Why Brands Should Invest in a Strategy to Order Print Online

How commercial printers could benefit from better relationships with their customers



German Sacristan


Expanding territories and channels will give any business the chance to increase sales productivity, but doing so is not as easy as it seems. Years ago, most businesses only had one shop/channel in a single town. Now they may have hundreds or thousands of shops in different locations as a way to increase sales productivity. Here, the strategic marketing question is whether to use centralized or decentralized marketing across multiple locations. Centralized marketing is when the strategy and the creation and distribution of the marketing pieces are 100% centralized in a given location. Decentralized marketing is when each marketing/sales channel and resource creates and distributes their own marketing materials.


Centralized and Decentralized Marketing Strategy

When brands choose centralized marketing, they have control and can deliver a consistent brand message. However, they miss out on the opportunity to allow their local sales and marketing resources, who are closest to the customer, to customize the message and increase the relevance and effectiveness of the communication.


If brands choose decentralized marketing, however, they are potentially putting their marketing and branding in the hands of thousands of different shops and channels, where their key messages can become diluted and inconsistent. A good technique to avoid this is to provide standardized marketing materials from a central point, which local channels can customize as needed.


Web-to-Print (W2P) Marketing Strategy Portal

W2P technology is a natural fit to help brands market more effectively across different territories/channels. An internal and branded online marketing portal can be created with W2P for the different sales and marketing resources in the field to access and order marketing products, including print. The marketing central office still owns the strategy via the portal and decides which marketing content and direction is the most relevant by providing an array of different marketing product and recommendations based on the different customer target groups.


This online marketing portal will not only facilitate commercial resources to seamlessly order what they need and when they need it, but (most importantly) will allow them to modify and customize some of the marketing products posted online so they can better address their different customers.


There is a clear strategy to get the best out of centralized and decentralized marketing. The brand will upload all the marketing products available to its marketing and sales resources into a marketing repository or an internal online marketing shop. This not only includes brochures, flyers, and cards, but also promotional items such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, and any other marketing material that might be relevant to help their channels promote their products/services.



Local marketing and sales resources can access this internal marketing shop via a personal passcode, which allows different people to have different access to different marketing products based on their marketing experience, what they sell, and where they sell it. Then they can change and edit only specific areas of the marketing pieces that have been allowed by the marketing central office to improve the relevance of the marketing correspondence without disturbing the strategy and consistency of the brand.


Finally, all these commercial resources can order what they want, which will be delivered in the time agreed upon when the order was placed, while their campaigns should be tracked and analyzed by the marketing central office to improve and feed future strategies in the marketing portal.


The Value and Positive Return on Investment

Additional front investment in terms of time and technology is required to improve the chances of marketing efficiency and effectiveness. A thorough marketing strategy utilizing W2P should increase sales opportunities for the brands as well as customer loyalty and profitability for commercial printers.


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