UKvUSA: How to Get Sticky with Print Customers

In this episode of UKvUSA, Deborah Corn and Matthew Parker discuss the difference between sticky and loyal print customers, how print shop processes fit in, and advice for creating and maintaining sticky client relationships. (Transcript below)


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[0:00:02.3] DC: Print Buying UKvsUSA is a series dedicated to helping printers create stronger, more meaningful, and more profitable relationships with print customers on both sides of the pond. I’m Deborah Corn, founder of Project Peacock and principal at Print Media Centr.

[0:00:20.8] MP: And I’m Matthew Parker, the Champion of Print at

[0:00:26.1] DC: We may not always agree but that’s when it gets interesting. So, turn up the volume, get out your notepad, and welcome to the program.


[0:00:41.2] DC: Hey everybody, welcome to the Podcast From the Printerverse. I am Deborah Corn, your Intergalactic Ambassador. More specifically, we are here with the UKvUSA podcast, which means I am here with my arch – not really, nemesis from across the pond, Matthew Parker. Matthew Parker, the question on everyone’s mind, is Kate Middleton in your house?

[0:01:08.6] MP: She’s not. I don’t think but there’s probably edited image of her in my house somewhere going around as we speak now. You know, I don’t know if anyone remembers the Queen’s birthday when she was still alive, her last one, and she did that little video, and she was having tea with Paddington Bear, yeah? I am now forced to consider whether that was edited rather than the real thing.

[0:01:34.6] DC: What?

[0:01:36.0] MP: Yeah, I mean, that’s just –

[0:01:37.7] DC: Blasphemy.

[0:01:38.5] MP: That would be the case, yeah.

[0:01:39.9] DC: We should actually talk about manipulating images in one of our podcasts. Yeah.

[0:01:46.1] MP: Oh, we so should, we so should.

[0:01:47.1] DC: Yes, there’s some crazy stuff going on. Hopefully, by the time this podcast comes out, they will have found Kate Middleton. Would be – that would be nice for her to have a public appearance but until then, we have a topic to discuss that we’re framing under sticky customers, how to create them, what the value of sticky customers are, short-term, long-term. However, we’re going to define it.

But Matthew, you said you’ve been having interesting conversations about the definition of sticky customers. So, what do you know, sir?

[0:02:21.0] MP: Well, I’m going to throw it over to you first. So, how do you define a sticky customer, and then I’ll come back with the discussion because I was interested to see what you say before I give you the two definitions I’ve been having back and we can have a chat about which one’s right.

[0:02:37.0] DC: Okay, in the loosest sense, a sticky customer – and I can only answer this question from my personal perspective, like when I was a sticky customer. The printer did something for me that I couldn’t do myself or that made my life easier and no one else could offer it and then therefore, that – and it could just have been one thing, Matthew, but that one thing kept me loyal, coming back and to leave, they would have – I can’t even, like, I’m giggling about it now, I can’t even imagine anything going so wrong that it would override the value of that one thing that they did that helped me sleep at night.

[0:03:26.4] MP: That’s a cool definition. We now got three definitions because I was going to define it and disagree with you, and then you said that it was something that no one else could do, and at that point, I thought, “Yeah, that’s a good definition of stickiness.”

[0:03:38.7] DC: Okay, well, hold on, let me just refine.

[0:03:41.0] MP: Okay.

[0:03:41.8] DC: Other people might be able to do it but I’m already doing it with somebody. So then it becomes the, “I’ve got better quality service” thing conversation and therefore, relationship comes into play in the keeping it too.

[0:03:54.3] MP: Okay.

[0:03:56.7] DC: So, sorry about that.

[0:03:57.9] MP: No, that’s cool. I think that there is sometimes a misunderstanding between stickiness and loyalty and this is a conversation I’ve been having on LinkedIn. So, a lot of people say, how’d you make a – God, Deborah gnawing at me, this is a first.

