Print Service Providers (PSPs) are manufacturers. Repeat; Print Service Providers (PSPs) are manufacturers. The only thing a PSP has in common with an MSP is that they put ink on paper for the MSP. This does not make them an MSP.
Marketing is going through a major transition and even the traditional marketing based on creative pitch lines and spinning the story to get a prospect to bite is going away. When TV, radio, movies and billboards are involved, this tends to work. As the Web and mobile devices take over the world, even creative is finding they are merely expendable and many have become transient workers moving from agency to agency every 12 months or so. The average tenure of a CMO today is less than 18 months. Tomorrow’s CMO is high tech, analytic, extremely resilient and able to adopt new technology, understands the role of the CIO (previously never even spoke when they passed in the hall) and can produce statistics justifying every directional move down to the minute (not once a year).
In the world of the PSP, the thought that a manufacturer can somehow become a marketing adviser because he can print something new is absurd and hasn’t a leg to stand on. When visiting one’s website you encounter terms like “ROI”, “VDP”, creative services, direct mail strategy, “PURLS” and “QR” codes, run for the exits! Yes, we have all been pushed by our customers to do more and more and more and we sometimes fall into the trap of trying to reinvent ourselves as we say “yes” to everything they request for fear they’ll go to someone else. Resist the temptation. We can improve our efficiency, eliminate waste, get greener, print responsibly, but at the end of the day, PSPs put ink on paper.
Let’s all learn to become more efficient as Marketing Communications Service Providers or MCSPs. Being the best and most efficient turnkey vendor to your top clients will secure the relationship for years to come. A well thought out and properly deployed web to print system and seasoned team to run it will assure that type of efficiency.