Kelvin Gage covers the art of selling print in TRMC webinar

Kelvin Gage, the former director of Dominion Print Group which he grew from having just five staff to 65 before it was sold to an ASX-listed print giant, was this week’s guest in The Real Media Collective’s Power of Print webinar series.

Gage is now the director of Shock Consulting which helps businesses solve problems. He is also APJ Chairman and Global Treasurer of Dscoop.

Gage’s webinar was about selling the value of print and provided valuable information to help sales teams sell print as so much more than just a commodity. It was the second last in a 10 week series facilitated by The Real Media Collective. Next Wednesday’s 11am webinar will feature Kelly Duncan and June Hartel from Yellow NZ on the topic “Understanding your Customer”.

He opened his talk with a Star Wars analogy by retelling the story of how Star Wars creator George Lucas recreated the characters from the Wizard of Oz, the first film he ever saw, into the Star Wars juggernaut that we know today.

“Printers need to think about how to tell an old story in a new way, as what is being sold in print has changed dramatically over the years but has the way we sell it changed,” Gage asked.

Gage advised this is the focus print businesses should take which includes talking up the added benefits of print and how printers can be much more than ‘just the printer’ to businesses looking to grow.

Kelvin Gage
Kelvin Gage used his webinar to explain why printers are so much more than ‘the printer’ or the ‘sales guy’.

To explain he turned the word PRINT into an acronym and broke it all down:

P is for profitable

Gage said there is no silver bullet for making print businesses successful but there are a number of proven benefits of print campaigns that will continue to hold the medium in a strong position.

Number one among these is the consistently strong ROI that is achieved off the back of print campaigns, with this increasing when print and digital campaigns are run together.

“If you want to save money, then use electronic. But if you want to make money, then use print,” he said, advising printers this is the reasoning they should be constantly giving to customers who are considering how best to market themselves.

“The statistics absolutely show us how effective print and electronic campaigns can be when they work together. We acknowledge we are not stand alone but the real effectiveness comes in when we work together.

“Print works, it drives engagement, results and return on investment.”

Gage reflected on a recent article he had read by Domenic Price, Work Futurist, at Atlassian who said businesses need to adapt to customer needs in order to delight customers and he said print businesses have huge scope to do this.

“We need to move the conversation from cost to value and we need to adapt so we can delight our customers,” he said.

This doesn’t mean throwing out your current sales strategies, but rearranging and adding to them.

“Is it time to set a new agenda? Do we need more education for our sales team and develop a new culture? This is not easy but it is not as difficult as sitting back, doing nothing and watching the same old methodologies work less and less,” Gage said.

“The traditional approach works less and less. What we have to become is a finance consultant, a sustainability resource, a marketing strategist, a packaging expert, an ecommerce advisor, a multi- channel coordinator and a problem solver for our customer.”

R is for responsible

Gage reflected on the sustainability responsibility of print and referred to the Stern Report which found 226 grams of co2 were used reading material on the computer for one hour, versus a printed copy would only use 85 grams of co2.

“We need to develop an environment where we are teaching our customers that print is not bad for the environment,” Gage said referring to the TRMC’s book setting out the myths and facts about the bad rap print gets on the environment.

“When we can teach our customers that print is profitable we become their finance expert, when we show them it is responsible and sustainable we become their sustainability resource.”

I is for individual

Gage said in such a noisy online world, print can be highly individualised and is a deeply trusted medium to convey information.

“We get too many emails these days and they are becoming less effective,” Gage said.

He also referred to the number of millennials that are now using Adblocker software to stop emails getting to them, and this also goes for emails from companies they actually like to buy products off.

“Email is no longer cutting it when it comes to reaching millennials,” he said.

Reverse publishing is also increasingly common as online companies like Amazon, Uber, Facebook, Air BnB and ASOS also use print as a medium.

N is for eNgaging

Gage referred to the educational benefits of students printing out their material and highlighting the benefits of printed material for retention.

“Print holds the pole position in engagement and creates memorable experiences that are tactile and sensory,” he said, adding embellishments and finishes and the role these features play in adding to the overall experience.

T is for trusted

He added that time and time again print has proven itself to be the most trusted medium and this cannot be underestimated as the threats of cybercrime continue.

Gage finished the discussion by saying printers should really consider arming their sales teams with this sort of information as it can really help convince customers that taking the print path will prove profitable for them in the end.

To catch the full video of Gage’s webinar and review the Class Notes, please download it here.

Next week is the final Power of Print webinar and features Kelly Duncan and June Hartel of Yellow NZ covering the topic of “What do advertisers need from their print partners, and how can both work better together so that printers deliver solutions for their customers?” To register for this final webinar in the series, please click here.

The Power of Print webinar series has been facilitated by The Real Media Collective.

“Our ten-week program has focused on three core areas: Understanding your Customer, Sharing Knowledge and Building Stronger Businesses. We have learnt from retailers, marketers and designers who have explored how we can work better with our customers and learn what they want when working with printers,” The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood said.

“We’ve also had industry speakers share their successes and learnings when building, or rebuilding, print businesses and also from subject matter experts who have explore how we can consider the business landscape and apply different learnings into our business. The final two weeks are all about sharing knowledge and a deeper understanding of our customers which I am thrilled about.”

Konica Minolta and Media Super are the sponsor partners of the program with distribution and media partner support from Australia Post and Sprinter.

“I cannot thank our sponsors and supporters enough. To be able to bring a ten-week program to the industry like this with such a breadth of knowledge is a wonderful achievement and resource for our members. Particularly, Konica Minolta and Media Super, both long-standing members and supporters of our industry. The Collective, and indeed our whole industry recognises organisations that stand up and really support initiatives like this, we are deeply appreciative, we could not produce series’ such as this without their support,” furthered Northwood.

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