[0:04:12.6] DC: Because that is a great freaking distinction. Kelly [Melazi 0:04:15.6] brought up the other day that there’s a big distinction between mentoring and coaching but there’s a fine line between those two things. So, that, I love this, Matthew.

[0:04:25.4] MP: So, I put up a post on LinkedIn about sticky customers, and at the end of it, I said, “You know, do you have sticky customers, how do you define sticky customers?” And a couple of people jumped in and said, they thought they did know sticky customers or they encourage people to be sticky customers by doing things for them that were more than print. They’re encouraging to build their business and therefore, make the customer want to work with this printing company, and as a strategy, I think it’s great.

Yeah, I thoroughly endorse it but I don’t think it makes a sticky customer. Loyalty is something that can change and sometimes, it can change quite quickly. Sometimes it can be a case of someone having had a long-term relationship with the printing company and then they discover that maybe they’ve been being charged quite highly for their services, and that gets them really irate and that loyalty disappears in a flash.

Sometimes it’s just that another printing company comes up with a better solution or something more valuable, and therefore, they become more loyal to that printing company instead. So, loyalty can go. What I like about a sticky customer is that actually, you don’t want to move from your supplier because it’s really, really hard work. The workflow or the solution that the supplier has put in makes you think, “Okay, another supply came along, their price is USD 10 cheaper.” But when you have a PDF that you’re sending to someone, that’s easy, right?

I can get the same thing for USD 10 cheaper elsewhere, I’ll go with that person. I mean, yeah, give and take due dilligence and making sure they’re an okay supply and all the rest of it but when you think, “Actually, I’ve got to uncover myself from a more complicated supply chain and I’ve got a lot of work to do this.” That’s when I think we have a sticky customer. I don’t know what your thoughts are.

[0:06:19.3] DC: I think we might be saying the same thing but I’m going to say it in a different manner. When I think loyalty, I think loyalty to a human being. I’m loyal to that printer who answers the phone. I’m loyal to that printer who helps me understand things I don’t understand. I’m helpful for that printer who preempts disasters, those are my favorite printers, by the way, the preemptors of disaster are my favorite.

I am sticky to a process. If that printer that I’m loyal to goes somewhere else, I might still print with them but there’s a really, very high chance that whatever is keeping me sticky with that business, and I’m going to have to say that most of the time, it was around digital asset management. They had stuff and other people could access it and there was just no way that system was going to stop.

Although, I might still be loyal to the printer who moved to a different place and send them some work and let – and have them bid and have them come over and do everything I can in my power, so that their new company could see that they were doing things and they had relationships, like, that’s where my loyalty would lie to them. That doesn’t mean it would end, I could buy things from them.

But I would still do everything I could so that their company didn’t – you know what I’m saying? Like, they still had good standing in their company, they still could prove that they had all these relationships, it just wasn’t going to work out for whatever reason it did. I will tell you though that in all the situations that this has happened to me and it actually has happened, where I was loyal to a digital asset management platform.

And the printer rep moved to another company, I always find something to print with them, even if it was just a small job because that’s where the loyalty lies but not that process. It was not worth the time, effort, and by the way, there are sometimes, contracts in place too, that keep people sticky but they expire. You could always look around if the other pieces of that aren’t there. So, it’s all tied together.

I think it’s really interesting but let’s move into what we believe creates a sticky customer and do you want to stick to one definition of what a stick customer is or do you want to just – because if you listen to this podcast, you know that all Matthew and I know is that we’re going to talk about sticky customers today and make two or three points about what that might be but we don’t know what each other is going to say.

The things I’m going to say aren’t really tied to a person, to loyalty, so to speak but I guess they could cross over. So –

[0:09:13.4] MP: No, I really like your distinction. You know, loyalty is about the people, stickiness is about the systems. So, the examples I’ve come up with today have all been about workflow process systems. Yeah, the people, I’m not going to say they’re irrelevant but the reason why someone is staying is because they’ve got a great system and they’re going to find it hard to move from there and is not worth it unless it’s a massive win or a massive at the end with the other supplier or there’s a massive problem.

