is the next level of accomplishment and contribution to your organization. Each of us must gain ground. A ship at rest will slowly sink into the abyss.  Sometimes that is how we feel inside of our organizations. It is our challenge to change our situation and make something new happen.

Using Statistics and Trends to Navigate Your Path and Ride the Winds of Change.

Statistics can demonstrate a good case for many actions.  As Phil looked for ways to build his shop and increase their contribution, they studied many.  More important than statistics were trends.  Which way is the wind blowing?  Can you ride with a prevailing wind to a good solution for your customers?  What do your customers need that drives them elsewhere?  Where is the one product or service that when provided will cause your team to gain ground in multiple other areas?  All of these questions should be asked continually for any growing concern.

5 Signs Your Customers Show That Direct You to Stop and Offer Multi-Channel

Here are five "voice of customer" situations that invite you to conclude that a multi-channel offering could fit your shop.  If these or something like them is familiar, you need to seriously consider offering multi-channel.  It will pull you and your team ahead of your customer needs:

  1. Customers are looking for new solutions, but not with you
  2. There have been no significant changes in your offerings in the last year
  3. Efforts at promoting variable print are falling on deaf ears
  4. New customers?  What is that?
  5. An excited C- level asks you what you know about using email or purls.

Put Your Staff in "Drive" and Get Going!

Every thriving organization has to increase capability and capacity to meet future needs. Today's needs are generally handled by yesterday's progress.  A decision for multi-channel has to include a review of your team and tools.  Ask yourself:

  1. Where does the team need strengthening?
  2. Is the team growing in the technical areas needed for the new print and messaging world?
  3. Can multi-channel help us expand and be ready for even more changes?

Message delivery for the future includes decreasing print, increasing online methods, and often multiple communication methods.  More touches equals more response.  Multi-channel will engage your team on all levels with print, email, landing pages, direct mail, brochures and perhaps even banners and posters.  Multi-channel will get you talking to the people in your organization that are driving the future direction of print usage. You can't get there unless you start.  But, this is not a solo journey.  You will need to decide who to partner with for help. 

Partners in the Process:  Five Friends You Need

In our next post we will talk about identifying the five "friends" you need to successfully deliver multi- channel and variable offerings.

Was this brief overview of a simple multi-channel execution helpful?  Let Phil know via email.


About the Author

Elisha Kasinskas

Elisha Kasinskas is Rochester Software Associates' (RSA) award-winning Marketing Director. She is responsible for all marketing, public relations, social media and communications, and community building for the firm. Ms. Kasinskas joined RSA in 2010. She is a Marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience in sales, product management, and marketing in leading product and service business to business and business to consumer firms, including Pinnacle (Birds Eye) Foods, Global Crossing, Windstream Communications, HSBC, and a number of regional high tech firms. She holds a Rochester Institute of Technology MBA, and a BS in Marketing from Radford University. Ms. Kasinskas is a frequent moderator for industry speaking sessions. She was awarded the 2015 In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) Outstanding contributor award, is a 2015 OutputLinks Women of Distinction inductee, and has secured multiple awards from the American Marketing Association (AMA) for recent work at RSA.

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