In uncertain times, there are still certain things and people you can count on

I recently sat down with some small storefront print shop owners to discuss how the pandemic has affected their businesses. Below are some of the takeaways from those discussions.

• Right now, they’re all in survival mode. They’re just managing to pay their rent on time, pay their employees, and put food on the table for their families. Dining out and going to bars or movies are now considered luxuries, reserved for better days ahead.

• They’re trying to keep as much work in-house as possible. For example, one customer came in asking for “shiny foil” on his new business card (i.e. gold-foil stamping). Normally this printer would farm this job out to a nearby competitor simply to keep that customer coming back. Instead, he convinced the customer to use gold ink – which the printer can do in-house but isn’t as attractive. This is the current mindset – and my guess is that it will continue for at least the first half of next year.

• They want to know what we can do for them right now and exactly how much it costs.

• Some were confused about digital versus print advertising, multi-channel marketing and social media advertising – but to a person, they all wanted to know how we can help them use these platforms to bring more business into their shops.

• They were all exhausted from being online but were confident that business would pick up with more in-person contact. As one printer told me: “It’s one thing to show customers a soft proof online; it’s quite another for customers to hold a printed sample in their hands.”

• Coincidentally, all of them were immigrants and English was their second language. So even some basic industry jargon wasn’t understandable to them. They urged me to “keep everything simple.”

Here’s what you CAN be certain of

Here’s my point: as we head into another uncertain year, you can be absolutely certain of one thing – Graphic Arts Media is here to help you rebuild your business, or help you continue your success. It’s all about adapting and surviving. Whether you want to promote specific products or offer unique services, our team will build a custom marketing campaign that supports your goals. Affordable new print, digital and social media advertising opportunities are outlined in our new 2022 Media Kit, which appears on pages 13, 14 and 15. In these difficult times, we’ll also do our best to be as flexible as possible.

In the meantime, here’s what we can do for you right now:

For Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and software vendors. We create and promote multimedia content that showcases your cutting-edge technology – including case studies, installations, new product releases and so on.

For commercial print shop owners. Regardless of your specialty – offset, digital, packaging, wide-format, textiles, direct mail or any combination of these – we provide news, insights, resources and a wide array of affordable print, digital and social media advertising platforms to ensure that your presses continue running efficiently.

For trade-only printers. We help you showcase your high-margin, profit-building print products to a national audience of print brokers and print buyers, while keeping our readers up-to-date on your newest services and equipment installations.

For advertising, marketing and creative agencies. We present your designs, creative multi-media campaigns and other services to our audience of print professionals who are looking for creative partners to enhance their brands.

For industry associations. Your mission is to help printing communities across Canada – and one of our missions is to help you spread the word. So we always will. It’s that simple.

Our overall mission is crystal clear: to support your company’s marketing and sales objectives with timely, professional creation, promotion and distribution of your messages that educate, inform, inspire and ultimately convert our print and online readers into purchasers of your products and services.

For more information on print ads, advertorials, inserts and outserts, contact Joe Mulcahy, Chairman at 1-877-513-3999 or e-mail joe@graphicartsmag.com.

For more information on B2B, digital and social media advertising, contact Ryan Mulcahy, Publisher at 1-289-500-8595 or e-mail ryan@graphicartsmag.com.

For more information and suggestions on editorial content, please e-mail me directly at the address below.

Until next time, always remember that we’re here to help.

Tony Curcio
Tony Curcio is the news editor at Graphic Arts Magazine.

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