[0:09:41.9] DC: All right, well, I’m just going to answer the way I answer because of that, would you expect anything less but why don’t we start with you because you have done a little more focus group research on the definition?

[0:09:55.1] MP: Okay. So, these now, having done that research, and I’m still keeping my own path that yeah, a sticky customer is one who finds it hard to move from the supplier because the supplier is tied to them with systems, not with people. So, three ways we can do this. The first one I’m going to say is web-to-print because if you create a private web-to-print portal with all the designs up there that people can just go on.

They can order in and so users can order easily, overseers can have a good oversight of what’s happening and set down the right rules for them to peruse for stuff that they need and we don’t have designers going off on one and creating a piece of corporate electric chair, which isn’t in the right corporate – what’s the word you call it?

[0:10:48.4] DC: Brand standards.

[0:10:50.1] MP: Thank you, that’s it, yes. They’re not within the right corporate brand standards. So, if you can set up a web-to-print portal with someone with those elements in it, then if someone wants to move supplier, they’ve got to either set up all their brand standard and all their pieces again at another supplier or they’ve got to get all their designs out of your system and onto someone else’s system. It’s a pain to do.

Yes, it can be done and yes, someone will do it for the right win but they’re not going to do it unless there’s a very good reason.



[0:11:24.6] DC: It’s back. Citizens of the Printerverse, it is time to make your plans to attend Drupa 2024. The world’s premier printing event, returns May 28th through June 7th in Düsseldorf, Germany, with 18 halls, filled with the products, services, and companies you need to drive your business forward. Drupa also offers visitors a variety of topical, daily programming with speakers covering packaging, textiles, sustainability, and trends shaping the industry.

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[0:12:30.0] MP: Over to you Deborah, and I think we can expand this into what I think you’re going to say next. I’m stopping that now.

[0:12:34.9] DC: And I appreciate that. So yes, I also had this one. I filed it under digital asset management/portals and that is because I actually was involved in setting up a digital asset management system for a global luxury hotel chain and if you can imagine that every time an image of that hotel appears on the Internet, on all the travel sites, on I mean, everywhere, it has to be the right image.

It has to be when they do renovations, when they paint it, when the, you know, hotel chains merge a lot. So, a – let’s just say, a Hilton property could become a Marriott property, that’s a very crazy example of what I’m saying but I they do merge and you know, I just found out, Westin is part of Marriott, the other day. So, Westin may keep expanding, it might add a little bit of Marriott’s branding in it.

But the photo of that hotel wherever it shows up and wherever locally they’re pulling it for promotions or including what you’re allowed to say about the property, the new descriptions. I mean, there’s not just art in digital asset management systems, there’s language, there’s press releases, there is information about how you can describe things, there’s brand standards, it’s a crazy thing. So, I agree with you.

Once that is set up, my God, there has got to be a – like I can’t even think of a scenario. You’re short of that printer shutting down and just saying, we’re not selling to anybody and they’re not taking this over, it’s just gone that I’m going to be off of it. Now, with all things being equal, what’s the next part of this, right? And also, everybody is not a global luxury hotel chain who can invest to –

I mean, at the time, Matthew, is, it was close to a hundred thousand dollars to both the system. I mean, it was massive, the amounts of properties. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever undertaken as a production manager by the way. Why was this my job? I don’t know, but you’ve got to do what you’re told to do and not really –

[0:14:47.5] MP: Great project to be involved in though.

[0:14:49.7] DC: Yeah. I mean, now it is, looking back but while it was going on, it was absolutely insane going through all the photographs and like, pulling out the ones that you weren’t allowed to use anymore. I want to take this down to a manageable level of people, right? So, it can be to your point, there are plenty of web-to-print MIS systems out there that enable the customer portals, like a login where a customer can store their files and all of that.

