‘One Channel Never Enough’: Q&A With Margie Dana

Author & print industry expert Margie Dana
Author & print industry expert Margie Dana

Margie Dana — author of three books on printing and print buying and an industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience — recently chatted with Structural Graphics to help inform our audience about different ways marketers can extend their brand’s influence through integrated print campaigns.

Dana currently writes a sales and marketing column for Printing Impressions, produces a weekly blog, Print Tips and educates the print community through her work as a freelance writer and speaker in the graphic arts community.


In your experience, what do brands have the hardest time communicating to their consumers?
I honestly don’t think a lot of companies know what makes them different. Or if they think they do, it’s not specific enough.

What marketing advice can you give B2B brand strategists and marketers?
Always consider multiple marketing channels when you develop your strategy. Large brands know this, but small companies, such as printers and other graphic arts companies, don’t automatically think of print + social + video and so on. One channel can’t ever be effective enough for any company.

“One channel can’t ever be effective enough for any company.”

Also, it’s critical to know a lot about who you serve, where they “hang out” online, how receptive they are to specific channels and what information they consider valuable. Yes, I’m talking relevancy here. Brands need to tailor their marketing efforts according to the needs of their prospects and their customers.

How important do you think print is to today’s marketing strategy?
It’s very important. Your brand needs consistent, high-quality content to maintain a presence in your field and to regularly communicate with customers and prospects. You just have to determine where, how and when it makes sense for a particular campaign. A digital-only mindset is short-sighted. Surprising customers with creative and unusual print-based campaigns make [brands] memorable. Plus, it helps differentiate you in their minds.

Are there any trends that you think will be game changers in the print industry?
Integrated campaigns are hot right now, and so they should be. AR (Augmented Reality) technology and reprogrammable QR (Quick Response) codes are still hard to explain to people unfamiliar with them, but every year more and more major brands are using these technologies in things like catalogs (IKEA) and store signage (Macy’s).

“A digital-only mindset is short-sighted.”

Tell me about your association with PBI. 
PBI (Print Buyers International) is a professional group I founded many years ago to serve corporate and agency print buyers. I hosted annual conferences and dinner programs, plus boot camps. My focus was part educational, part social. I closed that [part of the] group in 2013 [but still] manage a PBI LinkedIn Group.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
I do research about print buyers along with my colleague John Zarwan. We’ve done two studies recently to find out more about print buying trends. These reports are available on my website.

To learn more about Margie Dana and to purchase her books, visit her website and follow her on Twitter.

Want to find ways to incorporate print into your next marketing strategy? We should talk.

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