And, to your point before, if it’s a system, then more than one person has and you’re just exploring it, then you’re going to be looking at cost and printing prices and all of that when you are deciding which of these printers with this opportunity for you to have a portal is the best for you. So, I would say that, what can you add to it to make it more valuable, and I think in this day and age, printers investing in the content creation for their customers and putting that information in their portals would make the most sticky customers you have ever seen in your life.

Now, if you already have that print and marketing work, then you already have the text that they’re using, you can use one of your friendly AI platforms to literally cut and paste that information and say, create five Facebook shares for me, based on this information, create this. You already have the art, right? More than likely, you’re printing things for them or you can go over and take a photo of their yogurt store, whatever it might be and in the portal, you can say, “Here are images of your business that you can use in social media.”

“Here are some shares you can use. Here’s a short blog post about you know, why you should order Mother’s Day flowers early.” Whatever it might be, that would create a ridiculously sticky customer for somebody who was in a marketing agency, you know, like a small – I’m talking small now, like, one person design shop could put something like that in and be very valuable. They could work with a printer who offered something like that and then help but anybody, like just retail store on the street would, I think would – they would be a sticky/loyal customer.

[0:17:15.5] MP: Yeah, I like it. I think there’s a lot going on there. Can I move on to my next one? Because I think this builds honestly further.

[0:17:20.4] DC: Yes.

[0:17:21.9] MP: My next one is going to be data. Now, this is an interesting one because traditionally, yeah, I talked to a lot of printers who said, “Oh, I’ll manage your data for you.” And what they meant is, “We’ll take your mailing list and we’ll teach you paint and all the rights to that stuff.” Which is all good but actually, anyone can do that these days.

Then we move to the point where we’d have systems that would manage data on behalf of the customer. So, for instance, if we were talking about online ordering for instance or the printers involved in the fulfillment, they might manage all the data in that on behalf of the customer but customers quite rightly these days, are getting more protective of their data. They want it stalled on their servers.

They want to manage the data as much as possible themselves, which makes it quite hard for any third-party supplier to get involved in managing data in that same way but where printers I think have a really good opportunity is to create data that’s useful for their clients. So, we’ve talked a lot over the years about multitouch marketing campaigns, where we’re looking at combining print with personalized URLs, with QR codes, with all sorts of different options.

But the whole point is that we sent out print and then someone reacts to the print and that response is recorded. Now, at that point, a good customer, who is a sensible customer is going, “I want my data on my server, not on your server.” However, if you’re producing that data in the first place, that makes you very valuable as long as you’re able to put in some campaign management into that as well.

So, you need to be advising your clients on the rights of that multitouch campaigns to run, have a developing best practice as it changes over time but I do feel there’s a really good opportunity there for people to become sticky because they’ve got the right systems in place, which may connect through an API to the customer systems. So again, do you want to start breaking down data systems and building up new portals again if you change suppliers?

There’s lots of ways to make that data creation quite sticky. I don’t know how you feel about it. I mean, I’m guessing you may want to fit data on your list as well but I don’t know.


[0:19:49.5] MP: Do you need some direction or new ideas for your business? Would sales goal setting and accountability improve your revenues or do you have a member or staff who could be performing better? I’m Matthew Parker, the Champion of Print at and I offer a personal mentoring service.

Together, we work out exactly what you need. We create a personal mentoring program for you and then we speak twice a month. You get set goals and action points to make sure you progress. What makes me different is that I’m the buyer, I’ve been approached by over 1,400 different printing companies so I know what works and I know what doesn’t.

If you’d like to find out more, go to, click the training tab, and then go to mentoring, or alternatively, just hit me up on LinkedIn. I look forward to working with you.


[0:20:42.9] DC: You know, I hear you talking, you’re up like 10 levels from, you know, most printers out there who are just getting business for people walking in their door or you know, down the block or like, everything you’re speaking about is like a formalized customer, like a formal professional customer who has servers and data list.

Like, I’m talking about the untapped market of print there, our regular people out in the street who don’t realize they need print in their life or what it can do for them, and in that case, to your point, which I do agree with, they require data but they only need one data point. “Did this money I spent work for me or not?”

That’s all they care about and during the pandemic, I was really adamant about this. You know, one of the bigger goals of restaurants for example was to get people on their social media because they could more easily and quickly communicate literally, what was available that day in the restaurant or what their new procedures were.

There was a lot of information that was being shared and one of the things I suggested to printers was to go to all those places and say, “We can use print to help get people on your Facebook page.” And it was like, “Blasphemy” you know? “Oh no, well, Deborah once threw on the Facebook page you don’t, then they don’t need print anymore.”

And I was like, “Aha, you’re wrong” because they can see a clear correlation between last week we had 300 people that liked our Facebook page and after our mailing, we have 400 people that liked our Facebook page. So, in the absence of Google Analytics and all of that, you can make a pretty good case that that printed postcards sent locally had something to do with that, right?

So, now you have proof and now you can say, “What else do you need to do?” “Well, we don’t get a lot of orders on Wednesday.” Okay, great. Let’s create something just for Wednesdays and see what happens and then you get into a conversation, which is more than just being loyal. Now, that business is relying on that printer.

No, Joe knows or Jane knows exactly what I need. I am not talking to anybody else. They were there for me in my crisis moment and I am not going to leave them. Now, that rides the border of sticky and loyal and you know for a retail business, you know I don’t know what would be more important now if it was just proving that the direct mail piece worked.

Any printer could probably do that and if that printer moved to another printshop, the customers could be loyal to that printer and that’s going to be the end of that but if they’ve now developed the process where all they have to do is send an email on Monday with the new specials that week and a digitally printed menu show up on Wednesday for the weekend and there’s some sort of process there if the printer moves to another place and can’t replicate that process, I don’t think that that customer would move and it would create a sticky customer.

Along those lines, the point that I wanted to make on my second point is that any printers who think that they’re in the printing business and not in the sales marketing and education business of their customers should probably get out of the business, right? So, this goes back to you know, going to those printers and going to those customers, and I have spoken about this for new business meetings.

Not new business, like, “What do you got that I can print?” but business, like, “What are your goals for the next six months? Where do you have to be for the year?” If we just stay with the restaurant thing, “Which days of the week are slower? Are you trying to increase your online ordering?” A lot of restaurants right now are trying to get people to stop using Uber Eats and those delivery services because they get creamed on the fees.

And they’re like instead order through our Facebook page or some of them now have this online ordering through like Google Maps. I don’t know if you’ve seen this but it’s like Google has got involved in the ordering business and there’s no fees and it’s actually better for everybody but that’s what I’m saying, a sticky customer is tied to the data but in my case, the data is, “Did this money were printed, the money I spent for print worked for me or not?” is the only data point they’re going to care about.

[0:25:32.0] MP: So, let’s just roll back on my one and simplify it down for the smaller business days because I think there’s a place for them and there’s a really good opportunity for them here. For those of you who could run a simple multitouch campaign, it doesn’t have to be a complicated one, you start creating data for your customer and at that point, you can say, “We sent this out, let’s keep this very simple to turn people.”

Onto there, we got six people who didn’t respond to the print piece but if you have the email address, we’re going to try the email next. Of the printed piece, we know that one person rang up, one person is actually a retail store brought in a physical coupon, somebody else scanned the QR code and brought it in on their smartphone and you’re beginning to get data on the actual customers of the store.

So, the next time around you know that Joe likes to get a coupon and that’s what works for him and he’s going to bring that in. So, you carry on something for him to print but you know that Mary actually scanned the QR code in her smartphone, right? Then sends her an offer on the smartphone instead that she can go to straight away. So, you’re beginning to create data on how your customers behave and you can put that through to their purchases afterwards so that you can see that this works.

And you’re in a great position to the small business because they don’t have the data service, they don’t know how to manage customer data, you can do all that for them. Are they going to go down the road to someone else when you’ve got all that customer data? I don’t think so. So, it can be done at a small level as well, and to your point, the, “Do you have to prove that the money you’re spending with them is getting results?”

You can actually say, “Look, we print the coupon out and we could see that out of the X number of people we sent it to, this percentage responded and we know how they responded so we can raise those response rates next time.” So, let’s move on to my final idea and again, your initial response may be, “This is for the big companies.” But actually, I think this is really good for the small companies as well and this is to have fulfillment or another part of the process in your armory to offer customers.

So, big brands would often do that, print somewhere and they’ll have a warehouse and manage that fulfillment somewhere. Smaller customers aren’t big enough to be able to get that interest. If you can start fulfilling for them then you have a really strong point. Now, I’m thinking here about smaller businesses, who create, I know something physical that they want to send out or smaller e-commerce businesses, they’re buying a small amount of stock and they want to sell it online.

Not only can you help them with their marketing with that print, not only can you help them with their packaging, not only can you help them with their vouchers and information that you put inside the package that they’re sending out with their easily redeemable placing other order with us of X amount within the next two weeks and get a discount so you start building that customer loyalty and doing those upsells.

But you can actually manage that sending out for them as well. So, there’s a number of companies I know in the UK who already have part of their warehousing set up as a fulfillment department. They hold stock for their customers and send it out when their customers ask them to. What can you do if you are not already offering this to offer this to some of your customers? Maybe you can work with a local fulfillment company and do a joint venture together.

Maybe you could invest in a little bit of storage space yourself, maybe you’ve got a spare storeroom that’s gathering dust in your building, why don’t you put some customer’s stock in there and see if it works for a couple of those customers and if you get a great response and you suddenly got a customer with better revenue and higher profits, then you know this is worth thinking about, investing in a little bit more space, and building on that side.

But I think that’s a really good one to do as well because again, if a customer wants to move they’ve got to get an up-to-date inventory of everything, someone’s got to do a stock tape, they’re going to move all the stock from somewhere to the new supplier, and they’ve got to be comfortable. The new supplier is going to do just as good a job as you, so it is not an easy decision to make. It makes that customer stickier.

I don’t know what you think about that and then I’m looking forward to hearing your fun place.


[0:30:02.4] DC: Are you looking to elevate your game, take your bottom-line customer relationships and events to the next level? Then I want to work with you. I’m Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. I engage with a vast global audience of print and marketing professionals across all stages of their careers.

They are seeking topical information and resources, new ways to serve their customers and connect them, optimize processes for their communications and operations, and they need the products and services, and partnership you offer to get to their next level. Print Media Centr offers an array of unique opportunities that amplify your message and support your mission across the Printerverse.

Let’s work together, bring the right people together, and move the industry forward together. Link in the show notes. Engage long and prosper.


[0:31:04.2] DC: I think that that one’s more on the commodity side than the sticky side, that for smaller customers 100%, it would keep them sticky until they hit a point where they had to start making financial decisions and at that point, it’s not going to matter. The process, it’s a fulfillment process is the same everywhere. Most likely, if somebody is these days storing things, it’s still in manageable quantities.

They’re printing small batches of things, so they will run out and you just moved. After you’ve run out, you don’t have to worry about a lot of these things and I would say though that the next company that you move to is the one you’re going to want to be sticky with because now, you have gotten to a point where it’s going to start getting more complicated as you are growing. So, the more complicated that fulfillment is, the more sticky you’re going to be.

But for a smaller business, I still think that that is a highly commoditized price-based decision that can be moved at least once like or three times, right? So, I am just running out, I’ve got a medium thing, now I got a regional situation going on, now I needed a national or global. So, those are probably or maybe for a national or global, right? If you grow your brand that big. So, I think that it’s not really as sticky at least in the part of that process.

[0:32:32.5] MP: I think it depends on the process of the company, it does depend. So, some people don’t have that aspiration to become national and global and focus on maybe the smaller companies that don’t have those aspirations.

[0:32:45.1] DC: Yes.

[0:32:45.5] MP: And I think you will keep them, otherwise, you’re right, you may keep them sticky for a time, and then it’s time to move on but at that point, they may be looking at other printers anyway. What it will do is it will stop them from looking down the high street when they’re starting out at the next printer down the road because they don’t want to mess up their fulfillment at that stage.

[0:33:04.1] DC: Right, and I mean, if they’re a small company, then they’re all going to be sticky and they’re not going to move because they are not going to. If they don’t have any aspirations or not aspirations but it’s just not their thing to try to – to be anything but a local honey company, you know? Whatever it might be, then yeah, they’re going to be sticky and loyal to the people who helped them generate more business. That’s what they’ll care about.

Okay, my last thing is based upon my experience of what made me a sticky/loyal customer. This one might tilt towards loyalty versus sticky but it depends upon the philosophy of the business. So, I’m going to say that the printers and the printing businesses that taught me things that I could ask questions to without feeling like an idiot were some of the stickiest relationships I had.

There is no amount of money that starts to impede working with somebody if they are helping me be more valuable in my job, helping me bring new ideas to my creative team if I am working in the advertising agency for example, or just invites local businesses over to talk to them about multichannel marketing and the advantages of you know, starting a footprint and moving to social media and a programmatic advertising or how to read Google Analytics.

I mean, whatever those businesses, those local businesses, those people who are not being served by anybody who don’t have print in their life and don’t realize they need it, those people will be sticky as hell to anybody who treats them like respectable, not like idiots, you know like, “Well, is your computer plugged in?” like let’s move past that, right? And let’s assume the computer is plugged in.

And let’s assume that all these people really do want to market to their customers, educate their customers, or make sales to their customers. If you can share and teach them how and also, the value of the capabilities of your print shop within that, you know, and why if you need to inventory we can do this, if you don’t need to inventory this, this thing called digital printing, we can just print as many as you need whenever you need them.

These are things that might not be known to regular people out there and that creates a stickiness. I will have to say that it will tied to the rep though. The rep, there will be a piece of it. So, if you own the print shop and you’re listening to this, interchange the people who interact with your guests for this lunch and learns, for these educational sessions, for these open house events that you might have, host a design class, whatever it might be, so it’s the business presents. I am not associating it with Joe or Jane who invited me.

[0:36:18.4] MP: So, it is an interesting – my initial reaction is to say as you already said, it could depend on loyalty but I think there is a tactic that you can employ here and it is one that I teach people who I mentor sometimes and it’s the continuous learning curve. So, what I say is you give me a piece of advice and you may educate me in something very simple. So, let’s say you educate me in the fact that I can send out a mailing piece with the QR code on it and people can scan it.

So, to begin with, I go, “Wow, that’s brilliant! Thanks, Matthew. Yeah, I’m really pleased that you told me that, and yeah, you get the work.” And then I kind of get my head around it and because I am a buyer, I can go, “Right. Oh, there’s some print companies that might be able to do this. You know, I’m going to ring Deborah.” Or I am going to ring all the other people around to see if they can do it.

So, the strategy around this because I think sometimes some printing companies give everything away on the first meeting, and that works if you’ve got a very knowledgeable buyer but most buyers is you can’t correctly say don’t have a huge knowledge of print. So, give them a little bit, and when they’ve got their heads around that give them the next bit and the next bit so they’re always continuing their journey with you.

And they haven’t got time to get their head around what they’re doing and therefore, take it out and commoditize it and take it to the next printer. So, start up with the QR code, then show what can be done with the QR code in terms of the data analysis, then go out and give them personalized URLs as well, you know, show them a bit more measurements. There’s all these things and I may be using slightly the wrong journey in terms of the order to introduce them.

But keep introducing something new so your customer is always learning and then they’re much more likely to stay sticky and again, where possible, build it into a system that you have so that people realize that it is your systems that are doing this as much as the people and then they can further wrap around. If the rep moves, you still got a chance of keeping your customer. So, I think it is a good idea.

I think you have to put it in quite an involved way to make it work or to make it work to its full effect. You know what you’re doing around the loyalty but I like it.

[0:38:41.3] DC: There is also thought leadership, right? So –

[0:38:45.0] MP: Yeah.

[0:38:45.5] DC: These are events for their customers, right? So, if you are not a customer, you don’t get to go to the – come to the print shop or one of your customer’s restaurants that you host an event at or whatever it might be, where they’re going to speak about how to create printable AI-generated art, where they’re going to talk to you about creating the right prompts to create website content, right?

So, that makes me very sticky to that business and not the person because I have to be a customer of that business to get this invitation. So, there is a way to still – you know, and by the way, what a great thing to promote on your own website, you know? We provide – this year, we have once a month, so 12 chances to events dedicated for our customers, right? And you put what they are with the speakers, right?

And the topics and now, “I want to be part of this, all I have to do is print with them and I could be part of this.” Or you know, whatever it is but that is a great differentiator for that pizzeria or that florist or that yoghurt store. “Oh, I’m going to do this anyhow. If I do it with them, I get to be exposed to all of this stuff, this business is invested in my business.” Now, I’m loyal/sticky to that business as long as they keep doing that process, right?

[0:40:30.3] MP: Yeah.

[0:40:30.5] DC: Now, someone else might try to do it and I’m not saying I would print something over there to also benefit from that but when a choice has to be made at some point, they’re going to go with whoever is giving them the most value in helping them generate the most return on their printing investment.

[0:40:49.2] MP: The one thing I say to printers, if you’ve been making the absolute right choice here, that you’re getting people talking about business, not about print, and the danger is a lot of printers like to stay in their comfort zone and go, “We’ll teach you how to present your files or we’ll show you finishes.” And stuff like that.

What you’ve been saying is, “We’re going to teach you how to generate AI content. We’re going to get in a little business strategist on the latest retail trends.” Things like that, which that’s the sort of thing that’s going to add the value, not keeping it just within them or not keeping it within the print sphere.

[0:41:24.5] DC: Yeah. I mean imagine, like, bringing someone from the city and to talk to a retail business and about you know, the best time to put up electronic signs and put messages on them depending upon you know, the traffic patterns of the city, these are all valuable things, or finding out, you know, you might think the most tourists come to your area at a certain point but you don’t realize there’s actually another sweet spot of people who do these weekend getaways in the fall and you’re not in the bed & breakfast business so you don’t understand that.

But you might be in another business that could benefit from that type of information. So, that is like, the next level to all of this, you know? We’re all in this together, you know, in the community without hurting or taking away from each other, right? So, I think this was really a great conversation. I really am you know, now, of course, in my head I’m like, “Is that loyal or sticky? Is that loyal or sticky?”

Like, I’ve got the angel and the devil on my shoulder about that but you’re right. I think I’m going to keep it that loyalty is to a person and stickiness is to a process.

[0:42:34.6] MP: Yeah, I think that’s a great [inaudible 0:42:35.2]

[0:42:36.8] DC: And if I keep it that way, I could still have loyalty to the people in the process.

[0:42:41.4] MP: Yeah.

[0:42:41.7] DC: But – and if I move my whole process, then I am really loyal to – really loyal to somebody. Everything you need to connect with Matthew and I are in the show notes below. Watch for sharing the podcast on social media, especially Matthew on LinkedIn. He’s more sticky than I am when it comes to that, albeit, put a discussion topic, and they’re always very lively I’m sure. Matthew, want to encourage people to interact with those folks?

[0:43:11.9] MP: Yeah, please do. You know, I always ask a couple of questions and the discussion is where I got the whole thing about stickiness and loyalty from. So please, you know, whether you agree with us or you disagree with us, whether you’ve got new ideas, we love it when you get involved and add to the conversation.

[0:43:26.6] DC: Totally agree. Until next time, Print Long and Prosper.


[0:43:33.6] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcasts From the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars, and leave us a review. Connect with us through, we’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcasts. Until next time, thanks for joining us, Print Long, and Prosper.


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